Hungarian nationalist curriculum undergoes resistance

The education system in Hungary is encountering serious resistance regarding the new nationalist curriculum.

A nationalist curriculum for the modern ages

The Hungarian government wants to incorporate 19th-century nationalism in today’s education curriculum, but a significant number of opposing parties are blocking its full implementation.

The Director-General for the Petofi Museum of Literature, Szilard Demeter is in full support of the incorporation of the nationalist curriculum into Hungary’s education system. He is also known as a key supporter of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Mr. Demeter reads a dark clothed book when he goes into his office at the Petofi Museum of Literature in Budapest. A book of essays in 1943 from a nationalist, Ferenc Herczeg. The book was a gift from another nationalist supporter, Miklos Horthy, an admiral and statesman turned Regent of Hungary in the 20th-century.

The Herczeg book is a part of the few compulsory reading materials for the new Hungarian nationalist curriculum, which will take effect September this year.

According to Mr. Demeter:

It is our duty to share our country’s heritage to our future generations. Public education teaches us the value of family, work, and patriotism.

Political spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs also added:

There’s no such thing as neutral education. We live by our values, and the Hungarian society is as equally as different as other societies.

The resistance

Online resistance against the nationalist curriculum outnumbers by a small margin those who are in favor. Many believe that this new curriculum will eventually end up in an authoritarian form, where students will be forced to believe in everything the teacher says instead of having the freedom for critical thinking.

The President of the Association of Hungarian History Teachers, Laszlo Miklosi is one of the resistance leaders of this new curriculum. He objects to the new education system because he believes it’s a mockery of history.

They are set to glorify the past, relive the past, and think that they can make a better version of it today.

The resistance believes that having the new curriculum will just damage the country’s unity and culture, as well as take away the freedom for critical thinking.

But in a state on the nation speech by Prime Minister Orban, last February 16, 2020, he reiterated that the purpose of the revamp is to showcase the nation’s pride to the world, make us proud as Hungarians for accomplishing amazing feats on our own.