MKM Decree 32/1997 (XI. 5.)
on the Issuance of the Guidelines for the Pre-School Instruction and School Education
of National and Ethnic Minorities
On the basis of the authorization granted in Paragraph a) of Subsection (1) of Section 94 of Act LXXIX of 1993 on Public Education (hereinafter referred to as the "Public Education Act"), the Minister of Culture and Education hereby issues the following Decree:
(1) Pre-schools providing for the pre-school instruction of national and ethnic minorities (hereinafter referred to as "minority pre-school instruction") shall prepare or approve their instructional programs with due consideration of the guidelines for the pre-school instruction of national and ethnic minorities issued as Schedule No. 1 to this Decree.
(2) Schools providing for the school instruction and education of national and ethnic minorities (hereinafter referred to as "minority school instruction and education") shall prepare or approve their pedagogical programs with due consideration of the guidelines for the school education of national and ethnic minorities issued as Schedule No. 2 to this Decree.
(3) In the event that the requirements set forth in the local curriculum of a school providing minority school instruction and education can only be fulfilled by participation in non-obligatory class sessions, registration at the school shall, with the exception set forth in Subsection (4), represent an obligation to participate in such non-obligatory class sessions, provided that the attention of the teachers and parents was called to this fact in the school acceptance information, and in writing prior to registration.
(4) Schools shall ensure the opportunity for pupils who do not participate in the non-obligatory class sessions to either begin or continue their studies. In the last month of the school year, the pupils or parents must submit a written notification if the pupil does not wish to participate in the non-obligatory class sessions or if the pupil desires to begin participation in the non-obligatory class sessions in the subsequent school year.
(1) In the event that there is no possibility of organizing minority instruction and education at the settlement based on the number of persons belonging to the minority in question, minority language instruction shall be organized within the framework of visiting other schools, simultaneously with the fulfillment of the general education requirements.
(2) The provisions of Paragraph a) of Subsection (1) of Section 87 of the Public Education Act shall be applied in respect of minority instruction and education organized within the framework of visiting other schools, while the provisions of Paragraph d) of Subsection (6) of Section 27 and of Section 73 shall be applied in respect of the fulfillment of educational requirements.
In minority school instruction and education, the classes may organize instruction of the minority language and subjects taught in the minority language, in accordance with the local curriculum, by breaking down into groups.
With due consideration of Section 23 of the Act on Public Education, the operators of secondary and vocational secondary schools providing minority instruction and education may be permitted to approve a local curriculum on the basis of which the school prepares the pupils for a general education examination by the end of the 11th grade, provided that the 9th grade is organized as a language preparation year and the secondary school education is finished in the 13th grade. The school shall inform the applicants and parents prior to acceptance regarding the contents of the local curriculum.
This Decree shall enter into force on the 8th day following its promulgation.
Schedule No. 1 to MKM Decree 32/1997 (XI. 5.)
Guidelines for the Pre-School Instruction of National and Ethnic Minorities
The pre-school instruction of minorities is a part of the uniform instructional-educational system of Hungary, which implements its particular goals and attends to its duties in harmony with the National Basic Program for Pre-school Instruction issued by Government Decree 137/1996. (VIII. 28.) Korm.
The guidelines for the pre-school instruction of national and ethnic minorities (hereinafter referred to as "guidelines for minority pre-school instruction") set forth the basic principles for the special pedagogical work conducted in pre-schools providing for the instruction of national and ethnic minorities in Hungary.
The guidelines for minority pre-school instruction formulate the goals and duties of minority pre-school instruction. They cover the principles of organizing pre-school life, the forms of minority pre-school instruction and the developmental characteristics at the end of the pre-school phase.
The goals and duties of minority pre-school instruction
1. In accordance with the age characteristics of pre-school aged children and their individual level of development, minority pre-school instruction serves promotes awareness and learning of the minority language and culture and the transmission and development of cultural traditions.
2. It is a goal and duty of minority instruction to
- ensure an environment for children where their mother tongue is spoken;
- preserve and develop the traditions and customs related to the life-style and culture of the minority;
- prepare the child for minority language instruction in the school system;
- facilitate the formation and development of a minority identity.
3. In pre-schools providing minority language instruction it should be a goal to continuously develop the scope of communication in the minority language, in addition to creating a secure emotional environment for the child, taking into account the child's language proficiency. Pre-school teachers shall ensure basic language learning through imitation using regularly recurring communicative situations.
4. Language learning should be organized with variety, using systematically structured themes drawing on the minority culture and the culture of their mother country (literature, music, folk games). Depending on the language situations which develop the weekly and daily schedules of the groups should be designed flexibly in accordance with natural language learning processes.
Organization of Minority Pre-school Instruction
1. Minority pre-school instruction shall last from the child entering the pre-school until the commencement of school studies.
2. Pre-school teachers participating in minority pre-school instruction must speak the minority language and know the intellectual and physical culture, traditions and customs of the minority. Transmission of cultural goods is an important duty.
3. The children's life in the pre-school providing minority pre-school instruction shall generally be organized in the minority language. Efforts should be made so that the adults participating in caring for the children know and use the minority language (dialect).
4. The instructional work in minority pre-school facilitates cooperation with the family (parents, grandparents, etc.), with minority institutions and organizations, in particular in the fields of the development of the children's linguistic culture, understanding of traditions and the formation of a minority identity.
5. Pre-schools providing minority pre-school instruction shall have available aids for facilitating the use of the minority language and preservation of the minority culture.
6. The atmosphere of the pre-school should reflect the culture of the minority, its manner of living, customs, traditions and physical manifestations.
Forms of minority pre-school instruction
The forms of minority pre-school instruction shall be formulated according to the National Basic Program for Pre-school Instruction, and the minority language, literature, music and intellectual and physical culture shall be used for their content. Pre-school instruction should cover the transmission of minority traditions, customs and the formation and cultivation of minority culture.
Native language (minority language) pre-schools
The entirety of pre-school life in a native language pre-school is organized in the minority language. The native language (minority language) is used in the pre-school activities. Pre-schools instructing in a minority shall also provide the children with the opportunity to become familiar with the Hungarian language, with Hungarian literary and musical culture.
Bi-lingual pre-schools providing minority instruction
Bi-lingual pre-schools providing minority instruction facilitate the cultivation of both languages (the minority language and Hungarian). Both languages are used in the pre-school activities. The ratio of use of the two languages should be determined in the instruction program based on the linguistic knowledge of the children's group at the beginning of the pre-school period. Emphasis should be placed on cultivation of the minority language.
Pre-schools providing Gypsy cultural instruction
1. Gypsy minority pre-school instruction may be conducted
a) in the minority language,
c) in the Hungarian language, within the framework of Gypsy cultural instruction.
2. Within the framework of Gypsy minority pre-school instruction, the pre-school instruction program should include the cultural, artistic and traditional values of the Gypsy minority. Gypsy games, poems, stories and songs should be specifically emphasized in the forms of activities. The distinctive world of color and form should be emphasized in visual instruction. Instruction of Gypsy dance culture should be a part of movement activities.
3. Gypsy minority pre-school instruction should prepare the children for successful progress in school in such a manner that it consciously builds upon the differences and similarities between Gypsy culture and the majority culture.
Developmental characteristics at the end of pre-school age
As a result of the process of family rearing and pre-school instruction
a) the children should develop a positive emotional relationship to the minority culture and language;
b) in accordance with their age and individual abilities, the children should have a vocabulary which allows them to relate in the minority language the knowledge they have acquired;
c) the should be able to orient themselves in communicative situations;
d) the children should know the songs, stories, poems, tales and games drawn from the minority culture and/or the mother country (in the dialect as well in certain cases);
e) the children should know the customs, traditions and values of the physical culture of the local minority and learn to respect and honor these.
Schedule No. 2 to MKM Decree 32/1997 (XI. 5.)
Guidelines for the School Education of National and Ethnic Minorities
Schools providing minority school instruction and education implement their goals in harmony with the provisions of the National Basic Curriculum and the guidelines for the school education of national and ethnic minorities (hereinafter referred to as the "guidelines for minority school education") set forth in Government Decree 130/1995. (X. 26.) Korm. As a part of Hungarian public education, minority education achieves the general aims and duties of school instruction and education while also ensuring instruction of the minority language, study in the minority language, familiarization with history, intellectual and material culture of the minority, cultivation and creation of traditions, the development of self-identity and the understanding and exercise of minority rights.
Minority education facilitates members of national and ethnic minorities in finding, preserving and cultivating their identity, accepting that they are different, accepting and displaying to others the values of the minority and developing stronger ties to the community.
In institutions providing minority education and instruction the following goals should be aimed at:
a) to make clear to pupils the advantages of linguistic and cultural wealth and to help them develop a realistic perception of nationality and the minority,
b) that pupils recognize the manifestations of prejudices and rejection, and understand the background and dangers of such phenomena, of the violation of civil and minority rights.
Forms of minority education
1. Due to the various linguistic conditions and cultural characteristics of the national and ethnic minorities living in Hungary, minority education may be organized according to the following forms:
a) native language education,
b) bi-lingual minority education,
c) language training minority education,
d) academic improvement education for the Gypsy minority,
e) inter-cultural education.
2. Several educational forms may be integrated into the pedagogical program of schools providing minority instruction and education.
Native language education
1. With the exception of Hungarian language and literature, in native language education the education and instructional work takes place in the minority language. The pedagogical program includes the teaching schedule for the native language and literature subjects and for ethnography.
2. In native language education the 9th grade may be organized as an intensive language preparation grade, the goal of which is to prepare the pupil for commencing studies within the framework of native language secondary education. Participating pupils spend at least 70% of the mandatory number of class hours studying the minority language in the 9th grade. Following completion of the 13th grade the pupil may take the school-leaving examinations.
3. If the native language education is taking place in a six-year secondary school program, the language preparation takes place in the 7th and 8th grade. The pupils spend at least 30% of the mandatory class hours studying the language. Instruction of subjects in the native language begins in the 9th grade at the latest. Education begins in the 7th grade and ends with the 12th grade.
Bi-lingual minority education
1. Bi-lingual minority education contributes to the achievement of minority education goals by providing a deeper understanding of the language and using the language as a language of instruction. This form allows the school to use the language in real-life situations and ensures the development of a balanced bi-lingual ability. The pedagogical program includes the teaching schedule for the native language and literature subjects and for ethnography.
2. In bi-lingual minority education the minority language and the Hungarian language are languages of instruction and are both subjects as well. The subjects taught in the minority language are defined in the school's pedagogical program. The ratio of the minority language and subjects taught in the minority language may vary from institution to institution and from grade to grade. With the exception of Hungarian language and literature all subjects may be taught in the minority language.
3. Within the framework of bi-lingual education, at least three of the subjects specified in the pedagogical program (with the exception of the native language and literature) must be taught in the minority language and must amount to at least 50% of the total weekly class hours. Bi-lingual education may be extended to include all subjects under the condition that the language of instruction be the minority language for at least 50% of the total weekly class hours. The regulations on language preparation grades must also be applied in this form of bi-lingual minority education.
Language training minority education
1. Language training minority education contributes to the achievement of minority education goals by teaching the language and instructing the subjects of the literature and minority ethnography.
2. Language training minority education can be conducted in two forms:
a) Traditional language training education, in which the language of instruction is Hungarian; instruction of the minority language and literature shall be conducted within class hours starting from the 1st grade. Instruction of the minority language and literature shall amount to at least 4 hours of the mandatory weekly class hours, and five hours a week for German language training schools. With the exception of German language training schools, the mandatory weekly hours dedicated to instruction of minority language and literature may be distributed between various grades or between weeks during a particular grade, under the condition that the number of obligatory hours is no less than 3 hours per week in any grade.
b) Extended language training minority education, the goal of which is to prepare for bi-lingual forms or native language forms of minority education. Study of the minority language and literature is conducted at the same time as instruction in the minority language. The minority language and literature shall be taught for at least 5 hours per week. Study of at least three subjects in the minority language must be made possible. Instruction of the minority language and literature and the classes held in the minority language account for at least 35% of the weekly class hours. The extended language training form may commence in the 1st grade and finish by the 8th grade.
Academic improvement education for the Gypsy minority
1. Academic improvement education for the Gypsy minority ensures familiarization with Gypsy cultural values and the teaching of information on the history, literature, arts, music, dance culture and traditions of the Gypsy minority. Instruction in the Gypsy language is a non-obligatory element of this program, but depending on the needs of the parents, it ensures instruction of the form of Gypsy language spoken by the parents. The education facilitates the academic success of Gypsy pupils in school and reduces any disadvantages which may be present. It ensures instruction on the situation, rights, organizations and institutions of the Gypsy minority. Using pedagogical tools it facilitates the integration of the Gypsy minority, without any expectation of assimilation.
2. In academic improvement education for the Gypsy minority, instruction in the cultural fields of Gypsy ethnography and abilities promoting successful academic advancement must be taught. In addition to this, depending on the level of knowledge of the pupils, their abilities, their ethno-cultural background and their academic prospects, at least three of the following fields should be included:
a) subject development;
b) development of minority identity;
c) development of socialization and communication abilities;
d) continuously organized Gypsy cultural activities;
e) development of individual talents.
3. a) For instruction of the Gypsy language the provisions of traditional minority education shall be applied.
b) In the event that the Gypsy language is not taught at the school, the pedagogical fields selected by the school shall be taught within the framework of at least 4 class hours per week, in accordance with the provisions of Point 2.
c) In addition to the provisions of Paragraphs a)-b), differentiated ability development classes, which may be organized within the framework of day-care centers or in the classrooms, shall be ensured in academic improvement and talent development education for the Gypsy minority amounting to at least three class hours per week.
1. Inter-cultural education can be organized by schools implementing any of the forms listed under Paragraphs a)-d) of Title 1 "forms of minority education" (hereinafter referred to as "minority education" for the purpose of this Title) for those pupils who are not taking part in the minority education in the school in question.
2. The goal of inter-cultural is to teach pupils not participating in minority education and pupils participating in minority education together about the culture of the particular minority, within the framework of non-obligatory class hours.
3. The non-obligatory class hours may be organized for transmission of ethnographic cultural materials. The subject taught in the various cultural fields, in particular Our World and Environment, the Arts, and Lifestyle, should specifically contain the cultural heritage and presence of the minority and should present its customs as equal with the majority culture and should furthermore discuss the knowledge of the particular minority to an appropriate extent.
4. Based on the needs of the parents, participants in inter-cultural education may be introduced to the particular minority language as a spoken language within the framework of separate class hours.
5. In jointly organized non-obligatory class hours the proportion of pupils participating in minority education may not be lower than the proportion of those not participating in minority education.
6. Inter-cultural education may be organized if this does not prevent minority education.
The content requirements of minority education
The content requirements of minority education draw on the requirements of the National Master Curriculum as a basis, expand upon these requirements, thereby ensuring that pupils participating in minority education programs can prepare for the basic education and school-leaving examinations and for commence studies in higher education with the same opportunities as pupils not participating in such programs. In addition to this minority education prepares the pupils for the general education examinations in the subjects of the minority language and literature and ethnography (history, geography, culture) and, with due consideration of the minority language, literature and ethnographic requirements set forth in the examination regulations for the school-leaving exams, for the school-leaving examinations. The pedagogical programs of schools taking part in any form of minority education should contain instruction of the minority language, literature and ethnography in the system from the 1st grade up.
Native language (minority language) and literature
1. Instruction of the native language (minority language), literature and culture plays a key role in minority education. Knowledge of the language contributes to the formation of a minority identity and enables the understanding of the minority's literary values. The language acts a catalyst for the community and as a binding element which holds it together. This duty can be fulfilled by teaching of the minority ethnography and culture together.
2. Instruction of the minority language is aimed at the development of practical language ability, oral and written understanding of the minority language and use of the language at the level of cultivated everyday speech. The central task of literary instruction is to familiarize the pupils with the literature of the minority and the mother country, to awaken an interest in literature (reading) and to inspire and reinforce the desire to read in the native language (minority language).
3. Teaching of the native language (minority language) and literature orients itself to the forms of minority education.
a) Within the forms of traditional and extended language training, the local curriculum for the minority language and literature shall be formulated on the basis of the general developmental requirements for minority language and literature and the detailed requirements set forth for each individual minority group as issued simultaneously in the respective minority language and in the Hungarian language as a part of this Decree. The basis for establishing the requirements shall be the age group characteristics of the pupils and the detailed requirements for spoken languages set forth in the National Master Curriculum, with due consideration of the goals and content of minority education. The detailed requirements for each individual minority group shall be formulated by the end of the 4th grade as well. Instruction of the minority language and literature shall start from the 1st grade.
b) Within the forms of native language (minority language) and bi-lingual education the local curriculum for the minority language and literature shall be prepared on the basis of the general developmental requirements for minority language and literature and the detailed requirements following the approach and structure of the NMC as set forth for each individual minority group and issued simultaneously in the respective minority language and in the Hungarian language as a part of this Decree. Native language (minority language) instruction shall begin starting from the 1st grade.
The relationship between Hungarian language and literature and the minority native language
With due respect to the fact that the goal of minority education is the preservation and reinforcement of minority identity, in the course of integrating the general developmental and detailed requirements for Hungarian language and literature in the school's pedagogical program and the local curriculum it should be taken into account that, from the perspective of minority national identity, the attachment may be to the culture, language and literature of a different nation.
1. The subject of minority studies shall contain information on the culture, history and traditions of the mother countries of the individual minority groups, and their broader language communities. The general developmental requirements and the detailed requirements set forth for each individual minority group and issued simultaneously in the respective minority language and in the Hungarian language as a part of this Decree shall be related to several educational fields of the National Master Curriculum (in particular Native Language and Literature, Mankind and the Environment, Environmental Awareness, Our World and Environment, the Arts) and shall conform to the contents and structure of such fields.
2. The general subject fields of minority studies:
a) the minority language and physical and intellectual culture
3. Minority studies may be conducted as an independent subject or as integrated into the educational fields of the National Master Curriculum, and it is necessary that it occur as out-of-class activities as well (e.g. study groups, vacation camps, excursions, folk singing and dancing groups, playhouses, theater groups, musical groups). Collection work, creative activities and individual or group research projects related to physical and intellectual culture are of enhanced pedagogical value. Emphasis should be placed on minority-related content in instruction which is integrated into certain subjects, in the case of singing-music, dance and drama instruction.
4. For individual minority groups, the minority studies requirements may be formulated more demandingly in the bi-lingual and native language forms than in the language training form. In the event that minority studies are instructed as an independent subject, the language of instruction should be the minority language; if it is integrated, it may be the minority language, Hungarian or both.
5. The requirements of minority studies shall be coordinated with the requirements set forth in native language (minority language) and literature instruction and the other educational fields.
Native language (minority language) and literature
(Instruction language and bi-lingual educational forms)
General developmental requirements
The requirements for native language and literature are the same as the general developmental requirements for the educational field of Native language and literature summarized in the 10 points of the National Master Curriculum, with the difference that such points apply to the minority language and literature in question and in the 10th point the instructional material related to the literature of the given language which is mandatory for instruction in all schools must be indicated. Following special requirements listed below must be fulfilled in all schools:
In the native language and bi-lingual educational forms, material related to world literature may be taught in the minority language.
1. Preparation of language skills required for cooperation and cultivated linguistic behavior. Developing awareness that communication is an individual and social value and that the culture of speech is an important element of interpersonal and social understanding.
a) Pupils should recognize the significance of the given language as a communicative tool for thoughts, feelings and intentions.
b) Pupils should use proper word intonation, feel the different kinds of sentences and the various modes of intonation, depending on the intent of the speech act. The sounds of the given language should be articulated properly, the relation and differences between the spoken sounds and the written letters should be clear.
c) Pupils should be able to participate in conversations and arguments.
d) Ability to formulate questions and answers, adding information to what is heard; cooperation with partners in conversations.
e) Narration of everyday experiences.
2. Learning to produce written texts which comply with the written standards of the native language and minority language.
a) Development of orderly writing skills and speed.
b) Pupils should be able to apply the basic structural grammatical elements of the given language.
c) Ability to properly take dictation.
d) Self-revision and correction should occur with an increasing degree of independence.
3. Development of text comprehension, which represents understanding of the essential content of everyday and literary types of texts.
a) Ability to read out loud and silently at an appropriate speed.
b) Enrichment of the pupil's active vocabulary with the knowledge from the works which are read and presentation of the material read (explanation of the message of the work, expression of life situations, feelings, and human relationships).
4. Knowledge of the literature appropriate for the age group, awareness of the folk poetry and literary works of the given minority as a tool of self-expression.
a) A desire to read should develop within the pupil and they should feel that they are able to perceive the intellectual and emotional perspective of the given minority though the literary works.
b) Pupils should understand their own belonging and the relation of their immediate environment to the given minority and through this, their belonging to a people.
1. Preparation of language skills required for cooperation and cultivated linguistic behavior.
a) Development of a deeper ability and need to communicate in the given language.
b) Pupils should be able to use their native language (minority language) in all situations as a communicative tool. Recognition of the advantages of bi-lingualism.
c) Ability to recognize the relation between the contents of a speech act and the intention of the speaker.
2. Learning to produce written texts which comply with the written standards of the native language and minority language.
a) Pupils should use written language as an instrument of self-expression.
b) Pupils should consciously apply the phonological, morphological and syntax rules of the given language.
c) Ability to use the grammatical structures and categories of the given language.
d) Ability to use a style and form appropriate to the situation and intention when writing texts.
3. Development of text comprehension, which means understanding the everyday texts and literary works.
a) Pupils should know the formation and development of the native language (minority language) literature.
b) Know about the lives of the most important writers and poets and their works. Be familiar with the artists and works belonging to the given ethnic group.
c) Pupils should be able to independently analyze works and express their opinion on such.
Minority language and literature
(Traditional and extended language training minority education forms)
General developmental requirements
1. Oral comprehension, oral expression skills
a) Pupils should have the confidence to speak in their native language and this speech confidence and self-confidence should be continuously enhanced.
b) Pupils should understand and be able to follow simple instructions of the teacher.
c) Pupils should be able to ask questions in a simple manner, to answer and provide information and to make requests in speech situations.
d) Pupils should be able to complete listening comprehension exercises and be able to request assistance in the event of difficulties.
e) Pupils should learn and be able to recite several songs, rhymes, and poems in the given language.
2. Reading comprehension skills
a) Awaken an interest in the culture of the ethnic group.
b) Recognize and understand known written words and expressions. Express such understanding by actions, words or in writing.
c) Ability to read a text in the given language as appropriate for the age group.
d) Ability to emphasize certain simple information in a text.
e) Pupils should have experience in silently reading texts consisting of simple, known linguistic elements.
3. Writing skills
a) Pupils should be able to copy a simple text in the given language and to take simple dictation properly.
b) Pupils should be able to write simple, factual information in the given language.
c) Pupils should be able to write a continuous text consisting of a few sentences based on a pattern (dialogue, message, greeting card, introduction).
1. Oral comprehension, oral expression skills
a) Pupils should be able to use the given language in everyday communication situations.
b) Pupils should be able to formulate what they have to say in a form that is appropriate for the content.
c) Pupils should be able to start and hold a conversation, give account of their experiences and give and receive information.
2. Reading comprehension skills
a) Pupils should be able to understand and process a more complex text (with the aid of the teacher during class or as a home reading assignment).
b) Pupils should be familiar with some literary works (poems, short novels, narrations, novels) from the culture of the given language.
c) Pupils should have the desire to read in the minority language.
d) Pupils should be able to read out loud from any of the kinds of texts which are studied (with proper intonation and presenting the emphasis of the text).
3. Writing skills
a) Pupils should be able to apply the basic linguistic and grammatical rules of the given language and be able to draw comparisons between Hungarian and the minority language.
b) Pupils should be familiar with the intellectual culture of the minority and with the advantages of bi-lingualism via works about the culture of the given ethnic group. They should be able translate simple texts, in accordance with their level of knowledge.
c) Pupils should be able to present in writing the essential elements and message of certain literary works.
(For all education forms)
General developmental requirements
1. Pupils should be able to draw on knowledge about the ethnic group from various sources, to be familiar with the minority bonds of the family and environment and to know the particular features of music, traditional culture and language usage.
2. Pupils should know the national symbols and holidays of the minority.
3. Pupils should know the regional and national location of the minority.
1. Pupils should know the outstanding events in the cultural life of the minority (mother country), the national and regional festivals, personalities and works. Pupils should be able to draw on information from a variety of sources.
2. Pupils should know the history and demographics of the mother country.
3. Pupils should know the history of the minority in Hungary and critical turning points with their history.
4. Pupils should know the Hungarian system of minority and human rights. Pupils should be able to formulate opinions and discuss issues affecting the minority. Pupils should develop their own opinion about events and situations affecting the minority.
5. Pupils should know the extent of the minority outside of the mother country.
6. Pupils should know the international relations of the given minority.
Source: Office for National and Ethnic Minorities in Hungary