Adult education in Hungary

Or rather its total lack of it. Learning throughout life (continuing education) was and still is a totally alien concept in Hungary. First of all, in the Kádár regime one rarely needed to learn new things. If you were a skilled worker in one of the large state factories your future was absolutely secure. It almost never happened that the worker lost his job or that within that factory entirely new skills had to be acquired. I guess one reason for this absence of learning was that the machinery the workers used didn't change a lot over time. (Most of the Hungarian factories' equipment at the time of change from socialism to capitalism was hopelessly obsolete.)  As for continuing education (a hot topic in the Hungarian media lately), it was limited to a very small group of people such as medical doctors, researchers, and university professors. I'm almost certain that a high school teacher of history didn't bother to read much after he got out of college.

A few days ago there was a conference organized by UNESCO on the topic of adult education and it turned out that the Hungarian situation is really bad. In Europe Hungary is dead last. Only about 5% of the adult population is involved in formal learning of any sort. Let's say, taking courses on handling the computer, using a word processing program, or getting around on the internet. The situation is especially bad in the older group, fifty and over. Only 5% of Hungarians over the age of 50 use the internet, as opposed to 30-40% of their peers in Western Europe, and even this 5% for the most part confine their use to e-mailing.

There is a late night program on ATV, Változások (Changes), that has in-depth discussions on various topics. For the last two weeks or so the theme has been public education. As part of the series the four experts had a vigorous discussion that began with a startling observation. One of the panelists claimed that Hungarians are not inclined to learn later in life because they think they know everything already. And they think they are superior to their neighbors. During the Kádár regime they got used to the idea that Hungary was the most desirable (or the least awful) place to live in the Soviet bloc. This false sense of superiority was further fueled by the relative successes of the first few years after 1990. The economy picked up, people started to live a bit better, and they somehow thought that this was going to last forever. Of course, economists and sociologists knew perfectly well that beneath the surface there are serious problems: half a million people with less than an eighth-grade education, another one million with no skills, too few people in the workforce, etc. Here and there attempts were made to organize job training programs for the uneducated and unskilled, but (as often happens with such programs) the students learned totally useless skills. People finished the course and there was still no job. No wonder that their enthusiasm didn't last long. What to do with these people, I haven't the foggiest. It seems that the Hungarian government doesn't know either.

Going back to non-job-related adult education, formal and informal. Americans have long had a fetish for self-improvement and a desire to learn new (often hobby) skills. They get together in informal literary clubs to discuss classical literature, modern fiction, or hot-button nonfiction titles. In almost every high school in the evenings there are adult education courses. At our high school one can take Arabic, flower arranging, introduction to computers and the internet, cooking, knitting, ballroom dancing, basic computer maintenance, ceramics, Spanish, tap dancing, yoga. Should I continue? The fees vary but are usually under $100. For the wealthy, universities organize foreign tours for alumni with the expert assistance of a faculty member. For no cost at all, people can listen to entire college courses. Many universities put some of their more famous lecturers on the internet. Recently I listened to 26 lectures on the American Civil War and Reconstruction, and currently I'm trying to squeeze in a course on Greek civilization.

Hungary is a wasteland in this respect. Once upon a time was a lecture series called Mindentudás egyeteme (University of all knowledge) that was very good. You could see it on television and on the internet. The funds given to the progam by a multinational corporation dried up and the series came to an end. Again, it was good but it was obvious that putting on these lectures was expensive. A huge lecture hall had to be rented, the lecturers had to be paid, and most likely they had to pay something to the television station as well. How much cheaper and simpler it is to videotape a university lecture. The professor comes free because he is giving his normal lecture for which he gets paid by the university. The only other expense is broadband service for the university's web site. And often foundations foot the bill.

One final thought. Using one's brain is apparently necessary for older people's mental health. Use it or lose it, the saying goes. Perhaps if Hungarians were more active mentally throughout their life they would feel younger and more fit. As for physical activity that is another story. Equally depressing.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Custom Essays
Guest

I have really found your post to be informative and this has compelled me to visit your blog over and over again. For the sake of relevance I’d like to thank you for your efforts in spreading academic information. Regards.

danial
Guest

good blog

goodlifeseminars.com
Guest

Adult education can be done at any phase of your life. Many adult education centers are available for you to continue your education. Many colleges and universities provide to what they sometimes call college degree program for mature students and many workplaces offer programs that perform the same function. Many adults who were not adequately trained computer skills at school, or whose skills are out of date for modern computers, go to information technology degrees to perfect their abilities. So if you’re thinking about going back to school then you need to visit online adult education directory provides lots of options and choices to adults who wish to continue their education. Check out their college degree programs features list to see if they fits with your needs. Success for you

college papers
Guest

i fond this subject is very use full

thesis papers
Guest

Great info on {the topic of the blog}. It will guide many of the readers.

Custom term papers
Guest

it’s great to see fresh, creative ideas that have never been done before.
Very good post. I have been searching for this post since many days. Now I have implemented the same for my site.

graduate school essay
Guest

Took me time to read all the comments, but I enjoyed the article.

Term Papers
Guest

It is good to see that information, really like to share this, this database really helps, Thanks for the information.

Web Royalty
Guest

So, nice your posting. It look’s so good in your posting. It is useful for all.
http://www.webroyalty.com

College Research Paper
Guest

I appreciate the work of all people who share information with others.

Nick Matyas
Guest

It’s really an impressive posting. I liked it & think that it will be helpful for others. Keep up the good work. Good luck.
Web Royalty

Nick Matyas
Guest

Your comments is very informative.
I like it very much. Keep up the good work.
webroyalty

NAme
Guest

Don’t forget the fact: Hungary have higher ratio of Nobel-award / capita than G8 countries.

College Application Essay
Guest

Nice blog.

College Application Essay
Guest

Nice blog.

College Application Essay
Guest

Nice blog

College Entrance Essay
Guest

Nice work

Haze Him Fraternity
Guest

Good post 🙂

Erik the Reader
Guest

It seems Eva you have quite a lot of spammers on your blog who are interested only in spreading their commercial links.
With due respect I think your blog is one-sided and you fail to face the untruth, unjustice and corruption perpetuated by MSZP and SzDSZ. Your hobbyhorse is just to write against Fidesz, Orbán and the treating with reverence Szdsz and Mszp.

Custom Thesis Writing
Guest

this kind of blog always useful for blog readers, it helps people during research. your post is one of the same for blog readers.

DISSERTATION EXPRESS
Guest

good one

essay-writing
Guest

good one post

custom essay writing
Guest

that’s great job

viagra online
Guest

Are there were any screenwriting classes or courses through an adult education center or workshop?
I was wondering if there were any workshops or adult ed classes on screenwriting in connecticut.I’d be willing to travel but dont want to go all the way to NY.I am not interested in an online course.I’d like a course with a teacher if there were any available.Please only answers that are well researched or something you’ve done yourself.Don’t just post anything!

north pacific costa rica beach
Guest

Our education system has grown and developed in a reflection of the changes in our society in a symbiotic relationship in which one influences the other. Considering such issues as gender, culture, curriculum, testing, and philosophy, how has formal education been influenced by national development? How have changes in society influenced changes in the way in which students are educated, as well as philosophies about education?

north pacific costa rica beach
Guest

Our education system has grown and developed in a reflection of the changes in our society in a symbiotic relationship in which one influences the other. Considering such issues as gender, culture, curriculum, testing, and philosophy, how has formal education been influenced by national development? How have changes in society influenced changes in the way in which students are educated, as well as philosophies about education?

wpDiscuz