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«The International Institute of Teacher’s College, Columbia University The INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE of Teachers College, Columbia University, was ...»

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The movement is aided considerably by the financial backing of the government. Moreover, the Ministry has published a syllabus of subjects and a model schedule of work; and it has established 1,500 libraries and published textbooks for lecturers.

It also provides educational films and projectoscopes.





In the school system of most nations we may find schools which give more than the minimum education of an elementary school, yet less than the education of the secondary school which prepares for higher studies—schools giving general education of a rather practical nature. The Act of 1868 proposed to establish such an institution when it provided for two types of schools to be added to the elementary school—the upper elementary school, which, after the completion of the six grades of the elementary school, consisted of a three-year course for boys and a two-year course for girls, and the middle school, which was built on the fourth grade of the elementary school and consisted of a six-year course for boys and a four-year course for girls. The former type, fashioned after the French école primaire supérieur, could not thrive at all and recently became entirely extinct.

The middle school on the other hand proved of value, designed as it was to meet the educational standard falling between elementary and secondary education. This type of school was originally planned to elevate the general mass of citizens to a higher level of general, more practical culture. It was with this purpose in mind that the curriculum was selected. These middle schools soon prospered and in many cases were established by communities themselves.

Since 1922 the middle schools have increased at an exceptionally rapid rate; 84 new schools were established within four years and today there are altogether 412 of them with 3,648 teachers and 90,776 pupils. Exactly to what extent the public appreciates these schools is excellently illustrated by the progress 68 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY made in Budapest; at present there are 53 middle schools with over 20,000 pupils.

No matter how rapidly the middle school grew, it was a constant disadvantage that its task was not accurately defined and its organization not definitely designated. Owing to this indefiniteness the middle school was subjected to severe criticism and could never be put into work according to the six-year plan outlined in the Act of 1868. In 1927 it was finally decided to maintain the middle school as a four-year course.

The task of the middle school, according to this new Act, is to give the pupil a practical general education in a religious, moral, and national spirit and to prepare him either directly for practical life or for the professional secondary schools. In middle schools for girls the further task of preparing intelligent women citizens is added.

Only those pupils may be enrolled in the middle schools who have properly completed the four grades of the elementary school.

The completion of the middle school entitles pupils to enter normal schools and commercial, industrial, or agricultural schools of secondary grade. Upon examination, moreover, a pupil completing a middle school may transfer to a secondary school; that is, to the fifth grade of a Gymnasium, Realgymnasium, or a Real school. The holder of a certificate from the fourth grade of the middle school is eligible to certain posts in the civil service.

Thus, some minor positions in the post office or with the railroad can be filled only with persons holding· a certificate from a middle school.


Teachers for middle schools are trained in special normal schools and obtain their certificates from a special examination board.

In every middle school for boys of four grades there are at least six teachers besides a religious instructor and teachers of special subjects; in schools for girls there are at least five teachers. The number of regular teachers, besides the principal, must never be less than the number of grades. Principals themselves must teach at least four and no more than 12 periods per week and teachers not more than 22, excluding occasional substitutions.


The number of periods, excluding physical training in the first and second grades, is 27 and in the third and fourth grades,

28. The following time-schedule is now in force:

The courses of study of the various subjects may be outlined

briefly as follows:

1. Hungarian. Aim: (a) Ability of fluent expression in speech and writing; (b) knowledge of the most important rules of the Hungarian language and style; (c) introduction to Hungarian literature. Course of study. Selections from prose and poetry, grammar, composition, poetics, and rhetoric successively in the four grades, and a study of the history of Hungarian literature on the basis of readings.

2. German. Aim: An understanding of the modern German writers on the basis of proper acquaintance with grammar; practice in speaking and writing. Course of study: Easy selections from the poetry and prose of eminent German writers; exercises in speaking.

3. History. A survey of general history and a thorough knowlEDUCATION IN HUNGARY edge of Hungarian history. In grade II, ancient and medieval;

in grades III and IV, Hungarian history.

4. Geography. Aim: Knowledge of the physical nature of the earth and the present condition of the most important countries,

especially in their relation to Hungary. In grade I: Hungary; in grade II: Europe; in grade III: Asia, Africa, America, Australia; and astronomical geography. In grade IV:

Political and economic geography of Hungary, and physical geography.

5. Mathematics. Aim: Knowledge of arithmetic and the elements of plane and solid geometry. The four fundamental operations, fractions and planimetry; commercial arithmetic, cubes, areas, and drawing of objects; interest, algebraic calculations;

most important characteristics of the triangle, rectangle, circle, ellipse, etc. Measurements in the open. Simple bookkeeping, involution and evolution, equations with one unknown.

6. Bookkeeping. Aim: Acquaintance with the elements of bookkeeping needed by a farmer or a tradesman.

7. Botany and zoology. Aim: Knowledge of the most significant species of plants and animals, their organic structure, and their practical significance. Observation.

8. Mineralogy and chemistry. Aim: Knowledge of the physical and chemical characteristics of elements and compounds, and knowledge of the rules of organic and inorganic chemistry. The most important chemical processes in nature, the human organism, and home. Practical significance of minerals and chemicals. Experiments.

9. Physics. Aim: Knowledge of the most important physical laws. Practical application. Mechanics, heat, sound, light, magnetics, and electricity.

10. Physiology and hygiene. Aim: Familiarity with the human organism and the laws of private and public health. The human body, health, and protection against diseases.

11. Economics and civics. Aim: Familiarity with social life in the field of economics, law, and politics.

12. Music. Aim: Knowledge of songs, rhythm, and notes.

Development of musical appreciation.

13. Drawing. Aim: Practice in the perception, memory, and invention of forms and colors; skill in drawing simple objects;

SECONDARY EDUCATION 71 72 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY SECONDARY EDUCATION 73 appreciation of the beautiful through a study of natural objects and the masterpieces of eminent artists.

14. Physical training. Aim: Training for order and obedience, endurance and independence through exercises, games, and sports.

15. Agriculture and manual training. The practical nature of the middle school is ensured primarily by studies which prepare directly for practical life. Such studies are given in agriculture and manual training, particularly. Since a great part of the population of Hungary belongs to the farming class, the middle schools aim to serve them by giving not only theoretical but also practical instruction in agriculture. It is for this purpose that many schools are provided with large tracts of land, sometimes extending to an area of thirty acres. Furthermore, shops are provided for each school and training is given in wood and paper work, bookbinding, and the use of the various tools and machinery.

–  –  –

The curriculum of the girls' schools, except in the case of the practical work, is the same as that of the boys' schools, yet subIn grades I and II Hungarian or German may be increased by one period according to local circumstances.

74 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY stantial differences are to be found in the courses of study of certain subjects. The girls' schools aim to bear in mind the characteristic vocations of women and to provide for this factor in their curriculum. Such differences are manifested particularly in the practical subjects, such as needlework, drawing, music, physical training, hygiene, home economics, and even in other subjects.

The curriculum of girls' schools was issued in 1908 and is still in force. The time-schedule is given above.

French is a special subject in the second, third, and fourth grades and is given four periods a week.


Middle schools may be established by the State, counties, towrns, villages, a legally accepted denomination, association, or individual, provided they fulfil the requirements of the la\v. Permission to establish a middle school is to be obtained from the Ministry of Education. A middle school must be established in every community that has a population of more than 5,000. If necessary, the State may grant financial aid in the enterprise.

In communities where a certain denomination is in the majority, such denomination may assume the right of establishing a middle school and may obtain, if necessary, the assistance of the State. The community or city is required to provide the following for the establishment of a middle school: site, building, furniture, and other equipment, general working expenses, and at least two acres of land for practical work. The State grants aid to poorer communities. A State fund is maintained for this purpose. The plans and budget of schools to be built with State aid are inspected and must be approved by the Ministry. The State also provides for the supervision and control of the building of schools.




The old organization and curriculum of the Hungarian secondary school—as shown in the historical review—was regulated by the Ratio Educationis of 1777 and 1806, and from 1849 to 1860 by the Entwurf of the Vienna government. After the restoration of the constitution in 1867, the foundation of the present secondary school was laid by the Act of 1883, which dealt specifically with these schools and their teachers. This was the first law in Hungary which made an attempt to regulate secondary education.

The Act of 1883 established two types of secondary schools— the classical Gymnasium and the (modern) Real school. The movement in western Europe, however, which around 1880 set itself against the special privilege of Gymnasiums to qualify for entrance to the university and also against the general compulsory study of Greek, exerted its influence upon our Hungarian Gymnasiums as well. This opposition found expression in the Act of 1890, which stipulated that a substitution for the Greek language might be made. This substitution consisted of freehand drawing and a study of Greek art and of the Greek classics in Hungarian translations. This same law provided, furthermore, that pupils taking the substitution course might be admitted to the faculties of law or medicine of the university, but admission to the studies of theology, philology, philosophy, or history could be had only upon examination in the Greek language on the basis of its maturity requirements.

Consequently, the upper grades of the Gymnasium (5-8) branched out in two directions, so that within the walls of one institution two distinct types of the Gymnasium arose, the one teaching both the classical languages, the other only Latin and the subjects substituted for Greek. And at the same time that the secondary schools—including the Real schools—divided into three groups, there now also were three distinct schools, each with the privilege of qualifying candidates for the universities.

They differed in the following respects: Gymnasiums with Latin and Greek had unlimited rights of qualification; Gymnasiums without Greek were restricted in their qualifying privilege; Real 76 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY schools enjoyed the privilege of qualifying students only for colleges teaching pure or applied natural sciences.

This solution remained in force for over three decades, but was never satisfactory, since the course substituted for Greek was not of equal value writh Greek. A reform movement soon arose, partly to bring the secondary school system up to date and partly to give each type an equal right to qualify candidates for the universities. Efforts to accomplish this, however, were suspended on account of the war, until Count Kuno Klebelsberg, Minister of Education, finally effected a solution in the Act of 1924.

PRINCIPLES OF THE REFORM OF 1924 The Act of 1924 did not introduce a radically new tendency into the organization of secondary schools. The history of school reforms shows that no reform can be successful if it breaks radically with the past. The reforms of this new law rest upon two basic ideas: the further differentiation of the various types of secondary schools and the granting of equal rights to the various types writh reference to the qualifying of candidates for higher institutions of learning.

The new law introduced a new type of secondary school between the Gymnasium and the Real school: the Realgymnasium.

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