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Socialists Slam Natl Curriculum as Promoting ‘Ideological Re-Education’

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.02.10.

The Socialist Party on Monday called for the scrapping of the recently amended national curriculum (NAT), saying it did not serve the interests of Hungarian youth and “openly promotes ideological re-education”.

Speaking at a press conference, Ágnes Kunhalmi, head of the party board and deputy leader of parliament’s cultural committee, said NAT was “ultra-conservative” and promoted a perception of the nation based on the political approach of the 1920s and 1930s. NAT does not help Hungary in catching up with the modern states of the 21st century, she said.

Kunhalmi said politics should steer clear of the curriculum’s contents and trust professionals to shape it.

‘More Patriotic’ National Curriculum Accepted Amid Significant Protest

The Socialists have signed an opposition proposal recently submitted to parliament, proposing to rescind the curriculum, she said.

Speaking at the same presser, Socialist Deputy House Speaker István Hiller said NAT was “not a professional document but a hallmark of the ruling parties’ attempt to conquer cultural ground as they did in politics and the economy”. He said NAT was based on outdated educational guidelines, and promoted encyclopaedic knowledge instead of the opportunities of choice and critical thinking.

Answering a question on Socialist politicians attending the annual speech of Democratic Coalition (DK) leader Ferenc Gyurcsány, Kunhalmi said politicians of the two parties had attended each other’s events as a “friendly gesture” for years. The Socialists have held “for a very long time, as do DK and Gyurcsány”, that opposition parties have to fully cooperate if they want to win in 2022, by fielding a joint candidate for prime minister and for each individual mandate, she said. The party also supports a joint opposition list, she said.

Featured photo by Attila Kovács/MTI