European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Ministry of Finance of Hungary signed a EUR 150 million loan for construction and rehabilitation of eight schools, 16 classroom extensions and 20 new sports halls in schools, as well as construction of 26 swimming pools and 17 larger gymnasiums in public schools across the country.
To date, the EIB invested EUR 911 mln in the education sector in Hungary alone, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
Overall, the EIB loan will facilitate new capacities in primary and secondary education and in particular will allow pupils currently schooled in mobile containers to move into new, modern school buildings; investments will increase the social opportunities and future employability of children.
EIB says that access to modern sports infrastructure will also contribute towards better public health in Hungary by allowing young Hungarians to meet the sport education requirements of the national curriculum and engage in popular sports.
The loan aims at reducing overcrowding in schools, improve teaching equipment and subsequently improve the educational performance of young Hungarians, offering effective education regardless of the social background as well as extending equal opportunities for quality education.
On top of increasing the social inclusiveness of public schools, the major provider of education in Hungary, the EIB loan will support them to adapt effectively to local demographic changes, reduce energy consumption and contribute towards a sustainable environment in Hungary and the European Union.
"The EIB continues to support Hungary as it addresses major educational challenges and works to develop a modern educational system capable of providing functional education to the country`s youth," EIB vice president Lilyana Pavlova says.
"Good, quality education is increasingly important for improving the living conditions and economic and social opportunities of youth, which is why the EIB is happy to support this project. Hungaryʼs contribution to worldʼs sports and science is amazing and I sincerely hope this loan will help launch a new generation of Hungaryʼs global sports and science champions," she adds.
Mihály Varga, Hungarian Minister of Finance says, "I highly appreciate the work of the EIB and its continuous commitment to the priorities of the Hungarian government to improve the country’s educational infrastructure, in particular, the construction and expansion of infrastructure in schools where the existing facilities are outdated and inadequate."
"This loan will contribute to the construction of eight new schools in Hungary and by the means of refurbishment and establishment of sports halls and handball halls, improved access to sports facilities will enable daily physical education of pupils," he notes.