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Innovations and developments - Hungary

From the eighties on, modern external and internal evaluation systems have been established (applied in smaller volume so far) in public education, oriented to the independence of the local (maintainer) institution in Hungary. 

One of the most significant changes affecting education was that assessment and the question of quality in close connection became the centre of attention. 

Several elements of the unified quality assessment system, though they are loosely connected to each other, are already operating in public education. Thanks to this, during establishing the unified, three-level (institution, maintainer, ministry) system, experiences accumulated during content regulation, evaluation activity on institution level, evaluation of public education on ministry level and the already operating service providing systems can be relied on. To not a small extent can the system be built on operating practice. 

Due to stronger differentiation of the notion of quality the term “added value” was started to be applied to judge the activity of certain institutions. It can be attributed to this, that opposed to the  traditional academic point of view and traditional education values, schools by then rated as weak have proved to  do significant, and in some cases even outstanding activity and work, considering their opportunities and circumstances. 

Pedagogical assessment is one of the most developed fields of education theory and education research in Hungary. There are researchers, developers and users at international level.

Pedagogical assessment and the research and development of education methods are interrelated in several ways. During education development newer and newer feedback circles joined the system; feedback in this case was the assessment itself. Connecting evaluation to the development of methods is justified because the need to renew education methodology culture is rather remarkable. Consequently and with its help pedagogical evaluation will unavoidably become part of institutional practice. 

The change of paradigm in the education policy thinking regarding pupils with special education needs, emphasising equal opportunities in order to ensure cohesion in society, and in the quality policy occurring as requirement in these efforts also provided much greater support from the society to realise these targets than earlier.

Realisation of inclusive education in mainstream schools is supported and assisted by the legal background, teacher training and in-service teacher training programmes launched and application programmes which encourage schools to co-operate in consortium and help to form the practice of acceptance.

The policy for educating pupils with special education needs, helps the practice of acceptance by providing possibilities to modify the chosen frame curricula contents and requirements, when marking the contents the possibilities for omitting or simplifying certain parts respective of possibilities for involving new parts, the areas for rehabilitation correction of the disabled abilities, suggestions for expanding education, teaching and development for a longer time than usual.

The legal regulations support the education of pupils with special education needs in mainstream institutions, thereby enabling to carry special knowledge into the mainstream by turning special institutions into methodological institutions. With this the developing activity adjusted to individual peculiarities, based on pedagogical measures and the assessment practice will occur in the pedagogical practice more emphatically. 

Strengthening the readiness of schools to accept creates new possibilities for the social learning process for all, disabled and not disabled children. Finding the way connected to acceptance and innovations in the institutions result in significant quality improvement in the work of the receiving school as well.

The legal background in Hungary regarding the operation of institutions and funding education is favourable for the inclusive education of pupils with disabilities. 

The reforms and development targets put special emphasis on forming the conditions for inclusive education and teaching in as many institutes as possible. To help this, a comprehensive plan for measures and development has been worked out known as the National Development Plan Human Resource Operative Programme. The improvement of the tool system supporting inclusion, working out programmes for teacher training, professional services, strengthening the role of guidance and creating opportunities favours the co-education of pupils with special education needs.

The general aim of forming and operating the public education quality management system is to found an effective and reasonable operation of public education and develop it continuously. By emphasising equity and fairness the system to be formed serves:

  • evaluation of the realisation of education and education development aims set on the different levels of content regulation, continuous feedback on results,
  • functioning of planning, development and feedback by making the results of evaluation and assessment available to all the participants in public education,
  • enabling all participants in the management of public education to practice their responsibility for the efficiency of services and exercise the principle of professional accountability in practice. 

On the institutional level of the quality assessment system the tasks of internal monitoring are not only to check the lawful operation and economy, also in accordance with the accepted strategic documents, but they are completed with evaluating the efficiency of education tasks, pupils’ performance, efficiency of structural operation, utilisation of resources, pupil and parent satisfaction and teachers’ work. 

Among the areas of quality assessment on the maintainer level the efficiency of the pedagogical activity of the institutions, the operation of the institution, the realisation of the pedagogical programme and the work of the institution manager will be emphasised.

One of the basic functions of quality assessment on branch level is the regular measuring of pupils’ performance in the country, preparing an examination system, a public education indicator system and creating public reports. Monitoring the selection marking system and the emergence of pupils’ rights, supported by nationwide thematic evaluations at all times in accordance with the aim of education policy can guarantee that good practice is established.

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