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Hungarian Ministry of Public Education

Министерства народного образования Венгрии

Prior to World War II, public education in Hungary was overseen by the Ministry of Religion and Education. The Ministry was assisted by the National Council of Education that dealt with elementary and secondary education. Primary education (when provided by the state) was free. There was also a university system, trade schools, institutes for economics and the arts, and military academies. After World War II, a National Council of Public Education was formed that was connected to the Ministry of Culture. Both entities managed the nation’s educational system. The creation of the State-sponsored general school overhauled Hungary’s primary education in the immediate post-war era. General schools were tuition free. During the formation of the “people’s democracy” (1948 to 1950) and the formation of the Hungarian Socialist Republic; all schools were nationalized and special emphasis was placed on “social composition” of the nation’s student population. To oversee religious schooling, the government developed a State Office for Denominational Affairs. It also abolished the National Council of Education (replacing it with the Scientific Pedagogical Institute), it created DISZ (Association of Working Youth) that later was reformed as KISZ (Communist Youth League), and it overhauled the nation’s curriculum along Marxist-Leninist lines at all educational levels. Management and educational decisions were ultimately guided by the Communist Party of Hungary via its Scientific and Public Education Section.

Sources & Citations

Kenez, P. (2006). Hungary from the Nazis to the Soviets: the establishment of the Communist regime in Hungary, 1944-1948. New York: Cambridge University Press. (pp. 190-194, establishment of youth organizations)
Braham, R. L. (1970) Education in the Hungarian People’s Republic. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. (pp. 9-30, overview of education in Hungary)