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School Guard Program: Two-thirds of Applicants Unfit, Rejected

Ábrahám Vass 2020.08.05.

Two-thirds of the applications have been rejected to the government’s new school guard program, due to unsuitability, the National Police Headquarters (ORFK) told left-wing daily Népszava.

Until the end of July, a total of 1,409 applications came in, but after health, physical, and psychological admission tests, only 497 of the applicants got the chance to begin the one-month-long training. According to the police, 422 applicants would be assigned to on-site service and 75 as substitutes. Népszava, however, reports that this number narrowly fulfills the need, as in total, 478 schools would get guards, but one is barely enough in larger institutions, adding to potential fluctuation during and after the training.

Participants are now attending a 40 hour-long pedagogical and psychological training, 24-hour-long crime prevention and conflict management, and a 56-hour-long law enforcement and practical training. Each module will be concluded with an exam.

Meanwhile, policemen are increasingly worried that they could be ordered to take on school guard duty, an official of the Independent Police Trade Union (FRSZ) claimed. ORFK, however, insisted multiple times that applications to the program are and will remain voluntary.

While the government argues that there are schools and areas where teachers are at risk, professionals have long been criticizing the implementation of this new system, saying that their presence wouldn’t resolve the issues in depth. In addition, the guards, who only need four weeks of training to start working and who would still technically belong to the police force are being offered a higher salary than an entry-level teacher with a college degree.

featured image: illustration; via Tamás Kovács/MTI