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Mother Tongue Education in the Carpathian Basin a Priority

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.07.04.

Ensuring Hungarian mother tongue education in all regions of the Carpathian Basin is a top priority for the Hungarian government, Péter Szilágyi, Deputy State Secretary for National Policy of the Prime Minister’s Office, said in Rimaszombat, (Rimavská Sobota, in today’s Slovakia, at the opening of the 31st Summer University of the Association of Hungarian Teachers in Slovakia (SZMPSZ) on Monday.

At the opening ceremony of the event, held in the Csillagház, the venue of the Reformed Church in Rimaszombat, Péter Szilágyi spoke of

the importance for Hungarians to have been able to pursue their professional and scientific development in their mother tongue, since the dawn of the modern era,

citing a historical example. The Deputy State Secretary said that in order to achieve scientific progress, our ancestors often went to study abroad in order to put their knowledge to good use at home, but then the education system was established in the Carpathian Basin, enabling students to complete university studies in their own language.

As an example, the politician mentioned one of the most famous figures of the peregrine students, István Hatvani, born in Rimaszombat 305 years ago, who, after studying in several Western European cities, did not accept the invitation of the University of Leiden or Heidelberg, but returned to the Carpathian Basin and started teaching in Debrecen in eastern Hungary, instead.

István Hatvani, (1718-1786) doctor of medicine, mathematician, magician, teacher at the Debrecen College; Photo: Wikipedia.org

Szilágyi underlined that knowledge is prestigious, knowledge is power, and that is why it is a top priority for the government of Hungary to ensure the possibility of education in the native language of Hungary in all regions of the Carpathian Basin, from the first steps to university.

“We followed the example of our ancestors and the will of our great scholars when we acted in this way,” Szilágyi pointed out, adding that the system that has been built up has proved to be crisis-proof even in times of the pandemic, and now the aim is to preserve these achievements in the face of war and sanctions crises,

…so that Hungarian schools can be a source of quality, with not less, but more opportunities,”

he said. Szilágyi also pointed out that it was in line with this objective that the education and training grant was increased this year from HUF 22,500 (EUR 60) to HUF 100,000 (EUR 266),  available to all children and young people attending education in their Hungarian mother tongue, in the regions of the Carpathian Basin abroad, from nursery to higher education.

Péter Szilágyi in Rimaszombat in front of Hungarian teachers. Photo: MTI/Kovács Tamás

He underlined that this year, as part of the thematic years of national policy, the “Year of the Caring Nation” was proclaimed, with the message that national cohesion is a strategic goal and an achievement that will not be allowed to fade away in difficult times.

We will continue to care for our communities: Hungarian organizations, schools, churches, and entrepreneurs alike,”

emphasized Szilágyi.

Through Hungarian Eyes - Exhibition of Photo and Drawing Competition
Through Hungarian Eyes - Exhibition of Photo and Drawing Competition

The three themes this time around were motherland, mother tongue and mother heart, the State Secretariat for National Policy reported.Continue reading

Featured image: Facebook/Nemzetpolitikai Államtitkárság

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