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Hungarians dissatisfied with education system, survey shows

Research conducted by Publicus for Sunday paper Vasárnapi Hírek reveals that the majority of Hungarians of voting age are dissatisfied with various aspects of the countryʼs education system and think both teachers and students are overwhelmed.

About 74% of respondents said they believe students are overburdened, while almost as many, 66%, believe that teachers, too, are under too much pressure. Any ideological split in these two categories appears to be insignificant, as both opposition and government supporters evaluate the situation negatively, the survey noted.

Around 56% of participants said they would prefer granting more autonomy to teachers in determining the curriculum and methods, while only 26% believe that centralization is the most effective way to improve education.

Over half of respondents disagreed with giving teachers only a limited selection of books to choose from. However, among Fidesz supporters, some 41% said that limiting the selection is correct, with the same amount regarding such limitations as wrong.

Some 40% of respondents said teachersʼ salaries are too low, with only 28% thinking they earn just as much as they should. However, among Fidesz supporters, only 27% said they think teachers should earn more, while 42% agreed with the current levels of pay.

College graduates apparently have the worst opinion of the situation in education, while people with no more than eight years of elementary schooling adopted the least pessimistic view.

Despite general dissatisfaction with various aspects of education, 37% of respondents said they are generally satisfied with the condition of the state education system, with 38% dissatisfied. Some 56% of Fidesz supporters evaluated the conditions positively, while 24% had a negative perspective.

None of the respondents who were declared supporters of the Socialist Party (MSzP) said they were satisfied with the current state of affairs, while 65% expressed the view that conditions are generally unsatisfactory.

A total of 50% of those surveyed believe that the state of education in Hungary has been worsening in recent years, while a mere 28% said they think it has been getting better.

Some 58% of supporters of Fidesz, however, said they believe that the state of education is improving, while only 26% of pro-government respondents thought otherwise.