Lázár: Bigger state presence needed in Hungarian education

Issues

As the performance of Hungarian students continues to deteriorate in math and grammar courses, the Hungarian state needs to enhance its role and responsibility in the education system, Hungary’s Cabinet Chief János Lázár said today, according to reports.

Speaking at his regular weekly press conference, Lázár said that the solution is to establish a good maintenance center, Hungarian online daily origo.hu reported. Lázár said that the “mixed system has failed” and an entirely “state-run system is needed to clarify the roles of the maintenance institution and the operators”, according to origo.hu. 

Lázár said that the national framework for education will be restructured by 2018 and the student workload will be reduced as of September, however, a national minimum for student knowledge needs to be determined.

Hungarian teachers have taken part in a number of demonstrations and strikes of late, as they have been unable to reach an agreement with the Hungarian government on changes to the education system. After defending its stance for a number of weeks while teachers lobbied for a less centralized education system, the government announced the disassembly of KLIK by the end of the school year, and is planning to replace it with another centralized body, or bodies, according to reports.

Attacking central bank, attacking forint 

In connection with recent scandals related to the financing of the central bank’s foundations, Lázár said that those who attack the National Bank of Hungary attack the strength of the forint. He asked that those who want to attack governing party Fidesz should attack the party and not the bank. He praised the MNBʼs programs established by the central bankʼs governor György Matolcsy for helping Hungary a great deal.

He stressed that the foundations of the central bank operate lawfully; they have been registered by the independent Hungarian court. Those who wish to question the operations of these foundations should turn to the relevant courts.

Commenting on how the central bank’s foundations spend public money, Lázár said that central banks have a social responsibility in every country, and how the money is spent is the responsibility of the bank and not the government, origo.hu reported. As such, potential consequences need to be borne by the bank and not the government, Lázár added.

The Hungarian Constitutional Court recently killed legislation that attempted to shield the financing of the central bank’s foundations from public view. The legislation was brought before the constitutional court after it was passed in Parliament by a majority vote, however, President János Áder decided not to sign the bill, and asked instead that the court review it.

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