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Global issues covered in high school
The aforementioned Concept on Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről) outlines the core values of global responsibility, namely:
- holistic approach,
- taking global perspectives,
- engaging in social justice,
- peaceful and effective conflict management,
- child and youth orientation,
- (environmental, social and economic considerations),
- critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.' (p. 12.)
The intention is that by acquiring all these values, young people will be able to understand the world of interdependence and global problems. Global issues are defined in the Concept as
- climate change,
- wars and regional conflicts.
The document emphasises
- peace education,
- education for democracy, civic responsibility, participation,
- education of activities,
- respect and observance of human rights,
- education for self-knowledge,
- knowledge of other cultures and appreciation of education,
- environmental education and
- sustainability education. (p. 13)
The Concept also urges the expansion of the topics of global education in the Eco-School Education and Training Program (Ökoiskolai nevelési-oktatási program), taking into account the following areas:
- 'respect for human dignity and solidarity,
- education for democracy,
- active citizenship education,
- human rights awareness, awareness raising and respect for other cultures,
- respect for education,
- education for the environment and sustainability,
- education for development'. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről p. 16.]
The appearance of global education in high schools
The Global Responsibility Education Concept does not detail the exact integration of global issues in high school and higher education. However, in addition to environmental education clearly appearing in elementary school environments, and classes in biology, chemistry and geography in secondary schools, there are a number of lessons available to schools to incorporate the issues of global education into their curriculum.
Most of the available lessons are related to environmental education or the topic of sustainability, for exmaple
- the Sustainability Weekend Lessons (Fenntarhatósági Témahét),
- Kölcsey Ferenc High School Environmental Education Program (Kölcsey Ferenc Gimnázium Környezeti Nevelési Program),
- Mihály Vörösmarty High School Environmental Education Program (Vörösmarty Mihály Gimnázium Környezeti Nevelési Program),
but the development of relevant competences is also supported by
The appearance of global education in higher education
According to the Concept, 'the social function of higher education is the mediation and transfer of modern knowledge, providing sustainable development in the scientific and technical development of the country, the cooperation of education, research and economy.' [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről p. 9] In higher education, most courses that can be completed include training related to environmental awareness or other global issues.
However, there are separate degrees both in the field of environmental science, like
- environmental economics engineer (környezetgazdálkodási agrármérnök),
- nature conservation engineer (természetvédelmi mérnök),
- environmental engineer (környezetmérnök),
- environmental culture (környezetkultúra),
- regional and environmental economics (regionális és környezet gazdaságtan), and
- environment (környezettan).
In addition, graduate and PhD programs in nature conservation are available in Hungary in the University of Debrecen, University of West Hungary, Pannon University (Pannon Egyetem), Szent István University, Eötvös Lorand University (ELTE) and the University of Szeged. It is also possible to obtain qualifications in the field of higher technical education, which was introduced in 2011, especially in the field of agricultural education.
Previously, the Ministry of Education (Oktatási Minisztérium), then the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Agrárminisztérium) [former Ministry of Environment (Környezetvédelmi Minisztérium)] launched the Eco-school Program (Ökoiskola Program) at the turn of the millennium. The aim was to create foundations for the education of sustainable development.
In the framework of the Program, schools can acquire the so-called 'Eco-school' or 'All-time eco-school' title, awarded directly by the minister responsible for public education (Köznevelésért Felelős Államtitkárság). In addition, the schools who award this title, become the member of the Network of the Hungarian Echo-schools as professional members, where they can share good practices, guides and can get access to trainings and programmes.
At the beginning of 2016, the number of institutions with the 'Eco-school' title was over 900, and most of them had the title 'All-time Eco-school'. At present, 23% of Hungarian schools are members of the program, and one third have been awarded the 'All-time Eco-school' title. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről p. 8] In 2019, about 240 schools awarded each of the titles (pályázat nyertesei).
School public service
The Concept links global responsibility education with social responsibility in the frame of the school community service. (Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education, §4, point 15, §6, section 4) (2011. évi CXC. törvény a nemzeti köznevelésről) The Concept emphasises the education of global responsibility in all high schools, and it also fits within a complex, carefully thought active national education programme. This is the purpose of serving the school community service. According to the concept, the experience acquired here can be used by students in the later stages of their life. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)]
No hate speech movement
Hungary has also joined the European level No Hate speech campaign, which was established in Hungary with the support of the State Secretariat for Sport (Sportért Felelős Államtitkárság) and for Family and Youth (Család- és Ifjúságügyért felelős Államtitkárság) of which the National Youth Council (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács) is also a member. For the period 2013-2018 the campaign aims to reduce hate speech on the Internet, to sensitise young people to human rights and to become active citizens.
'The campaign is against all forms of online hate speech, including those that mostly affect young people, such as cyberbullying and internet hatred. The campaign is based on human rights education, participation by young people and the media. The aim is to reduce the presence of hate speech and tackle racism and discrimination online.' [Strategic Dimensions of the Campaign (A kampány stratégiai dimenziói)]
The project primarily focuses on
- lobbying and
- the use of creative tools. [No Hate Speech Movement - young people against online hate speech (No Hate Speech Movement - fiatalok az online gyűlületbeszéd ellen)]
In the framework of the project the methodological manual called Bookmarks (Böngésző) was published in 2015 in Hungarian (then revised in 2016) by the European Council. It contains 25 interactive, cooperation-based, non-formal educational practices to help human rights education and the fight against online hate speech. The book primarily focuses on young people between 13 and 30.
'The topics in the No Hate Speech campaign are the freedom of expression; human rights; racism and discrimination; digital literacy; Internet harassment; democracy and participation; campaign strategy; privacy and security; the issue of online hate speech. [No Hate Speech Movement - young people against online hate speech (No Hate Speech Movement - fiatalok az online gyűlületbeszéd ellen)]
Educators' support - Pedagogue training
'Section 7 of the Government Decree No. 277/1997 (II.22) on the training of teachers, the examinations of teachers and the allowances and benefits of those in further training' (A pedagógus-továbbképzésről, a pedagógus-szakvizsgáról, valamint a továbbképzésben részt vevők juttatásairól és kedvezményeiről szóló 277/1997. (II. 22.) Korm. rendelet) regulates the conditions for the establishment of teacher training programs in Hungary.' [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről p.10)]
The concept suggests that the Eötvös Loránd University is the only institution providing continuing education in the field of sustainable development. Nevertheless, 'there are currently more than 50 accredited pedagogical further training at the Education Office for global education and sustainable development', each with 30, 40, 60, 90 and 120 hours.
The focus of these training sessions is
- environmental education,
- sustainability education,
- environment-conscious thinking and behaviour.
The Concept explains that although there are many tools available for teachers, they are not structured yet, but were outlined mostly by civil society organisations or by the staff of the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development (Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet) to help formal and non-formal education.
The Concept recognises that the achievements and developments so far do not 'pass on the public education system and higher education as a whole, good practices are not widely known' and urges further elaboration of appropriate methods, practices and curricula that can be applied to the formation of attitudes. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről p.10)]
Lesson plans, teaching materials:
- Eco portal (Ökoportal),
- National Public Education Portal (Nemzeti Köznevelési Portál) by the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development (Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet),
- Eco-school education and training program (Ökoiskolai nevelési-oktatási program),
- Hungarian Society for Environmental Education (Magyar Környezeti Nevelési Egyesület),
- Suitability Theme Week (Fenntarthatósági Témahét),
- Digital Theme Week (Digitális Témahét), 'Money7' ('Pénz7'),
- Week 8. Tempus Public Foundation, Methodological Idea Collection and Digital Methodology.
Main programmes or actions that aim to support young people to learn about global issues 'by doing'
'You Will Be More If You Act!' ('Több leszel, ha teszel!')
The emphasised goal of the Hungarian Government was
- to spread the culture of volunteering,
- to reach out and engage the population in volunteering, and
- to support campaigns on this topic ['You Will Be More If You Act!' - Application ('Több leszel, ha teszel!' - Pályázati felhívás)]
The purpose of this call was
- to support and bring together organisations, movements and actions committed to promoting volunteering,
- promoting the culture of volunteering,
- increasing the number of volunteers, and
- to carrying out programmes and activities that contribute to the achievement of these goals, and which require the active involvement of volunteers.
The winners of the call have to use a common slogan and logo (megjelenés) which can provide some form of guarantee to those who used it, or to those who volunteered at events and actions they organise, that volunteers were giving their help in the right place and for a good cause.
The goal for this slogan and logo was to have the same meaning for anyone who used it, looks at it, or even saw it somewhere. That it was a trustworthy volunteer organisation, movement, event, or person who could be bravely supported, because as users they worked for the same purpose: spreading social responsibility, solidarity, turning to each other.
In 2019, within the framework of the Children and Youth Fund (Gyermek- és Ifjúsági Alapprogram), non-profit organisations may have also applied for grants
- to promote volunteering,
- promote the culture of volunteering and
- increase the number of volunteers.
The aim was to
'implement youth programmes and activities that promote these goals and require the active contribution and participation of young volunteers.' ['You Will Be More If You Act!' - Application ('Több leszel, ha teszel!' - Pályázati felhívás)]
At the end of the programme, on 5th December 2019 (on the International Day of Volunteers), the State Secretariat for Family and Youth Affairs implemented a Santa Claus package-making campaign (kampány) involving young volunteers who participated on ‘Opportunity Classes’ (‘Esélyóra’ - a class where students can meet people with disabilities and discuss topics like equal opportunities) in their school. Finally, 600 gift packages were delivered to three public educational institutions in Budapest, where children and young people with disabilities continue their studies.
'You pick it up!' ('TeSzedd!') – Volunteering for a pure Hungary
According to its own self-determination, Hungary's largest volunteer movement is 'Teszedd!' (in approximate translation: You pick it up!), organised by the Ministry for Innovation and Technology. In 2016, the programme was implemented seven times across the country. Its purpose is to volunteer cleaning the participant’s neighbourhood. By this activity, the students involved can complete 5 hours of community service from their compulsory 50 hours.
Name of the responsible organisation: Ministry for Innovation and Technology. Objectives and scope of the programme or action: Clean up public areas throughout the country. 3 days per year (since 2011). Target groups: everyone, especially young people, students. Main activities and main achievements: In 2019, 1100 educational institutions, 240 000 volunteers collecting more than 3 thousands tonnes of garbage on 3 240 sites. Funding: Ministry for Innovation and Technology.
The 'TeSzedd!' today is the largest voluntary initiative in Hungary, completed for the eighth time in 2019.
According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2020, the action was scheduled to 23-26 April 2020. It was held locally at different times, depending on the epidemiological situation. A high number of young people have joined again the initiative, but the final achievements of the action are not yet available.
72 hours without compromise
The 72 hours without compromise (72 óra kompromisszum nélkül) is a voluntary social action organised by the three historical Christian churches. In the framework of the national programme, volunteer work is carried out by young people in groups for 72 hours.
The speciality of the action is that volunteer groups only get acquainted with their task for three days only the night before the programme begins. Their tasks also include preliminary planning before and joint evaluation at the end. The main objective of the programme is to ensure broad publicity and to 'make volunteer work visible in youth communities' [72 hours - What is this programme? (72 óra - Mi is ez?)] The tasks are divided into three parts:
Social: Any activity involving people, such as programmes, lectures, assistance for the elderly and young people.
Ecological: environmental and nature conservation actions, for example forest cleaning, garbage collection, tree planting.
Developer: Renovation of playgrounds, kindergartens, painting of fences. [72 hours - What is this programme? (72 óra - Mi is ez?)]
Name of the responsible organisation: Ecumenical Youth Foundation Objectives and timeframe of the programme or action: To carry out voluntary projects across the country that are known to participants immediately before implementation. They must jointly plan, realise and evaluate. Target groups: Everyone, especially young people aged 14 to 30. Main activities and main achievements: 9 000 volunteers, in 103 settlements, 400 projects (2019). In 2020, the project was held between October 8-11. and we still do not have results for the current year. Financing and funding sources:
- Hungarian Catholic Church (Magyar Katolikus Egyház),
- Hungarian Reformed Church (Magyarországi Református Egyház),
- Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary (Magyarországi Evangélikus Egyház),
- Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma),
- Municipality of Budapest (Fővárosi Önkormányzat),
- National Cooperation Fund (Nemzeti Együttműködési Alap)
- National Volunteer Centre Foundation (Önkéntes Központ Alapítvány)
- Budapest City Management Centre Ltd. (BVH - Budapesti Városüzemeltetési Holding Zrt.)
School Community Service
From January 1, 2016, 50 hours of school community service (iskolai közösségi szolgálat) is a compulsory pre-requisite for graduation. 'The community service is a social, environmental, individual or group activity that is independent of material interest, carried out within the framework of an organised community for the benefit of the local community of pupils' [Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education, §4, Section 15 (Nemzeti köznevelésről szóló 2011. évi CXC. törvény 4.§ 15)]
The name of the responsible organisation: Minister responsible for education Objectives and scope of the programme or action: to develop the personal and social competencies of students; to strengthen their sense of responsibility and to prepare them for teamwork. Target groups: high school students Main activities and main results: no data available. Financing and funding source: no data.
According to the rule, School Community Service activities can be carried out in the following areas:
- social area and charity,
- culture and community,
- environment and nature protection,
- disaster recovery,
- sports and leisure time with children, pupils with special educational needs, elderly people,
- crime and accident prevention for bodies established for the purpose of performing specific police duties.
The official document concerning the School Community Services is the Decree no. 20/2012. (VIII. 31.) of the Ministry of Human Capacities (between 2010 and 2012: the Minsitry of Human Resources) on the operation of educational institutions and the names of public education institutions, Sectio 133 (2)[A nevelési-oktatási intézmények működéséről és a köznevelési intézmények névhasználatáról szóló 20/2012. (VIII. 31.) EMMI rendelet 133. § (2)].
Specific contact points for the knowledge and understanding of global issues in Hungary and Hungarian websites do not exist. However, there are initiatives that young people also have access to.
Our living planet
Hungary was the first to join the initiative launched by former US Vice President Al Gore. In Hungary, János Áder, President of the Republic, has launched the Our Living Planet (Élő Bolygónk) campaign, which anyone can join on the project's website. The aim of the website is to raise public attention to climate change issues and to encourage the best possible agreement for the participants of the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015. The initiative was signed by 194 699 people in Hungary.
The Equal Treatment Authority
'The Equal Treatment Authority (Egyenlő Bánásmód Hatóság) is an institution safeguarding human dignity as an autonomous state remedy forum for monitoring the implementation of the requirement of equal treatment. It seeks to achieve positive effects in discrimination processes, by recognising and preventing them, in addition to law enforcement, with the help of professional information and publications.'
While the Equal Treatment Authority does not focus directly on young people, however, its activities in sensitising and publications also target youth.
Tempus Public Foundation
The Tempus Public Foundation, established in 1996, is a public benefit organisation under the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma), which provides mobility programmes in Hungary.
The objective of the Tempus Public Foundation is
- to represent and mediate common European values and goals in the field of education, training;
- to introduce the Hungarian education and training system internationally, and
- to represent its interests.
Its main task is
- to help the Hungarian education and training sector and human resources to efficiently and effectively exploit the opportunities offered by European integration,
- coordinating domestic and international tendering programmes,
- developing and implementing training and expert assistance.
Tempus Public Foundation handles a number of application programmes that offer opportunities for all actors in education and training. For example:
- Erasmus+ (Erasmus+),
- CEEPUS Program (CEEPUS program)(Summer semester 2017/2018 Hungary),
- EGT Fund Mobility Grants (EGT Alap Mobilitási ösztöndíjai),
- Interstate Scholarships (államközi ösztöndíjak),
- Hungarian State Eötvös Scholarship (Magyar Állami Eötvös Ösztöndíj),
- Collegium Hungaricum Program (Collegium Hungaricum program),
- Stipendium Hungaricum Program (Stipendium Hungaricum program) for foreign students studying in Hungary,
- ACES Program,
- Pestalozzi Program,
- Europe for Citizens Program (Európa a polgárokért program),
- Campus Mundi Program (Campus Mundi program).
Tempus Public Foundation also acts as a contact point for the National Europass Center (Nemzeti Europass Központ). It offers special training courses for teachers and educators on how to use EU funds in their activities.
Decree no. 27/2020. (VIII.11.) of the Ministry of Human Capacities on the 2020/2021 school year, Sectio 10 (1) [27/2020. (VIII.11.) EMMI rendelet a 2020/2021. tanév rendjéről 10. § (1)] regulates the so-called 'Thematic Weeks'. This programme shall be promulgated by the minister responsible for education in the referred teaching year according to the following dates:
- 'Money7' - financial and business issues thematic week between 1-5 March 2021,
- a digital theme week between 22-26 April 2021,
- a week of sustainability between April 19-23 2021.
Week of sustainability and environmental consciousness
The Week of Sustainability (Fenntarthatósági Témahét) is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Capacities (between 2010 and 2012: the Ministry of Human Resources). The aim of the programme is to 'spread the message of the Earth Day on 22 April on sustainability in schools' and to
'develop the environmental sensitivity of high school students to make them understand the identification, mitigation and prevention of local, regional and global environmental problems. It encourages students to recognise that Earth is a fragile ecological system, whose preservation is a shared responsibility of present and future generations'.
The curricular elements of the programme were adapted to specific age groups. For secondary school students, in 2017, as part of the 'Step Smaller (Ecological Footprint Reduction)' theme the 'Active Students/Passive House' ('Aktív tanulók / passzív ház') lessons helped students learn about the operation of passive houses. In addition, they also participated in a school competition, where high school students could plant vegetable garden plants in the school garden. The programme included three competitions in secondary schools this year:
- Sustainability Cup,
- Questionnaire on the lifestyle of the ages, and
- Selective waste collection competition.
- 1 542 schools participated in the theme week.
- 18 581 school classes were involved in the programme.
- The number of students was 330 255.
- 1 166 teachers participated in teacher training.
- A “homeroom” held by the President of the Republic was listened by a total of 150 students on site, with an additional nearly 10 000 people online.
- 1 100 schools took part in the “TeSzedd” rubbish collection campaign organised under this programme.
- 802 teams registered for the Sustainability Knowledge Competition.
- 1 522 schools participated in the theme week.
- 18 881 school classes were involved in the programme.
- The number of students was 318 316.
- 1 477 teachers participated in teacher training.
- The lesson given by the President of the Republic was on climate change and was listened to by 300 students.
- Nearly 100 applications were received from students.
- 830 groups took part in the National Knowledge Competition.
The week of financial consciousness and economy
In 2015, Hungary joined for the first time in a 23-day Financial Awareness and Management Week (Pénzügyi tudatosság és gazdálkodás hetéhez) to another 23 countries, aiming to 'help support consumers with financial knowledge and increase financial awareness'. Between 2015 and 2016, the Hungarian Banking Association coordinated the programme in cooperation with the Money Compass Foundation (Pénziránytű Alapítvány) as the main organisers.
From 2017, the Ministry of Human Capacities as a project promoter, included the curriculum to the official schedule of the school year. Due to the support from the Ministry of Finance (Pénzügyminisztérium) [between 2010 and 2018 Ministry for National Economy (Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium)] and the Junior Achievement Foundation (Junior Achievement Alapítvány) the programme was expanded, in addition to financial awareness, the development of entrepreneurial competences and fundamental knowledge on entrepreneurship are also presented in the curriculum.
'Lessons are complemented by a variety of interactive programs to help students expand their skills with the widest possible range of tools.'
- In 2020, 1 203 schools and more than 217 000 students were involved in the project.
- In 2019, 1 235 schools and more than 205 000 students were involved in the project.
- In 2018, 1 200 schools and more than 202 000 students were involved in the project.
- In 2017, 'Money7 has already appeared in higher education, as it focused on the development of financial and entrepreneurial culture at the University of Miskolc Scientific Day.
- In 2016, 788 schools attended with 1 435 teacher and 102 000 students.
- In 2015, about 650 primary and secondary schools with nearly 90 000 students joined Money7.
Digital theme week
'The main objective of the Digital Theme Week (Digitális Témahét) is to promote and spread the methodology of digital pedagogy in public education. An important aim of the programme is the development of digital competences beyond IT classes, to incorporate it into other subjects as well. Participating teachers and students can develop their skills in a variety of creative projects through learning supported by technology.'
- In the 2019/2020 school year 725 schools joined.
- In the 2018/2019 school year 1047 schools joined.
- In the 2017/2018 school year nearly 3 000 digital education projects were implemented by 7 000 teachers and 120 000 students.
- In the 2016/2017 school year nearly 3 000 digital education projects were implemented by 7 000 teachers and 130 000 students.
- In the 2015/2016 school year nearly 2 000 digital education projects were implemented by 5 000 teachers and 75 000 students.
Applicaton of the Children and Youth Fund
In 2020, the application (pályázat) of the Children and Youth Fund (Gyermek – és Ifjúsági Alapprogram) focused on the topic of 'Sustainable future' ('A fenntartható jövőért'). Applications could be submitted in the topic of social sustainability, for example:
- developing the conscious physical and mental health of young people;
- implementing offline experiences for young people;
- developing the skills and knowledge of young people in social relations, love and family relationships;
- extracurricular training activities related to sustainable development (e.g. thematic days, thematic weeks)
- helping to ensure the sustainable working conditions for young people;
- developing rural communities to ensure young people living there.
In the name of environmental sustainability
- respect, love and acquiring the knowledge of the natural and created environment,
- promoting a lifestyle for environmental sustainability.
The budget (költségvetés) of the application in 2020 was HUF 80 million (about EUR 215 000). According to the information, provided by the Ministry, 113 applications out of 684 were supported.