news letter Our mobile application

Weekly newsletter

Gov’t to Set Up School Guard Service, Lower Age of Criminal Responsibility to Protect Teachers

Fanni Kaszás 2020.05.28.

The Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI) has submitted a proposal to the National Assembly to amend the Public Education Act. The proposal mainly focuses on increased protection for teachers, with the aim of putting an end to teacher abuse. The planned legislation guarantees that teachers can work in a safe environment and in calm conditions and creates the possibility that, if necessary, a body set up to perform police tasks, be involved in school life in order to protect them.

Among others, the amendment includes the necessary legislative regulations to provide a completely free textbook supply for all students from September 2020, and also expands the range of students with special educational needs who are entitled to basic art education free of charge. At the request of ethnic self-governments, a new type of institution is added to the institutional system for ethnic education: ethnic kindergarten.

It also includes that the qualification requirements for teachers will not change for now, but in the future the relevant provisions will not be included in the law, but rather in a separate government decree. The ministry explained its decision due to the transformation of teacher training, the annex to the National Public Education Act had to be amended 7 times since its introduction 8 years ago. In the future, it will be sufficient enough to transfer the technical amendments in a government decree.

Government to set up school guard service

At today’s press briefing of the government, Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office announced that the cabinet decided to set up a school guard service which in the first phase will affect some 500 schools, including 140-150 vocational schools.

The guard service will include 500 school guards, recruited mainly from former police officers and will be constantly present as part of the teaching staff in schools, especially in those that have been most affected by serious disciplinary issues. According to Gulyás, there are schools and areas where teachers are at risk, which is “intolerable.” The guards will not carry guns but they will be authorized to apply coercive measures, if needed.

In addition, a range of criminal activities – including all criminal acts committed against teachers – will be extended to be punishable from the age of 12, because “it is not permissible for anyone to threaten or commit a crime against a teacher.” The government agreed with MPs of the affected areas, all of whom supported this proposal, according to Gulyás. He added that further disciplinary action may also be needed at a later date.

featured photo: illustration, János Vajda/MTI