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Dispute over new national curriculum

February 6th, 2020

In a fierce debate about the government’s plans to revise the national curriculum, its critics and supporters accuse each other of being ideological heirs of the Communists.

In an interview with Népszava, László Miklósi, chair of the Association of History Teachers, and others criticize the new school curriculum (see BudaPost January 10). According to the critics, the new curriculum distorts Hungarian history. They also think that both the history and the literature curriculum reflect the government’s nationalist authoritarian vision. In addition, they find it highly problematic that the same curriculum will be used in different types of schools, and teachers will have no room to divert from the curriculum. The new curriculum reminds some of its critics of the ideologically motivated versions imposed in the pre-1989 Communist curricula.

Magyar Nemzet’s Tamás Pataki, on the other hand, finds such criticism destructive. The pro-government commentator writes that those who lambast the new curriculum’s national focus ‘are complicit in the destruction of the one thousand year old Hungarian state’. Pataki likens the critics of the revised curriculum to past Communist ideologists, claiming that they have no sense of the importance of national heroism and patriotism.