Several government measures seek to help families with the beginning of the school year this year.

Bence Rétvári, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Human Capacities said today there is tangible evidence to show Hungarian families that the government is seeking to remove a large part of their burdens at the beginning of the school year; the range of benefits has been extended significantly.

He said compared with the 2010 budget, in 2020 funds allocated to education will increase by HUF 645 billion.

Mr Rétvári added that the allocation available for the pay of teachers will increase to the largest extent; next year, the government will spend HUF 355 billion more for that purpose compared with the dedicated expenditures of local governments in 2010. He recalled that a pay rise of 50 per cent on average had been implemented, and in consequence of the various teacher qualification procedures, teachers can earn up to an extra HUF 70,000.

Additionally, the funding of child meals has increased; from HUF 29 billion in 2010 it will increase to HUF 82 billion next year.

Mr Rétvári highlighted that the funding provided for children’s free meals has increased 2.5-fold. This increased sum means that in creches and nursery schools 8 to 9 children out of 10 receive meals free of charge, while also in schools ever more children are eligible for free meals, meaning that a former social benefit is becoming increasingly a family support element. The allowance per day has also increased, and from this they are able to provide healthier meals for children.

The State Secretary further pointed out that the state finances the first successful language examination as well as the fee of the driving test.

The possibility for students in the 9th and 11th grades to attend language courses twice in a foreign-language environment for two weeks will start in the next school year.

Deputy State Secretary for Public Education Zoltán Maruzsa said the printing presses had printed all textbooks by 1 August, and delivery of the textbooks to schools has begun.

Textbooks have arrived in almost all institutions by now, or will arrive in the next few days. In total, 13 million textbooks have been delivered to schools, he said.

This is a significant change compared with before 2010, the Deputy State Secretary pointed out, adding that in grades 1 to 9 all students receive textbooks free of charge. At the same time, from the 2020 school year all students attending public education will receive textbooks free of charge.

Mr Maruzsa also spoke about the measures which seek to reduce bureaucracy. From the next school year onwards, they will pay Könyvtárellátó Nonprofit Kft. (Kello) directly, and schools will only be required to submit their textbook orders.

(Ministry of Human Capacities/MTI)