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Hungary to Introduce Epidemiology as Part of Biology Classes in Schools

Fanni Kaszás 2020.07.15.

The revised Hungarian National Core Curriculum (NAT), the framework curricula and education programs which will take effect in September, will significantly reshape secondary school biology education, Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet reported on Tuesday. The new volume of the biology books also includes new topics such as “presentation of the chemical basis of life and ideas about its origin, or a deeper analysis of the biological basis and technological aspects of variability.”

In line with the new curriculum, new topics will be included in the biology books. Talking about the changes and additional topics, textbook developer Gábor Veres told the pro-government daily that “nowadays, epidemiology, other medical fields and agricultural technologies raise many problems and questions. The students will also get an idea on ​​the topic of evolution, taking into account the latest theories and results.”

According to Veres, the changes are justified by the natural and technological challenges of the 21st century and the methodological development of learning and teaching. He also said that in the wake of the changes, there is a new emphasis on describing life experiences among communities in their studies, so there is an opportunity for independent research and experiential learning.

According to the expert, the curriculum also includes topics that are close to the interests of adolescents. On the topic of human skin, for example, tattoos and body modifications are also discussed. In addition, the structure and functioning of the human body remains a key issue, but the book will also cover sustainability, and the natural values ​​of the Earth and the Carpathian Basin.

“For example, there is a practice where students can test the fat content of different foods; while there is a type of task in the book called ‘Become an expert!’ which also helps with modeling the spread of a virus,” said the textbook developer. According to Veres, based on the framework curriculum, the biology curriculum has decreased somewhat, although not as significantly as in the case of physics or chemistry.

featured photo: illustration (Péter Komka/MTI)