10. EDUCATION

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Since the Middle Ages, Hungarian education has paralleled the cultural-educational development of Western and Central Europe. In the early days, the free exchange of ideas was fostered by attendance of many Hungarian students at the universities of Paris, Padua, Boloogna, Cracow, and Vienna. For centuries, education was vested in the hands of the Catholic Church, and after the Reformation the Protestant churches also played a leading role. Many Protestant students attended such great Protestant universities as those at Leyden, Utrecht, Oxford, or Geneva. This church domination, from the Renaissance to the middle of the nineteenth century, made Hungarian education unique among the educational systems of Europe. The churches' role in educational matters stemmed from the centuries of Turkish occupation, which resulted in the division of the country, and the influence of the Hapsburgs. Since elementary schooling was the most neglected sector of the educational field, the illiteracy rate was relatively high until the 1860's, although lower than that of Italy, Portugal, or Spain. Secondary and higher education was under the direction of the Catholic teaching orders such as the Jesuits, Piarists, Order of St. Paul, Cistercians, Benedictines, and Premonstratensians, as well as the Calvinist, Lutheran, and Unitarian churches.

The most important step toward expansion of the educational system and public schooling took place following the Compromise of 1867. The chief architect of the modern Hungarian educational system was Jozsef Eotvos, a great statesman and philosopher of the nineteenth century, who proposed Law No. 37 of 1863, which introduced compulsory elementary education and expanded secondary schools. The law provided for a six-year nepiskola (public school) on an elementary level, equivalent to the American grammar school. After this school, a student was to attend the ismetlo iskola, a three-year school where seven hours a week were spent recapitulating the main subjects of the grammar school. One-year practical vocational training schools were

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Hungary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • East-Central Europe under the Communists ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Preface ix
  • Contents x
  • Maps xii
  • Note xiii
  • I - Introduction 1
  • 1 - Hungary in History 2
  • 2 - Hungary in International Affairs since 1945 17
  • II - Geography and Demography 33
  • 3 - The Land 34
  • 4 - The People 45
  • III - The Government 73
  • 5 - The Constitutional System and Government 74
  • 6 - The Party and Political Organizations 104
  • 7 - State Security 132
  • 8 - Propaganda and Information Media 151
  • IV - Literature and Education 167
  • 9 - Literature and the Arts 168
  • 10 - Education 190
  • V - The Economy 213
  • 11 - National Income and Its Distribution 214
  • 12 - Agriculture 229
  • 13 - Labor 259
  • 14 - Mining 284
  • 15 - Industry 291
  • 16 - Transportation and Communications 316
  • 17 - Public Health and Social Security 334
  • VI - The Hungarian Revolution 351
  • The Hungarian Revolution 352
  • Appendix 391
  • Bibliography 423
  • Index 451
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