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The concept for Global Responsibility Education in Hungary
In December 2016, the Hungarian Government (Magyarország Kormánya) published a 'Concept for Global Responsibility Education in Formal and Non-Formal Education in Hungary' ('Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről a formális és nem-formális oktatásban Magyarországon'). According to the Government's interpretations, the following terms are in the focus of global responsibility education:
- fair trade,
- sustainable development,
- international development,
- intercultural dialogue.
'The aim of education for global responsibility is to prepare citizens to be able to cope with the understanding of the world around them, the challenges of the world of interdependencies, and to become active actors in shaping their immediate and wider world, to stand up to the idea of environmental protection, global solidarity, social justice, thinking systematically for the whole globe, for the Earth and for all their fellow human beings.' [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)]
Introducing elements of global education before the strategy was accepted
There used to be no Hungarian strategy for global learning, but at the same time 'ministries and other institutions providing foreign and educational tasks as well as civil organisations' have been supporting and helping to introduce elements of global education for years. In this context, the decades-long tradition of
- the Green Kindergarten Program and Network (Zöld Óvoda Program és Hálózat),
- the National Eco-School Program and Network (Ökoiskolai Program és Hálózat), and
- the Forestry Kindergarten and Forestry Schools programs (Erdei Óvoda és Erdei Iskola)
should be mentioned. (For more information on Eco-School Program, see sub-chapter 9.4 Raising awareness about global issues)
However, the Government sought to eliminate the deficit, and as a result of a 'widespread social consultation', the Concept mentioned above was completed, which is 'in line with the former National Core Curriculum, and with the patriotic national education mentioned inside'. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)]
Spreading the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations
According to the Concept, Hungary is committed to promoting and spreading the Sustainable Development Goals [Fenntartható Fejlődési Célok (FFC)] adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, and to participate in the achievement of the stated goals. Nevertheless, an important factor in the development of education for global responsibility in Hungary is the so-called 'Millennium Development Goals Declaration' (Millenniumi Fejlesztési Célokat tartalmazó nyilatkozat) accepted by the UN in 2000, and the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals replacing the previous one at the UN General Assembly on the September 2005'. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)]
The stated purpose of the Concept is to rethink global education in both formal and non-formal education through a unified approach and inter-ministerial co-operation in the spirit of Agenda 2030.
In the 2014 International Development Cooperation Strategy [Nemzetközi Fejlesztési Együttműködés (NEFE) Stratégia (2014-2020)], awareness-raising in formal education has become a task. The Strategy underlines, that the target groups of global education are primarily young people. In this context, the country intends to give more emphasis on enlightenment work and awareness-raising in connection to volunteering. At the same time, expansion of the knowledge of Hungarian companies on this issue is also an objective. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)]
The Government Decree no. 110/2012 (VI. 4.) on the National Core Curriculum [110/2012. (VI. 4.) Korm. rendelet a Nemzeti alaptanterv kiadásáról, bevezetéséről és alkalmazásáról] has a priority development area for sustainability education. Sustainability appears also through several topics in the new National Core Curriculum (Nemzeti Alaptanterv), accepted in 2020.
Prior to that, the National Environmental Education Strategy (Nemzeti Környezeti Nevelési Stratégia), led by the Hungarian Society for Environmental Education (Magyar Környezeti Nevelési Egyesület) was in effect until the end of the 1990s. In this context, the Green Kindergarten Program and Network (Zöld Óvoda Program és Hálózat) was established as part of it, while the Eco School Program (Ökoiskola Program) has started in 2000. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)]
National Environmental Education Strategy
The latest (3rd edition) of the National Environmental Education Strategy (Nemzeti Környezeti Nevelési Stratégia) was published by the Hungarian Society for Environmental Education (Magyar Környezeti Nevelési Egyesület) in 2010. The Strategy intends to give the instructors a 'cradle to grave' communication and attitude-forming tool. It is intended to provide recommendations to the 'environmental educators' in addition to 'awareness-raising'. The Strategy consists of five parts:
The National Environmental Education Strategy consists of the following topics:
- Pedagogy of sustainability,
- private life,
- social environment,
- institutional environmental education,
- towards the realisation of the Strategy.
Pedagogy of sustainability:
- Values and principles;
- Pedagogical background of environmental education;
- Quality assurance in environmental education.
- Material culture;
- Family, Household, Lifestyle;
- Health Promotion;
- Leisure, tourism;
- Traditions; Arts;
- Science; Religion; Economy;
- Law; Local Government;
- Civil public life; Environmental information;
- Communication, media;
- Financing environmental education;
- International cooperation.
Institutional environmental education:
- Specificities of the ages;
- Environmental education prior to school age;
- Class, subject;
- Extracurricular environmental education;
- Renewal curricula;
- Non-school environment.
Towards the realisation of the Strategy:
- The tools of environmental education;
- For the Implementation of the Strategy.
According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2020, the renewal of the National Environmental Education Strategy is already underway. The process is coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture (Agrárminisztérium) with the participation of the Hungarian Society for Environmental Education.
National Environmental Programme
The National Environmental Programme 2015-2020 (Nemzeti Környezetvédelmi Program 2015-2020) declares that environmental education in Hungary is an integral part of public education and public education tasks. It is primarily governed by the National Fundamental Curriculum of Nursery Schools (Óvodai Nevelés Országos Alapprogramja) and the National Core Curriculum (Nemzeti Alaptanterv). The Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education (2011. évi CXC. törvény a nemzeti köznevelésről) provides guidelines to educate environmental awareness and healthy way of life, suitable to the age of the child.
According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2021, the draft version of the 5th National Environment Programme for the period 2021-2026 has been prepared. Its overall aim is to contribute to the ensurance of the environmental conditions for sustainable development. The 5th Programme builds on the achievements of the 4th National Environment Programme, which ended in 2020, and proposes solutions to existing and expected new challenges. The Ministry of Agriculture (Agrárminisztérium) coordinated the design process in cooperation with all relevant ministries. The draft of the Programme is currently in the approval process and will become final after adopted by the Hungarian National Assembly.
Since 2008, within the framework of the Green Kindergarten program (Zöld Óvoda Program) and based on annual plans and local needs, kindergartens have begun to implement the special program. 'In the framework of the Green Kindergarten program, 515 kindergartens were operating throughout the country in 2012. [...] The number of eco-schools reached 657 by the beginning of 2013.' [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)]
In addition, several environmental study competitions have been introduced:
- Károly Kaán National Natural and Envorionmental Competence Competition (Kaán Károly Országos Természet- és Környezetismereti Verseny),
- Pál Kitaibel National Biological and Environmental Education Contest (Kitaibel Pál Országos Biológiai és Környezetvédelmi Tanulmányi Verseny).
Main actors in the field of youth policy
Until 2019, through public consultation, anyone can comment on the content of the legislation. There were forums where the partner organisations could get to know the content indirectly. These are
- the National Youth Council (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács),
the National Organisation of Student Self-governing Bodies (Hallgatói Önkormányzatok Országos Konferenciája),
- the Hungarian Youth Conference (Magyar Ifjúsági Konferencia),
- Association of Hungarian PhD and DLA Students (Doktoranduszok Országos Szövetsége),
- the Tempus Public Foundation (Tempus Közalapítvány),
- the National Association of Large Families (Nagycsaládosok Országos Egyesülete),
- the Rákóczi Association (Rákóczi Szövetség),
- the Hungarian School Sport Federation (Diáksport Szövetség).
Involvement of young people in global affairs is generally the task of the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma). In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Külgazdasági és Külügyminisztérium) is also involved indirectly (as they regularly enter into bilateral agreements including youth cooperation), as well as the State Secretary for National Policy under the Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for National Policy, Church Affairs and for Nationalities (Nemzetpolitikáért, egyházügyekért és nemzetiségekért felelős miniszterelnök-helyettes) (nationalities are Hungarian young people from outside Hungary).
International environmental education programmes
Hungary participates in international environmental education programmes, such as the GLOBE and GENE programmes. In 2021, Hungary held bilateral discussions with Network representatives of GENE, to better understand Hungarian priorities, and participated in the bi-annual GENE roundtable discussions. The last virtual event, held on 17-18 November 2021, aimed at preparing the draft of the 'European Declaration on Global Education to 2050' to be adopted in November 2022. The wording of the declaration will start in 2022, and the Hungarian Government is intend to initiate to emphasize the topic of youth involvement in global affairs.
The implementation of the National Environmental Programme 2015-2020 (Nemzeti Környezetvédelmi Program 2015-2020) requires the cooperation of academic, educational-pedagogical insitutions, local governments and civil organisations with the Government. There are also organisations which have an important role in the environmental education and awareness-raising activities among young people, for example
- civil organisations,
- national parks,
- websites, operated by the environmental protection sector and society organisations.