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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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Direct Administration At the head of each secondary school is the principal, whose duties are to direct and guide scholastic and disciplinary affairs of the school, to take care of the buildings and all property, to control the libraries of teachers and students and also laboratories and collections, and to appoint person's to take care of them. He is chairman of the faculty meetings, represents the school before the authorities and the parents, and executes the regulations of higher authorities.

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directs and controls the pedagogical and administrative affairs of the secondary schools under state management or guidance located within his district. He must visit the schools in his district at least once annually. It is his duty to look into the work of the teachers, the scholastic progress and discipline of students, the state of buildings and equipment, and the business management of the principal. He must also hold a meeting with the faculty and inform them of his findings. The minutes of this meeting, together with his confidential remarks, must be submitted to the Ministry. The district superintendent, furthermore, presides at the oral maturity examinations, has final jurisdiction over the questions included in the written maturity examination, and forwards all appeals of the principals to the Ministry, sending with them his own opinions or recommendations.

The district superintendency was founded by the Ratio Educationis of 1777. Prior to the dismemberment of Hungary there were 12 such districts.

The superintendent, as a rule, has charge of the supervision of autonomous denominational secondary schools also—not exofficio but rather on the basis of separate appointment by the Ministry. His visits are restricted solely to observation and control, since he has no power to interfere. He communicates his experiences to the faculties here also and submits the protocols to the Ministry and makes pertinent recommendations in' whatever matters he deems the action of the Ministry necessary, upon which the Ministry comes into touch with school supporters of the respective denomination.

At the maturity examinations of the autonomous denominational secondary schools the royal superintendent does not preside; the denominational superintendent presides. At the same time, however, the Ministry is represented by an official who sees that the examinations are conducted according to regulations.

The highest authority over secondary schools is the Ministry of Cults and Public Instruction, which provides a special department to administer their affairs.

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ferred by the Ministry upon all schools which fulfil the requirements of the law. These are: (1) guarantee of financial means to maintain the school; (2) the proper equipment of the building from pedagogical and hygienic viewpoints; (3) a curriculum that satisfies state requirements; (4) a faculty meeting the requirements of the law with reference to diplomas and number of teachers.

If a school fails to fulfil the requirements of the law, the state has the right to withdraw the accrediting of the school upon proper warning. Certificates of such schools are not recognized by the state and such schools may not hold maturity examinations.

Associations and private individuals may maintain schools without having them accredited. Students of such institutions, if they desire certificates recognized by the state, must appear for examination from year to year at an institution accredited by the State. The State controls these non-accredited schools also and requires that their teachers hold proper credentials and that buildings meet the pedagogical and hygienic standards set by the law.


Out of the 118 secondary schools for boys in dismembered Hungary the state maintains only 48; the rest are maintained by denominations, towns, societies, or private persons. Since these are very often unable wholly to maintain their schools out of their own means and since they must be maintained because of their historical past and the present cultural needs of the nation, the state provides aid for schools that ask for it. The amount of state aid and its conditions are stipulated in special contracts.

Among these conditions are, for instance, that the curriculum of the state is required in schools receiving state aid and that a certain number of the teachers are to be appointed by the state.

State aid is of two kinds. First, the state may annually give a certain amount, which is to be used to defray material needs, and second, it may make up the salary of teachers by bringing it upon a par with the salary of state employed teachers. This latter means inflicts a considerable burden upon the state treasury inasmuch as the income of secondary schools since the World War has fallen so low that they can cover only from 5 to 40 per SECONDARY EDUCATION 119 cent of the salaries of the teachers and the rest must be covered by the State.


Until the rise of the modern feminist movement the energies of educators were directed almost entirely to the education of boys. The feminist movement, which arose in the middle of the nineteenth century, at once linked the question of higher education for girls with the scheme for securing equal rights for women. In fact, education of girls from the elementary school to the university was considered a condition of the possibility of equal status.

The Hungarian feminist movement is almost the oldest in Europe. The movement was started during the great national awakening of 1790 and was called into being by the Germanizing absolutism of Joseph II; it brought to the fore all the sound ideas of modern feminism. At once three Hungarian pamphlets appeared in one year, and each attempted to prove the political rights of women on the basis of their cultural strength and desires. These Hungarian documents of the feminist movement appeared two years before A Vindication of the Rights oj Women by Mary Wollstonecraft, the founder of feminism in the West. It is unusual that both these movements brought the matter of a national educational program and the rights of women into very close connection with each other. This movement in Hungary was then followed by such an increased demand for higher education among women that in the forties of the last century women applied for admission to the university.

120 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY All this remained a dream, however, because until the seventies of the last century higher education for girls was unorganized. It was carried on sporadically, mostly by Catholic nuns and by private individuals; both the Catholic and the Protestant Churches attempted to offer something more than an elementary education to girls. The English Sisters worked in Hungary as early as 1630, and Protestants also maintained private institution's for girls, but in both these types only the daughters of the nobility were able to enrol. The idea of the state's providing higher education for girls was advanced as early as 1791 by the committee in Parliament on education. A plan of reform was proposed by the chairman of the committee, Count Anthony Brunsvick, father of Theresa Brunsvick, who started the first kindergarten in Hungary, and complained that education of girls was in the hands of foreigners, and urged a national program of education for girls. Both the Ratio Educationis of 1806 arid the Parliament of 1825 considered these questions but effected no tangible progress. The economic transformation of the nineteenth century made higher schools for girls inevitable, and in 1868 the first middle schools for girls were started, which immediately flourished. Professional schools for girls for the present were represented only by normal schools.

The need of having schools alongside of middle and normal schools in order to extend an education to girls parallel to that of boys was very strongly felt. Consequently, in 1875 the first higher school for girls was set up by the state at Budapest, on the heels of which there followed similar schools set up by towns and denominations.

These schools were designed to serve as secondary schools.

Preceded by a preparatory course, which was the equivalent of the sixth grade in the elementary school, was a four-year secondary course with a full and complete curriculum; this was followed by two more years, each with a completed curriculum. The following subjects were taught: Hungarian, German, and French language and literature, history, physics and chemistry, biology and physiology, geography, mathematics, housekeeping, education, drawing, physical training, music, and needlework; English and freehand drawing were offered as extraordinary subjects.

The number of periods per week was 24.

Excellent and well thought out as this curriculum was, it did SECONDARY EDUCATION 121 not meet the needs of the age. The poorer elements predominant in the cultured middle class could not afford to send their girls to higher schools merely for culture; they wanted girls to prepare for professions. Hence these schools were forced to approach more and more the curriculum of the more practical middle and normal schools.

Meanwhile the ever-growing feminist movement demanded that the standard of girls' education should be raised. Following a similar movement in Germany, the Hungarian Minister, Julius Wlassics, in 1895 persuaded the King to issue a decree permitting women to be enrolled in the faculties of medicine, philosophy, and pharmacy of the universities, and providing also that, until further changes were made, girls could take maturity examinations at boys' Gymnasiums as private pupils. At first special preparatory Gymnasium courses were offered, but these were transformed into girls' Gymnasiums in 1901.

In the absence of a unified organization these Gymnasiums assumed various forms, and their curriculum underwent constant changes so that a normative school for girls could not be crystallized. For this reason the Regulation of 1916 attempted to bring about a unified system with three types: a higher school for girls, a higher commercial school for girls, and a Gymnasium for girls. Two types, if desired, could be included in one institution, but only the Gymnasium course could prepare for university work. This change did not bring the results that were hoped for, and in 1924 it was felt that a painstaking study and reform should be made of the problem of higher education for girls. The chief trouble was found in the fact that the matter of girls' education was dealt with through decrees, and because of the changeability of decrees, problems were not given a chance to crystallize and the situation remained unclarified. The permanence of a regulation by law was needed.

THE PRINCIPLES OF THE REFORM OF 1926 The fate of the system established in 1916 showed that to include more than one type in one institution was inexpedient and, on the other hand, girls could not be permitted to flock to the Gymnasium as they were doing, irrespective of whether they desired to attend the university later or not. It was clear that, on the model of the boys' schools, various well-differentiated


types must be created to take care of the special needs and inclinations of girls, without allowing this differentiation in any way to hinder girls from admission to colleges of university rank.

Consequently, the new law was based on the following fundamental principles: (1) differentiation of types; (2) equal recognition as qualification for entrance to the university; (3) consideration, in choice of subjects, of the special aptitudes of girls.

It is not to be doubted that inclinations and aptitudes of girls, as of boys, vary highly and therefore the school system must be differentiated in order that girls may find the type that meets their special needs. In conformity with this principle the law, to supplement the existing Gymnasium, created the Lyceum for girls, which lays chief stress upon modern languages and sciences and omits Latin. The identity of subjects of a nationalistic nature taught commonly by both types will always ensure their equality of standard.

For this reason these differing types create no difficulties in the choice of a profession; graduates of both may enter schools of university rank and, if at any time a student desires to switch to the other type, she can do so by taking examinations in the subjects that constitute the difference in the two types. It must be borne in mind, however, that neither type is primarily designed to be a. special preparatory course for the university.

The primary task of both is to train students for independent mental work, that is, to create a mental capacity and maturity to pursue further study in any line, if desired. The curricula of the Gymnasiums and Lyceums aim to accomplish this task.

This differentiation, naturally, must not stop with the organization of types which prepare for university work. There is need for a type of secondary school in which higher education may be given to girls who do not intend to enrol in any university but desire an education which would fit them to take their place in the family, the home, and social life. This need was met by the reorganization of the older higher school for girls under the name of college for girls. This school is called upon to accommodate the greater majority of girls because their courses are not too difficult even for girls of average ability and they are adapted to the educational needs of the family and social life.

Because of fundamental differences in the nature of men and women, the courses in the secondary schools are not identical SECONDARY EDUCATION 123 for both sexes, but an effort is made to meet the special exigencies of both. This does not mean, however, that education of girls is of lower standard than that of boys, for even with differences in the subject matter the curricula of both are kept on the same level. This flexibility in the selection of subject matter makes possible the stress of subjects in the girls' schools specifically suitable to the minds of girls, such as drawing, music, needlework, and a deeper study of the arts.

THE ACT OF 1926 The law defines the functions of the secondary schools for girls as follows: to train pupils to be good citizens, to give them a liberal education, and to fit them to pursue independent study in any higher educational institution or university.

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