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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 general policy of the Opera House is to maintain Hungarian along with foreign productions. This is successfully carried out, for today it commands a series of sixty operas in the Hungarian language, with Hungarian singers. From the standpoint of evaluation it has never, not even during the War, played favourites or made exceptions among the various nationalities. This is especially proved by the fact that during the THEATRES war the Opera House constantly produced foreign operas, from French and Italian composers, for example, on 252 and 308 occasions, respectively.

Significant results have been achieved by the Opera House in training the general public to love and to appreciate music.

Proof of this is the fact that three-fourths of its accommodations are rented out in advance for the entire season. Upwards of 230 productions are given each season.

Worthy of special mention is the Philharmonic Orchestra, which is the finest in the country. It gives regular concerts during the year and achieves splendid successes, not only in Hungary but abroad as well.


The National Theatre is the leading art theatre of the country, aiming to advance Hungarian dramatics and dramatic literature, to cultivate the Hungarian language, and to spread general culture. In conformity with this purpose, first of all such writers are represented on its repertoire, who are typically Hungarian. Besides the Hungarian classical writers Charles Kisfaludy, Joseph Katona, Imre Madách, Ede Szigligeti, and Michael Vörösmarty, foreign classical writers, especially Shakespeare and Molière, are included in the repertoire. The Shakespearean repertoire is so complete that, while at Stratford only seven plays are produced annually, the cycle of the National Theatre embraces fourteen plays. Its Molière series is not surpassed by any theatre in Europe except by the Comédie Française at Paris.

The National Theatre has exercised such stimulating influence upon Hungarian drama that for weeks at a time only Hungarian pieces are produced.

The National Theatre has 67 actors and actresses, a sufficient number of stage directors, managers and prompters, an orchestra of 18 members, and a technical personnel of 100. About 350 productions are given annually.

In connection with the National Theatre the state in 1924 established the Play House. This theatre produces plays which are not suitable for the larger stage of the National Theatre. It also serves the practical purpose of providing constant work for the large number of actors and actresses of the National Theatre. The works of such dramatists as Ibsen, Strindberg, 276 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY Shaw, and Pirandello are produced. It is under the full management of the National Theatre. A satisfactory new building is to be erected for both theatres in the near future.

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Theatrical art is cultivated, not only by the state, but also by the city of Budapest and private enterprises. Under the management of the community of Budapest is the City Theatre.

More notable privately owned theatres are the Hungarian, Comic, Royal, and the Operette Theatres. The City Theatre presents operas also and does much to popularize the operatic art. The other theatres just mentioned produce modern dramas.


Dramatic art in the provinces is cultivated at present by eighteen state licensed and aided theatres. The larger towns have a lively theatrical life, often producing very competent actors.

Since the Treaty of Trianon theatrical art in the towns has lost and suffered a great deal, concerning which the following data speak for themselves.

As a result of the treaty the large and flourishing cities, which had considerable musical culture and art, were lost, among them Kolozsvár, Pozsony, Kassa, Temesvár, Arad, and Nagyvárad wThere the permanent companies also sang operas. A great loss to the dramatic art is represented by the National Theatre of Kolozsvár. During the season of 1913-1914 there were 36 theatrical companies with 1,232 actors and actresses in Hungary and during the season of 1927-1928 there were only 18 companies with an acting force of 582. These figures speak sadly of the tremendous loss. Hungarian dramatic art, indeed, has lost 70 cities with 35 stone theatres and the fifty-year-old National Actors Association and Pension Fund, the organization of the town acting guilds, has been immeasurably weakened.




The number of regular kindergartens in Hungary today is 929 and of nurseries, 73. This number shows an increase of 10 per cent over the average of 1920-1925. This means that kindergarten work during the latter half of the decade developed in a significant measure. The development of kindergartens, however, wras still unable to keep pace with the needs of society in this respect because, if the number of children enrolled at present (109,625) is compared with the average of 1920-1925, it is seen that this number grew by 43 per cent. This large increase in the number of children entrusted to the care of kindergartens may clearly be attributed to two circumstances. The one is the spread of the realization among parents that the work going on in kindergartens is profitable from the point of view of both the physical and the intellectual development of children. The other, and perhaps the more convincing, circumstance is social;

it goes back to economic causes. Inasmuch as the wretched living conditions of late years force more and more families to be dependent upon the earnings of the mother, the location of children not attending regular school must be cared for during the time that both parents spend in work away from the home.

A suitable place is offered in kindergartens. It appears from this that kindergartens in Hungary will develop in the very near future not only and principally as educational institutions but chiefly as public welfare institutions.

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The number of elementary schools in 1930 is 6,824. Of this number, 1,194 (17.4 per cent) are state schools, while 4,684 (68.6 per cent) are denominational; 794 are maintained by communities and the rest are supported by private interests, assoEDUCATION IN HUNGARY dations, and estates. That 68.6 per cent of the elementary schools are in the hands of denominations is a natural corollary to the fact that education, especially the elementary branch, from the beginning belonged within the right and jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church and later of the Protestant denominations also. However, the influence of the state is increasingly growing. This is apparent not only in the fact that the state, especially in recent times, is erecting more and more schools, but it finds expression also in the state aid granted for the support of the schools of the denominations. The reason for the first fact is that during the last five years state schools increased by 14 per cent, while the denominational schools decreased 24 per cent.

Again, about four-fifths of the denominational schools receive state aid.

If we consider how the elementary schools are divided among the various religious bodies, we find that the greatest number are supported by the Roman Catholic Church, as its 2,836 schools comprise 41.56 per cent of the total. This is a natural corollary of the historical rôle of the Catholic Church in Hungary and, on the other hand, follows from the fact that 62.8 per cent of the population is Roman Catholic. Then comes the Reformed Church with 1,101 (16.13 per cent) schools and the Lutherans with 406 (5.95 per cent), the Jews with 159 (2.33 per cent), the Greek Catholics with 36, the Greek Orthodox with 44, and the Unitarians with 2 schools.

Almost one-half (49.5 per cent) of the elementary schools are ungraded, one teacher teaching all grades; 43.5 per cent are partly graded and, while two or more teachers are engaged in teaching, nevertheless all of them teach two or more grades in STATISTICAL DATA 279 common rooms. The remaining 7 per cent are entirely graded and each grade has its own separate teacher.

False conclusions might be drawn from the large number of ungraded schools, however, if we did not take into consideration that scarcely one-fifth (18.9 per cent) of the school children receive their instruction in these schools. More than four-fifths of the children, therefore, attend either an entirely graded or a partly graded school. The number of ungraded schools is augmented by the schools of rural districts and small villages inasmuch as the consolidation of schools, so successful in the United States, cannot as yet be initiated in Hungary, partly for economic reasons and partly for lack of satisfactory means of communication.

Elementary schools in Hungary with few exceptions are coeducational (93.8 per cent). Two and nine-tenths per cent of the total schools enrol only boys and 3.3 per cent, only girls.

The number of elementary teachers in 1929-1930 was 18,990, of whom 10,761 were men and 8,229 were women. A teaching force of 4,829 is at work in the state schools and one of 14,161 in the non-state schools.

There is an enrolment of 917,392 pupils. In 1929-1930 these were divided according to grades as follows: I. 220,528; II. 207,III. 193,783; IV. 173,970; V. 79,399; VI. 40,309; VII. 1,385;

and VIII. 472. We notice a great drop in the number of pupils in' the fifth grade. This is explained by the fact that transfer to secondary schools takes place after the fourth grade. On the other hand, many reach the age-limit for compulsory attendance in the fourth or fifth grade on account of retardation and drop out of school. The seventh and eighth grades of the elementary school have been introduced only in' very few schools and hence the number of scholars enrolled in them is insignificant as yet.

Of the pupils, 202,800, or 22 per cent, attend state schools;

714,592, or 70 per cent, attend non-state schools. Comparing these numbers with the number of schools, it becomes clear that 171 pupils fall to each of the state schools and 130 to each of the non-state schools. It would be too early, however, to draw any conclusions about the overcrowded condition of state schools.

We shall obtain a proper picture of the situation if we compare the number of pupils with that of the teachers. It then becomes clear that, on an average, there are 42 pupils to one teacher in 280 EDUCATION IN HUNGARY the state schools and 50 pupils to a teacher in the non-state schools. These figures are further explained by the fact that state schools on the whole have the lowest number of ungraded schools (409), wdiile this average rises much higher among the denominational, community, or other types of schools.

Sixty-nine per cent of the elementary pupils are Roman Catholic, 19.9 per cent Reformed, 6.6 per cent Lutheran, 2.5 per cent Greek Catholic, and 1.1 per cent Jewish, the rest belonging to other denominations. If we compare these figures with the percentages of the population, we find that the Catholic children in school (63.9 per cent) exceed this number, the Lutherans (6.2 per cent) and Greek Catholics (2.2 per cent) slightly rise above it, the Reformed (21 per cent) approach it, and the Jewish (5.9 per cent) fall far below it.


The progress of the middle schools is illustrated by the following statistics:

The number of middle schools in 1929-1930 was 353. Of this number, 112 were boys' schools, 163 girls' schools, and 78 coeducational schools. Thirty-eight and five-tenths per cent, or 136, of the middle schools are supported by the state. In the case of middle schools a new class of supporters come into prominence and these are the communities. While the denominations support only 98 schools (27.7 per cent), communities have 102 schools, or 28.9 per cent. Of the denominations the Roman CathSTATISTICAL DATA olics have the highest number, 74, which is followed by the Reformed Church, 13, and the Jews who in comparison with their population average, with their eight middle schools show decided progress as over against their elementary schools.

The total number of middle school teachers is 4,287 and of pupils 65,635, of whom 13.931 are boys and 11,051 are girls. The state schools take care of 24,982 pupils, the community schools 25,312 pupils, and the denominational schools altogether take care of 14,043. The rest attend either association or private schools.

On a national scale there are 29 pupils to each class and 15 to each teacher. If we compare the number of pupils with the average of 1920-1925, or 83,653, we shall discover that during the five years the number of pupils decreased by 21.5 per cent, explained by the decrease of births during the War.


The Normal Schools total 48, of which 20 are for men and 28 for women. Their number for the average of 1920-1925 shows an upward trend. The state maintains 13 and the rest are denominational. Of the denominations the Roman Catholics support the most with 25 schools, the Reformed having 6, Lutherans 3, and the Jews 1. Teachers in Normal Schools for men number 256 and for women 337.

The students number 7,987, of whom 2,354 obtain their training in state and 4,116 in Roman Catholic institutions; 51.5 per cent of the coming teaching generation thus will come out of the schools of the Catholic Church. The mother tongue of the students is distributed as follows: 98.5 per cent Hungarian, 1.2 per cent German, and 0.3 per cent Slav. It is interesting to note the occupational fields in which the parents of these students are engaged. Eleven and three-tenths per cent of the students come from the families of teachers, 22.5 per cent have parents engaged in other intellectual fields, and 14.4 per cent have parents wdio are on pension or in private enterprise and in a large part, therefore, also belong to the intellectual class; 11.5 per cent of the students come from the industrial or commercial class; and the rest are divided among the agricultural, factory, and military classes.

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