Hungary's patriotic education starts in kindergarten

National identity and Christian values are among the topics Hungarian children will be taught in kindergarten.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Hungary's patriotic education starts in kindergarten - NewsMavens
Child drawing, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

How do you talk about national identity and patriotism with a 3-year-old child? Well, that is a tough question that Hungarian teachers will have to figure out soon. According to the state's amended educational program it will be their task, as of this fall, to "strengthen the national identity" of Hungary's youngest citizens.

The ministry of education thinks it crucial that kids learn about "Christian cultural values", and "love of the homeland" from an early age.

Preferably through folk-tales and mythological stories "that revive Hungarian history".

It is clear that the conservative government wants to control the minds of the children from an early age. There is of course nothing wrong with learning about history and patriotism, but if it was a balanced educational program there would be equal emphasis on tolerance, acceptance and multiculturalism -- which there isn't.

Details from the story:

  • Kindergarten is compulsory in Hungary. Children are enrolled at the age of 3.
  • The amendment of the educational programme was unnecessary, since folk-tales have already been part of the curriculum and there has already been an emphasis on national identity -- said Anna Bakonyi, a member of the Hungarian Pedagogical Society's Department for the Education of Infants.
  • It is concerning that the amendment might be used by some institutions in the wrong way -- she added.
  • Another expert told the newspaper Nepszava that it is potentially worrisome that in some kindergartens teachers would not find the right balance and would overdo the patriotic education.
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