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NEWS ROUNDUP 22 Nov 2017

Hungary's bravest educational activist is only 19 years old

Ivett Korösi recommended by Ivett Korösi Nepszava, Hungary

Though Bendeguz Bradanovics is not yet 20 years old, he sends chills down the spine of the Minister of Human Capacities whenever he speaks in public. Despite his young age, he has long been a critic of the Hungarian education system.

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Why this story matters:

Though Bendeguz Bradanovics is not yet 20 years old, he sends chills down the spine of the Minister of Human Capacities whenever he speaks in public. Despite his young age, he has long been a critic of the Hungarian education system.

He has been a student most of his life so he knows what he is talking about. His suggestions, however, are not always welcome.

Today, the Minister of Human Capacities, Zoltan Balog, held a speech in which he evaluated the past year from an educational perspective. Before the event, Bradanovics told Nepszava he would not keep silent during the talk.

As a member of the Independent Student Parliament (FDP) he planned to give the politician a list of 80 demands. Among others, they want to put an end to the practice of bringing students and kindergarten children to political events. As of today, it was not certain whether he succeeded with his „mission” but I would not be surprised if he hadn’t.

Last year, Bradanovics was interrupted while he was giving a critical speech about the education policies of the government, at local student parliament meeting. The chair of the meeting claimed that the then high-school student was getting too personal. He was eventually allowed to speak but he had to erase the „insults” from his text.

It is worth taking a look at his words, which were later made public on the internet.

“...the obscurantism seems deliberate. They don't want students to be creative beings who think but people who agree with every decision of the current government,” he wrote.

It was a turbulent period in the Hungarian education system. Months before, teachers, parents and students took to the streets to protest against the decreasing level of education, the centralization of the system and the scarcity of resources.

A year has passed since Bradanovics was censored, but he and his fellow activists were not silenced.

Details from the story:

  • Bradanovics told Nepszava that he wanted to hand the list of demands to the Minister of Human Capacities personally. “I demand answers to our suggestions from him, not just a nonsense letter from a state secretary”, he said.
  • The students, among others, would like to see the launch of an electronic system through which students could evaluate teachers.
  • They would also like students to participate in the election of school principles. According to them, if boards of teachers can have a say in it, they should as well.

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