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Act LXXIX of 1993 on Public Education

In order to ensure the right to education on the basis of equal chances identified in the Constitution of the Republic of Hungary, further, in order to ensure the freedom of thought, religion and conveying patriotism in public education and, further, in order to ensure the implementation of the right of national and ethnic minorities to education in their mother tongue, in order to ensure the freedom of teaching, to identify the rights and obligations of children, students, parents and those employed in public education and, finally, in order to control and operate a system of public education offering up to date knowledge, the Parliament has passed the following Act:

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§ 4

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(7) No discrimination shall be applied in public education for any reason, particularly as a result of children' or their parents' colour, sex, religion, their belonging to any nationality or ethnic group, their social background, property or income, age, the lack or restricted nature of their ability, birth or other position, or on the basis of the holder of an educational institution.

§ 5 Hungarian or the language of national and ethnic minorities shall be the language of education at kindergartens, schools and colleges. Based on a selection identified in the Act on the rights of national and ethnic minorities, children and students belonging to national or ethnic minorities will be provided with education at kindergartens, schools and colleges in their mother tongue, or in their mother tongue and in Hungarian, or in Hungarian.

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§ 8/A (1) The National Curriculum shall cover

a) the principles of teaching and education at schools for the national and ethnic minorities.

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(6) The Government shall publish the National Curriculum. Prior to submitting the National Curriculum for approval by the Government an agreement ...by the National Minority Committee shall be obtained on issues affecting teaching and education at schools for the national and ethnic minorities.

§ 8/B (1) Kindergartens providing kindergarten education for the national and ethnic minorities, schools providing teaching and education for the national and ethnic minorities shall take into consideration the Guidelines on Kindergarten Education for the National and Ethnic Minorities and the Guidelines on School Education for the National and Ethnic Minorities when preparing an educational programme for kindergartens and local school curricula. The Guidelines are published by the Minister of Education with agreement obtained from the National Minority Committee after the opinion of the National Council for Public Education and the Council of Public Educational Policy has been sought.

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(7) General/framework curricula are published by the Minister of Education with agreement by the National Council on Public Education and the Council of Public Educational Policy, further, by the National Committee of National and Ethnic Minorities if issues of ethnic minority education are involved.

§ 9 (1) The basic educational exam and the maturity exam are state exams, which must comply with nationally uniform exam requirements (hereafter referred to as central exam requirements) ... Exams are held in the language of teaching - in Hungarian, in the mother tongue of national and ethnic minorities or in another foreign language.

(2) ...The Government publishes a Government Decree covering the exam rules of maturity exams. The approval of the National Committee on National and Ethnic Minorities must be obtained on issues involving school teaching and education of the national and ethnic minorities before draft rules of maturity exams are submitted to the Government.

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(5) At the maturity exam, students sit in mandatory and optional subjects. Mandatory subjects are the following: Hungarian Language and Literature, History, supplemented by the mother tongue and literature in the mother tongue for those taking part in minority education. In addition, unless otherwise regulated by law, mathematics and a foreign language are also mandatory, except for those participating in minority education.

§ 10

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(3) Children and students have a right to

b) be provided with teaching and education that corresponds to the national and ethnic minority they belong to;

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§ 11 (1) Students have a particular right to

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h) ...their national or ethnic identity being respected and to express their national or ethnic identity unless practising this right infringes legal regulations, it damages other people’s rights or restricts their fellow students in practising their right to study;

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§ 17 (1) Unless stipulated otherwise in law, persons will be employed as teachers at any institution of teaching/education who have obtained higher education (college or university) qualifications as identified in this Act.

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(3) If the language of kindergarten education, school teaching/education or college education is the mother tongue of a national or ethnic minority, or a language other than Hungarian, persons will be employed as teachers at the given institution, according to the type of the teaching/educational institution in question, who

a) have a degree in kindergarten education or as schoolteacher for the national and ethnic minorities,

b) have obtained higher education (college or university) qualifications as identified in Subsection (1) as well as qualifications to teach the language of teaching/education specific to the school/college in question,

c) have obtained higher education qualifications as identified in Subsection (1), d)-e), further, have obtained, in their basic education or at specific extension training, the necessary linguistic skills to teach a given school subject to national/ethnic minorities,

d) possess a degree/diploma accredited in the Republic of Hungary, entitling them to be employed as teachers as identified in Subsection (1) and corresponding to the language of teaching.

§ 18 (1) Conditions of appointment for the post of schoolmaster/mistress at teaching/educational institutions include:

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(2) Provided the language of kindergarten/school teaching and education is the language of a national or ethnic minority, or if over half of the students study in two languages - in the language of a national/ethnic minority and in Hungarian - a schoolmaster/mistress shall, in addition to the stipulations in Subsection (1), meet the requirements identified in § 17, (3) of this Act. In case other conditions are equal, a candidate belonging to the given national/ethnic minority shall have priority.

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§ 28 (1) ... Teaching and education at four-year grammar schools begins with grade nine and finishes with grade twelve.

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(4) If ... at a grammar school teaching and education is in two languages (in Hungarian and in a foreign language including languages of national/ethnic minorities), ...teaching and education might be finished with grade thirteen in accordance with the Guidelines for Bilingual Schools and the Guidelines for School Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities.

§ 29 (1) Vocational high schools are ... four-year long.

(2) If at a vocational high school teaching and education is in two languages, teaching and education might be finished with grade thirteen in accordance with the Guidelines for Bilingual Schools and the Guidelines for School Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities.

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§ 37

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(5) The bylaws of public educational institutions shall cover the type and name of an institution, its core activity, its national/ethnic minority and other responsibilities, its associate institution(s), its assets to serve that its responsibilities are met, title to those assets, management authority, the name of its founder, the address of its site and head office, description of its special subjects for teaching/educational institutions or the number of grades for schools.

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§ 47 The educational programme of kindergartens shall cover:

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e) for kindergartens involved in kindergarten education for the national/ethnic minorities, the responsibilities related to the preservation of the language and culture of the national/ethnic minorities,

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§ 48 (1) The pedagogical programme of schools shall cover:

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b) local curricula for school including

- syllabi for the teaching of the mother tongue, history, geography, culture and ethnography of the national/ethnic minority in question for national/ethnic minority schools,

- syllabi for the teaching of the Hungarian language and culture for national/ethnic minority students and syllabi for the teaching of the culture of the national/ethnic minorities living at a settlement for students not belonging to the national/ethnic minority but living at the same settlement,

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§ 49

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(2) The pedagogical programme of colleges shall cover:

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d) the responsibilities related to the teaching of the language and culture of the national/ethnic minorities for the college education of students belonging to a national/ethnic minority,

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§ 66

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(2) ... National/ethnic minority candidates applying for admission shall be admitted to schools (special classes, classes or groups) teaching in the mother tongue of the national/ethnic minority in question or in that language and in Hungarian provided they meet admission requirements.

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§ 72 (1) Students shall be issued certificates on passing the year-end exams, the basic educational exam, the maturity exam and any vocational exams. Such certificates are public (formal) documents. Certificates shall be issued in Hungarian, or - provided education took place in whole or in part in the mother tongue of a national/ethnic minority or in another foreign language - in two languages, i.e. in Hungarian and in the language of the national/ethnic minority in question or in the other foreign language in question.

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§ 81 (1) If the sponsor of a teaching/educational institution is not a local government or a government agency:

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(10) The Minister may conclude a public educational agreement with a National Minority Self-Government. The Minister shall conclude such a public educational agreement with the National Minority Self-Government if the responsibilities of schooling and college education for the national and ethnic minorities cannot be met within the authority of a local government and a given school or college meets national responsibilities. A local government shall conclude a public educational agreement as identified in Subsections (3) and (4) if it has transferred ownership or sponsorship of a public educational institution in its ownership/sponsorship to the National Minority Self-Government.

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§ 85

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(4) A local government that sponsors two or more public educational institutions shall prepare a decision making support plan to manage, sponsor and develop its educational institutions (hereafter referred to as the action plan of the local government) on its own or jointly with another local government. … In the process of preparation the agreement of the local minority self-government shall be obtained in issues related to the national/ethnic minorities. If no local minority self-government is operational, the opinion of the relevant nation-wide minority self-government shall be sought.

§ 86 (1) The local governments of villages, cities, Budapest districts and cities with county rights shall provide kindergarten education, primary school teaching and, at settlements inhabited by the national/ethnic minorities, kindergarten education and primary school teaching for the children belonging to the national/ethnic minorities.

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(3) County governments and the Budapest Municipal Government, unless stipulated otherwise in Subsection (4), shall provide:

a) (high school) colleges and colleges for the national/ethnic minorities,

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c) high school and vocational school education for the national/ethnic minorities,

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(5) If the number of students belonging to the same national/ethnic minority at a settlement is too low to organise minority education at the settlement in question, the Budapest Municipal Government or a County Government will - upon the initiative of the National Minority Self-Government concerned - organise, in conformity with the law, the teaching of the mother tongue and ethnography in accordance with the requirements of the teaching of general education (hereafter referred to as supplementary minority education). Supplementary minority education will be organised as a special class of a given school, by setting up a separate minority school for the teaching of the mother tongue or by employing travelling teachers.

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§ 90

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(4) Prior to setting the operational (admission) borders of a teaching/educational institution providing kindergarten education and school teaching for the children of a national/ethnic minority, a local government shall obtain the agreement of the local national/ethnic minority self-government involved, or in the case of a school meeting regional or nation-wide responsibilities the agreement of the National Minority Self-Government.

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§ 93 (1) The Minister for Education:

a) shall publish - after seeking the opinion of the National Council for Public Education and of the National Council for Public Educational Policy - Guidelines for Bilingual School Education, … a National Programme for College Education, the framework curricula, … Guidelines for the Kindergarten Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities and Guidelines for the School Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities and review them. The agreement of the National Minority Committee shall be sought in order to publish the Guidelines for the Kindergarten Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities and Guidelines for the School Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities and in issues affecting minority teaching/education related to the framework curricula and the Guidelines for Bilingual School Education, …and the National Programme for College Education.

b) shall regularly - at least every third year - evaluate ... the experience of the implementation of the National Core Programme of Kindergarten Education and of the National Curriculum. He shall ... initiate necessary modifications with the Government in agreement with the National Minority Committee in issues affecting the children of the national/ethnic minorities, further, he shall be responsible for providing kindergarten educational programmes and school curricula for the national/ethnic minorities involving the National Minority Self-Governments.

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§ 94 (1) The Minister for Education shall regulate:

a) the publication and implementation of the Guidelines for the Kindergarten Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities and Guidelines for the School Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities, … the National Programme for College Education and the framework curricula; …The agreement of the National Minority Self-Government shall be obtained in issues affecting national/ethnic minority education and for the publication of the Guidelines for the Kindergarten Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities and Guidelines for the School Education of the National/Ethnic Minorities.

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(4) With regard to issues affecting the kindergarten education and school teaching/education of the national/ethnic minorities, the agreement of the National Minority Committee shall be obtained prior to submitting to the government the National Core Programme of Kindergarten Education and the National Curriculum.

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§ 95/A (1) The government shall set up a budgetary organ called the National Centre of Evaluation and Exams for Public Education. It will operate as a government agency and it will be controlled by the Minister of Education. The National Centre of Evaluation and Exams for Public Education will have national authority in meeting its responsibilities.

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(3) In meeting its responsibilities related to the kindergarten education, school teaching/education and college education of the national/ethnic minorities the National Centre of Evaluation and Exams for Public Education shall co-operate with the National Minority Committee.

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§ 101 (1) The National Register of Experts includes the name, address, technical field and workplace of people who are authorised to act as supervisors at educational/teaching institutions.

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(3) A person will be registered in the National Register of Experts if he/she has a clean record, and

- has obtained the qualifications necessary for being a senior teacher (kindergarten teacher or nursery school teacher) and has minimum ten years of experience as a pedagogue or teacher, or

- has obtained relevant higher education qualifications for his/her specific field and has minimum ten years of experience in his/her field and is an acknowledged representative of the field.

(4) A person will be registered in the National Register of Examiners who has obtained teaching qualifications as identified in § 17 (1) of this Act, points d)-e), or in the case of maturity exams a university degree in teaching, engineering or technical teaching and qualifications, and specific teachers’ exam and has minimum ten years of experience of teaching - in the case of maturity exams, teaching at high school or at a teacher-training higher educational institution.

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(7) With regard to the kindergarten education, school teaching/education and college education of the national and ethnic minorities, a person will be an expert or will chair the examination board of maturity exams who has obtained the experience identified in Subsections (3) and (4) in the teaching/education of the national/ethnic minorities.

§102

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(3) Prior to making a decision related to closing down or re-organising a public educational institution, establishing its name, setting or amending its budget, appointing its leader or terminating such an appointment the sponsor of a public educational institution, which teaches in the mother tongue of a national/ethnic minority or both in the mother tongue of a national/ethnic minority and in Hungarian, shall seek ... the opinion of the local minority self-government, unless it has a right of agreement; or if there is no local minority self-government, then the opinion of a spokesperson of the local national/ethnic minority, or, lacking that, a local association of the national/ethnic minority in question, or - in the case of vocational high schools and trade schools - that of the Municipal or County Chamber of Commerce.

(4) The local representatives (assembly) shall assess the demand for preparatory courses in Hungarian and for teaching/education in the mother tongue of the national/ethnic minorities every year with the involvement of the local minority self-government, or - in the case of assembly assessment - with the involvement of the National Minority Self-Government.

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(10) If the sponsor (of an institution) is a local government, it shall obtain the agreement of the local minority self-government or, in the case of a public educational institution with regional or national responsibilities, that of the National Minority Self-Government in issues related to

a) establishing or closing down a teaching/educational institution participating in the kindergarten education, school teaching and college education of the national/ethnic minorities; modifying its sphere of activity, setting its name,

b) establishing or modifying its budget,

c) evaluating its professional performance,

d) approving its bylaws,

e) approving its educational programme and pedagogical programme, its cultural programme and evaluating their implementation. The agreement of the minority self-government shall be obtained - as stipulated above - prior to appointing the leader of an educational institution for the national/ethnic minorities or before such an appointment is terminated [§ 121 (6)].

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§ 107 (1) With the exception stipulated in Subsection (2) b), a person will play a part in the professional supervision of a public educational institution who has been registered in the national Register of Experts.

(2) If professional supervision takes place at a public educational institution providing teaching/education for the national/ethnic minorities, then:

a) the supervising team shall be headed by an expert who speaks the mother tongue of the national/ethnic minority in question; if there is no such expert, a teacher speaking the mother tongue of national/ethnic minority in question shall be involved in the supervision;

b) the National Minority Self-Government shall be informed about such professional supervision and it may send its representative meeting the requirements stipulated in § 101 (3) of this Act to participate in the supervision even if he/she is not registered in the National Register of Experts.

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(8) Professional supervision may be launched - providing its costs

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c) by the local government of a village, city, city with county rights or Budapest district at their settlements in order to prepare setting local educational policy objectives and to assess their implementation; or by a local minority self-government in order to review the implementation of its objectives related to the kindergarten education or school teaching and education of the national/ethnic minorities in the community.

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Source: Office for National and Ethnic Minorities in Hungary


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