Pro-government news sites and the government’s press conference today also indicated that, contrary to previous news, English-language kindergartens are not in danger.
Government spokeswoman Alexandra Szentkirályi said there is no new rule, but a long-standing 10-year rule for kindergarten classes. According to this, foreign language classes can still be organized in kindergartens, there is no question of banning English language education. However, the name of the institution should be in line with its educational program. A dozen kindergartens are affected by this situation, who have only been reminded in a letter that the name should be in line with the actual program. That is, if a kindergarten calls itself an English kindergarten, it should not be the case that they only hold one English language lesson per week.
As we reported yesterday, according to 24.hu, one of the kindergartens using English-language education was recently ordered to immediately remove the reference that they are teaching English from the name of the institution and remove it from its educational program as well. Other institutions have also recently reported that they received similar letters from the relevant government agency.
According to the letters sent on the basis of 24.hu’s report, in the case of non-ethnic kindergartens, where education can only take place in Hungarian, the inclusion of any term referring to foreign language education in the name of the institution is in conflict with the National Public Education Act. As they write, the government decree on the national basic program of kindergarten education does not provide for the possibility of teaching a foreign language, so it cannot be included in the kindergartens’ educational program either.
The ministry, on the other hand, also said that contrary to the claims of several news portals, English-language classes can continue to be held in kindergartens in the future, and private institutions that currently call themselves English-language kindergartens can continue to operate, however they could also use legitimate names that are in line with their educational programs. According to the ministry, this legal environment is not new, but the practice of irregular use of names has now come to the attention of the Ministry, which is why the institutions concerned have been contacted.
featured photo: Tamás Sóki/MTI