In the first half of 2023, almost weekly protests were held over the education system in Budapest, Hungary. In some cases they were organized by teachers’ unions, in others they were planned by students. Based on the study done by the Republikon Institute, 62% of the Hungarian population rate the education system as “bad” (Republikon, 2023).
The “Status Law” is a bill by the Hungarian Ministry of Interior the purpose of which is to regulate the new career path of pedagogues. The educators are deeply unsatisfied with their current work conditions and have been on strike constantly for more than a year now without any success. The “Status Law” is the response by the government to the demands, but in reality, it does not offer a solution. In fact, it only worsens circumstances.
Teachers’ salaries are a topic every year. This time, however, it is different. In addition to internal arguments about the state of education, external developments – inflation and the public deficit – also play an important role.
In Slovakia, we need more alternatives, more private schools to help all children. Especially in a situation where we have 2.6% of children attending private primary schools.
If I were the Minister of Education, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second when it comes to autonomous schools. They create a relatively small opposition among the interest groups in Education, they can achieve a lot in the long-term perspective.
The quality of Germany’s educational system will also have an impact on its economic success. Since the German economy is based to a considerable extent on world-leading technology, a passing score can rapidly turn into rustication. Therefore, some liberal extra lessons are urgently needed.
The education system in Slovakia stands before a challenge: the last significant changes were implemented in the 19th century, yet the system is supposed to meet the standards of the 21st century. Thus the education system has to go through a radical transformation, not just a series of cosmetic changes.
There is a long history of schooling in Estonia, education is highly valued. As an IT-country, Estonia is working on better integration of IT into curricula. Our challenges are related to demographic changes, changes in school network and making teaching a more attractive profession.