“The amended National Curriculum is manifestly patriotic, child-centric and 21st century”, State Secretary for Public Education Zoltán Maruzsa said on Thursday in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI.

“The goal is for children to learn about their national culture at school, to better understand historical and scientific contexts, to study languages more successfully, and to acquire viable knowledge at school”, the State Secretary said.

“The amended National Curriculum, which will come into force from September in an ascending system first affecting grades 1, 5 and 9, will not be new, but comprehensively amended, which has in part retained earlier successful elements, and has in part been renewed”, he told the press.

“The amended National Curriculum reinforces national identity, presents national culture, Christian cultural values, national traditions, Hungarian arts and the Hungarian language, facilitates the development of a common Hungarian literacy and increases the effectiveness of foreign language teaching”, he listed. “Digital skills, financial awareness, the created environment, and the protection of nature and health have been given increased emphasises within the new National Curriculum”, he added.

“And as a novelty, schools will have the opportunity to introduce a subject called Natural Sciences, which offers students physics, chemistry and biology studies in a more exciting, combined form as a science-type subject”, he indicated.

“Within the framework of preparing students for adult life, citizenship, financial, social and family studies have also been given greater emphasis. The amended National Curriculum also encourages active and informed citizen behaviour. Students will, for instance, learn how to use the government’s public administration portal and how to perform various pieces of administration. Within the field of mathematics, it emphasises the learning of everyday maths knowledge. In addition, the content of Hungarian language and literature, history and choir-music lessons have also undergone renewal”, the State Secretary explained.

He highlighted the fact that the maximum weekly school hours of students will be decreasing. “In the first three years of lower school, this will be 24 hours-a-week, 22 of which are mandatory. This maximum already includes the weekly five hours of physical education. The maximum school hours allowed for grades 11 and 12 will be 34 hours”, he continued.

“The new framework curricula have also been drawn up, and will be published on the website of the Education Office. The reworked school textbooks will also be available on time. We are absolutely on time”, the State Secretary said.

“There is nothing new in the criticism being voiced by the left-wing liberal opposition; they oppose everything that reinforces national identity in view of the fact that they do not want to preserve the Europe of nations, but want to create a Europe that has lost its identity and is full of immigrants, with weak nation states and gender schools in which students receive neither a national identity nor a sexual identity”, Mr Maruzsa declared. “This is something we do not want”, he stressed. With relation to Hungarian writers included in the Curriculum who the opposition has been objecting to, he said: “Albert Wass was already included in the 2012 National Curriculum, so is not at all new to the material. József Nyírő, along with Áron Tamási, are among the classics of Szekler literature”, he explained. “Imre Kertész and his Nobel prize-wining novel Fatelessness will be included in the framework curriculum that contains the detailed regulations of the National Curriculum”, he added.

“Via its new assessment and support systems, the National Curriculum, which has been renewed following a long process of preparation and many negotiations, will reduce premature school leaving without a diploma, and should increase equity”, he added.