Response to Covid-19 during the school year 2020-2021 (as in April 2021)
In Hungary, upper secondary schools switched to online teaching from 11th November 2020, while kindergarten, primary and lower secondary schools went online from 8th March 2021. Hungary experienced a serious third wave, peaking around the end of March 2021. The general re-opening strategy is based on progress in vaccination. The school opening schedule was controversial in public discourse. The government decided on a partial re-opening from 19th April with the following conditions:
• Government prioritised the vaccination of teachers in the weeks before a partial school opening. Teachers - on a voluntary basis - would have received at least one shot of the Pfizer vaccine. This would assure teachers at least partial protection against the virus.
• According to the 21/2021 (IV.16) ministerial decision of the Minister for Human Resources, kindergarten and primary schools re-opened on 19th April, while lower and upper secondary classes remained to be instructed online until the 10th of May.
• In closed settings, schools and kindergarten are obliged to organise daycare if there is demand for it, and dormitories can be opened for those in need, by the decision of the director.
• If some parents would not allow their child to school out of fear of the pandemic situation, this can be considered a justified absence.
Secondary school final, matura exams begin on 3rd of May. Secondary schools will not open until that day, but schools can organise face-to-face consultations in small groups at the decision of the director. The same applies to vocational education exam preparations. Only written parts of matura exams will be organized, with a few exceptional subjects, where practical exams will be organized (for example Informatics or Physical Education).
Teachers in Hungary mobilised online, created/shared communities and helped each other to adjust, find solutions and share resources. Many schools did not have a Virtual Learning Environment back in 2020 but after the schools closed, they had identified one.
The MoE provides regularly updated guidelines for remote teaching and online tools commonly used by teachers. There is a national compulsory e-grade book system in place where all teachers, parents, students have an account. The main challenges are to provide enough server capacity for online platforms and to provide solutions for families with limited hardware or connectivity available.
Despite joint efforts of stakeholders (MoE, teachers, parents and indeed pupils), long online teaching certainly caused a general drop in performance, to an extent hard to estimate at the moment.
Response to Covid-19 during the school year 2020-2021
Teachers in Hungary mobilised online, created/shared communities and helped each other to adjust, find solutions and share resources. Many schools did not have a Virtual Learning Environment but after the schools closed, they had identified one.
The MoE provide regularly udpated guidelines for remote teaching and online tools commonly used by teachers. There is a national compulsory e-gradebook system in place where all teachers, parents, students have an account. One of the main challenges is to provide enough capacity for online platforms and solutions for families with limited hardware or software available.