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Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

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Overview Hungary

Contents

Hungary:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Hungary:Historical Development

Hungary:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Hungary:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Hungary:Political and Economic Situation

Hungary:Organisation and Governance

Hungary:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Hungary:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Hungary:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Hungary:Organisation of Private Education

Hungary:National Qualifications Framework

Hungary:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Hungary:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Hungary:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Hungary:Funding in Education

Hungary:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Hungary:Higher Education Funding

Hungary:Adult Education and Training Funding

Hungary:Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Hungary:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Organisation of General Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Higher Education

Hungary:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Hungary:First Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Bachelor

Hungary:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Hungary:Second Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Hungary:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Hungary:Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Distribution of Responsibilities

Hungary:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Hungary:Main Providers

Hungary:Main Types of Provision

Hungary:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Hungary:Teachers and Education Staff

Hungary:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Management and Other Education Staff

Hungary:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Hungary:Management Staff for Higher Education

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Quality Assurance

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Educational Support and Guidance

Hungary:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Hungary:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Hungary:Mobility and Internationalisation

Hungary:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Mobility in Higher Education

Hungary:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Hungary:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Hungary:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:National Reforms in School Education

Hungary:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Hungary:National Reforms in Higher Education

Hungary:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Hungary:European Perspective

Hungary:Legislation

Hungary:Institutions

Hungary:Bibliography

Hungary:Glossary

Curriculum, Subjects, Number of Hours

The contents of teaching and learning in schools has been governed by a three-tier curriculum regulation in Hungary since 2000.

The central (top-level) regulation is comprised of the National Core Curriculum (NCC) first issued by the Government in 1995 and amended several times. In 2012 the government adopted a new NCC, which was phased in gradually from 2013. The National Core Curriculum is a strategic document compulsory for all schools. It provides ideological-theoretical-philosophical grounds for the subject areas to be taught, the phases of school education in terms of content, and the development tasks that must be fulfilled in the various phases until the upper limit of compulsory schooling and even beyond (since the reduction of the compulsory schooling in 2011).

The second level of content regulation provides support both in terms of curriculum and methodology. The middle level of the system is comprised of framework curricula based on the National Core Curriculum and issued by the minister responsible for education. Separate curricula were developed for vocational secondary schools, for vocational training schools and for special vocational schools. In the past, curricula were drafted exclusively according to programme types, but since 2013 also according to education sector and trade.

The pedagogical programme of schools containing the local curriculum and the educational-teaching programme constitutes the third, local level of regulation. The local curriculum is prepared by the school teachers independently. School-level content regulation documents are adopted by the teaching staff and are subsequently approved by the school maintainers following consultation with experts.

National Core Curriculum (NCC)

The standardisation of the contents of education and teaching and the possibility of switching between schools is ensured by the National Core Curriculum in the phase of public education laying down the groundwork for general education and culture, in the 1st to 12th grades, that is in the primary and in the lower and upper secondary education phases. The National Core Curriculum was worked out by education scientists and curriculum theory experts and each of the drafts they had prepared was submitted to a broad debate among the representatives of the profession. The current version is reviewed once every three years, a process through which the core curriculum is regularly updated. The most recent NCC, issued in 2012, was prepared in the Hungarian Institute of Educational Research and Development, the background institution of the ministry responsible for education.

Due to its core curriculum character and its role played in content regulation, the NCC regulate the content of education until the age of 18, irrespective of the fact that the 2011 Public Education Act reduced the upper limit of compulsory schooling age to 16. NCC is broken down into three educational phases (grades 1-4, 5-8 and 9-12), and within these phases it determines priority and subject-based development objectives for 2-grade periods.

The National Core Curriculum does not determine compulsory subjects, only subject areas. Exceptions are cases when a subject area is covered by only one subject, e.g. Mathematics or Hungarian Language and Literature. The proportion of the 10 subject areas is not expressed in lesson numbers but rather in rough percentages (by determining the lower and upper limits), this way giving more scope for framework curricula (see table….). The NCC more or less preserved the former proportion of subject areas.

The proportions of subject areas in grades 9-10 and grades 11-12 in the NCC issued in 2012 (phased in), %

Subject areas

Grades 9-10 (%)

Grades 11-12 * (%)

Hungarian Language and Literature

10-15

10

Foreign languages

12-20

13

Mathematics

10-15

10

Man and Society

8-15

10

Man in Nature

15-20

10

The Earth and the Environment

5-8

0

Arts

8-15

6

IT

4-8

4

Life and Practical Skills

4-8

0

Physical Education and Sports

14-20

15

Total

90-144

78

 * In the final two years of upper secondary education, due to the diversity of programmes and because of the need for preparation for the school leaving examinations, only minimum percentages are provided.

 

Framework curricula

The implementation of the contents of the National Core Curriculum is guaranteed by framework curricula. For each school type and educational phase, the framework curricula contain the objectives of education, the subject system, the topics and content of the subjects, the subject-related requirements for one or two grades, the development tasks of cross-curricular knowledge and skills, and the compulsory or recommended time frames available for meeting these requirements

According to the definition in the NCC glossary: “The ministry responsible for education approves and issues elective framework curricula (built on the National Core Curriculum and serving as a basis for local application) concerning the specific phase and contents of schooling. ... Framework curricula, on the one hand, determine the system of subjects, the time frame (lesson number) of each subject, the structure of the syllabus, as well as the exit requirements of the last grade of the given phase; on the other hand, they have an impact on the content of course books. In connection with these elements, framework curricula may specify alternatives and elective solutions within the framework of their own system. ...Framework curricula are prepared for specific school types (primary school, general secondary school, vocational secondary school, vocational school etc.).”  As a new element new framework curricula also determine the structure and breakdown of the syllabus and the content of course books in order to specify and standardise content.

Framework curricula can be applied after the approval by the minister. The issuing and approval of the framework curricula are regulated by Ministerial Decree 51/2012. (XII. 21.) (Ministry of Human Resources).

The 2011/2012 amendment of the legal framework meant significant modifications in the case of vocational secondary schools (educating over one third of pupils). The new vocational secondary school programme was phased in from 2013, but will be phased out starting in 2015 ending in 2019. This programme offers secondary school leaving examination certificate together with vocational training, thus providing the chance for pupils to enter higher education. A further important change is that the new vocational secondary school also prepared pupils to enter the labour market; it enables young adults to start certain jobs, even though it does not provide acknowledged qualification. The vocational qualification requires the completion of an additional one-year postsecondary programme. (ISCED 4 level).


Framework curricula for vocational secondary schools (phased in 2013, phasing out starting in 2015 ending in 2019), annual number of hours


Grade 9.

Grade 10.

Grade 11.

Grade 12.

Total

Hungarian Language and Literature

144

144

144

128

560

History, social and civic studies

72

72

108

96

348

Ethics



36


36

Foreign languages

108

108

108

96

420

Mathematics

108

108

108

96

420

Biology – health studies


72

72

32

176

Physics

72

72

36

 

180

Chemistry

 72 

72

 

 

144

Geography

 72

36 

 

 

108

Arts

 

36 

 

 

36

IT 

36 

 

 

 

36

P.E. and Sports

180 

180 

180 

160 

700

Form master's class

36 

36 

36 

32 

140

Vocational subjects, out of which 1 hour can be freely designed

216

252

288

352

1108

Freely designed hours

144

144

144

128

560

Total

 1260

1296 

1260 

1120 

4936

The modification of the legal framework (Act 2015/LXV to amend Act CXC of 2011 on public education as well as Act 2015/LXVI to amend: CLXXXVII 2011 Act (CLXXXVII 2011), on Vocational Training; Act LXXVII of 2013 on Adult Training and some other Acts) renamed the vocational secondary schools and modified the framework curriculum of these programmes. The most significant change is that in grades 9-12 the proportion of the vocational training element was increased by more than 50%, within which the traineeship element was also increased. As a result, at the end of grade 12 pupils can obtain both a secondary school leaving examination certificate and an ISCED 3 level qualification (similarly to the vocational schools before 1988). (It takes an additional year for these pupils to acquire an ISCED 4 level qualification.) An other important modification is that while before 2013 vocational secondary education was only provided in 21-22 groups of trades (and pupils at the time could move relatively freely between trade types and even types of schools in grades 9 and 10), between 2013 and 2015, programmes were offered in 38 sectors, and from 2016 in these 38 sectors in 316 trades. The programmes are offered from Grade 9, based on 316 different framework curricula, which creates a much more fragmented system, similar to the system that was discontinued at the end of the 1990’s.

The framework curricula of the vocational secondary schools to be introduced in September 2016 were uploaded to the homepage of the Ministry’s background institution in June 2016, so that experts and schools can deliver their opinion on them.

'Framework curricula for vocational secondary schools (phasing in in 2016), annual number of hours'  (according to plans of June 2016, for the sake of comparison, the subject of the 2013 framework curricula are kept in the table and new subjects or their categories are presented in different rows)</p


9. évfolyam

10. évfolyam

11. évfolyam

12. évfolyam

Összesen 

Magyar nyelv és irodalom

144

144

144

124

556

Történelem és társadalmi ismeretek

72

72

108

93

345

Etika

-

-

-

31

31

Idegen nyelv

144

144

144

124

556

Matematika

108

108

108

93

417

Biológia - egészségtan

-

-

-

-

0

Fizika

-

-

-

-

0

Kémia 

-

-

-

-

0

Földrajz 

-

-

-

-

0

Kötelező komplex természettudományos tantárgy

108

-

-

-

108

Művészetek 

-

-

36

-

36

Informatika 

72

72

-

-

144

Testnevelés és sport 

180

180

180

155

695

Osztályfőnöki óra

36

36

36

31

139

Ágazathoz kapcsolódó tantárgy

-

72

72

62

206

Kötelezően választható tantárgy

-

-

72

62

134

Pénzügyi és vállalkozói ismeretek

-

36

-

-

36

Szakmai tárgyak órakerete, amelyből 1 óra (szakmai irányú képzésre) szabadon tervezhető

-

-

-

-

0

Érettségire épülő szakképzés részeként

288

288

252

217

1045

Érettségi vizsga keretében megszerezhető szakképesítéshez

108

144

108

93

453

Szabadon tervezhető órakeret

-

-

-

-

0

Összesen

 1260

1296 

1260 

1085 

4901

The structural and content modifications of vocational training schools took place in 2013. This type of schools provide three-year education programmes to nearly one third of pupils each year. The proportion of the general knowledge element of the mainly blue collar type programmes was significantly reduced (by 50%), parallel to which the vocational training element was increased. The Ministry responsible for vocational training drafted a separate framework curriculum for each vocational training programme.

Framework curricula for vocational training schools, annual number of hours

 

Subjects

Grade 9.

Grade 10.

Grade 11.

Hungarian Language and Literature

72

36

Foreign languages

72

72

64

Mathematics

72

36

Social and civic studies

72

36

Science

108

P.E

180

180

160

Team building activity

36

36

32

Freely designed

36

-

48

Total general subjects:

648

396

304

Vocational training (theory and practice)

612

900

816

TOTAL

1260

1296

1120

Local curriculum.

Professional work is carried out in the education institutions in accordance with the applicable pedagogical programmes that must be made publicly available. The pedagogical programme includes the education programme comprising personality and social skills development programme and the local curriculum which is the school’s level of content regulation. The requirements of entering the next grades as well as the forms of the evaluation and rating/grading of the students are also regulated by the local curriculum. Secondary schools may also organise optional class activities in line with the students’ interests and needs, in order to enable them to catch up with their better performing peers or to promote development, talent fostering, consultation or to impart special or supplementary knowledge elements. Students can participate in optional activities only at their own requests and - until they become of age, i.e. they turn 18 - based on their parents’ written declaration.  The role of the local curricula as a content regulator has decreased due to the reduction (or, in some cases, elimination) of the freely designable hours as well as due to the strong limitation of the free choice of text books. 

Teaching Methods and Materials

<p style="text-align: justify">Although the central regulators have been increasingly involved in the definition of the learning contents, as regards to the methods applied in the teaching and learning process schools as well as teachers enjoy a high degree of freedom where the range of applicable procedures is not determined by any kind of central document. The school’s pedagogy programme however, determines the basic pedagogical principles and tasks of education and teaching in the school along with its means and procedures. The main documents regulating public education and vocational training attach high priority to both diversity in methodology and to the development of teaching/learning strategies aimed at the development of competences. In the vast majority of schools teaching takes place in the framework of 45-minute classes organised by subject but practical training consists of 60-minute classes. As a result of the ‘en masse’ training courses differentiation and individualised or small-group activities are spreading gradually. The application of infocommunication technologies in class activities is spreading slowly despite the fact that the number of schools where this is impeded by the lack of the availability of the necessary technical infrastructure and equipment has decreased considerably. Teachers traditionally attach particular importance in Hungary to homework assigned to students and its regular checking. Students in vocational secondary schools are given homework practically every day, but it is less present in vocational schools. Dividing classes, mostly into two, less frequently into three groups, is a very widely applied practice in vocational secondary schools in language classes, and less frequently, in other subjects, too. Dividing classes into groups is less frequent in vocational schools. In the vocational training grades the means of group splitting has to be applied very often because a given class is made up of students learning different trades.

The set of teaching methods used in the two main branches of upper secondary vocational education (namely vocational secondary schools and vocational training schools) significantly differ from each other, but also from the other two branches that are less significant (considering the number of pupils), namely the Bridge programme (designed for pupils with no primary school exit certificate, providing partial qualification) and the special vocational schools targeting children with disabilities. In special vocational schools almost all teachers also have a qualification on teaching children with special educational needs. 

 

Teaching aids, textbooks

The list of the minimum set of aids and equipment of public education institutions was put together in 1998. Some schools have not been able to meet its requirements even to this date, owing to financial difficulties. Therefore a ministerial decree eased the requirements in 2008.

In the case of all vocational qualifications the vocational and examination requirements issued in decrees by the minister in charge of the vocational qualification concerned contain the list of the minimum required teaching aids as well that are to be used in the course of practical training. The availability of these aids and equipment is verified by the regional vocational education and training inspectorates of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Textbooks continue to be indispensable means of teaching in schools in Hungary, but their role is getting less important in vocational training. In the majority of the trades the number of pupils is so low that it makes no financial sense to produce regularly updated textbooks; in the case of some trades there are no textbook available at all. The utilisation of Internet content is getting increasingly wide-spread. Commissioning the drafting of trade/vocational textbooks and subject teaching aids is a responsibility of the minister in charge of the given vocational qualification. The textbooks have to be purchased by the students (their families). The cost of the average package of textbooks of a given student in a given school year in vocational secondary school education amounts to nearly 1 % of the annual average wage, and somewhat less in vocational school education. Students in need may be given textbooks free of charge, in most cases the books are borrowed. No precise data are available on the number of students to whom textbooks are allocated free of charge, but their ratio is significantly higher in vocational training schools, since in these schools the ratio of poor children in disadvantaged situation is also much above average. Textbooks are allocated completely free of charge to students of permanent health impairment, those of special educational needs, those living in families of three or more children as well as those receiving child protection allowances on a regular basis.