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         BUDAPEST, 2000
HUNGARIAN NATIONAL OBSERVATORY ................................................................................... 1

1. INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................................. 4

    1.1 THE GOALS OF THE STUDY .............................................................................................................. 4
    1.2 DEFINITION OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION ................................................................................................. 4
    EMPLOYMENT AND IN THE SOCIETY ...................................................................................................... 5

    1.4 THE METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY ................................................................................................ 5
    1.5 LIMITED INFORMATION ................................................................................................................... 6

2. CONTEXT .......................................................................................................................................... 6

    2.1 POVERTY ........................................................................................................................................ 7
    2.2 THE DIFFERENTIATION OF EMPLOYMENT ...................................................................................... 11
    2.3 BLACK ECONOMY ......................................................................................................................... 13
    2.4 INEQUALITY OF INCOMES .............................................................................................................. 14

3. IDENTIFICATION OF GROUPS IN DISADVANTAGED POSITIONS .................................. 21

    3.1 IDENTIFICATION OF ENDANGERED GROUPS OF YOUNG PEOPLE ..................................................... 21
        3.1.1 Those who have not completed primary school ................................................................... 21
        3.1.2 Young people who do not continue their studies in vocational education or secondary
        grammar school ............................................................................................................................ 23
        3.1.3 Young people attending special school, who acquire vocational qualifications in special
        vocational schools ......................................................................................................................... 25
        3.1.4 Those dropping out of vocational education and secondary schools ................................... 26
        3.1.5 Young people who have acquired vocational qualification that is not required by the labour
        market. .......................................................................................................................................... 30
        3.1.6 The Roma minority ............................................................................................................... 30
        3.1.7 Summary .............................................................................................................................. 33
    POSITIONS IN THE LABOUR MARKET AND IN SOCIETY, AT A REGIONAL LEVEL ..................................... 34


IMPROVE CHANCES OF THE PARTICIPANTS .......................................................................... 40

        4.1 General conditions of education policy .................................................................................. 40
        4.1.2 Initiatives in the area of vocational education (1990-1992) ................................................ 40
        4.1.3 International co-operation in the training of marginalised groups ..................................... 44
        4.1.4 Assessment of programmes launched between 1992 and 1998 to promote the vocational
        education of disadvantaged young people .................................................................................... 46
        4.1.5 Assessment of the activities of the government and those of non-governmental organisations
        (NGO‟s) ........................................................................................................................................ 48
    PROGRAMME OF THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION ................................................................................. 49

        4.2.1 Training of disadvantaged young people among the tasks of the Ministry of Education
        specified in its work plan .............................................................................................................. 49
        4.2.2 Transformation of the institution system performing the tasks of vocational education of
        disadvantaged young people ......................................................................................................... 50
    PEOPLE ............................................................................................................................................... 51

        4.3.1 Assessment of the regulation introduced after 1993 ............................................................ 51
        4.3.2 The legislative environment in the wake of the amendment to the Public education act in
        1999 .............................................................................................................................................. 51
        4.3.3 Concepts, principles and proposals concerning the vocational education of young people
        with multiple disadvantages .......................................................................................................... 52
    DROPPED OUT OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION                              ....................................................................................... 54
        4.4.1. Programmes aimed to reduce drop-out rates in school, in public education and vocational
        education....................................................................................................................................... 54
        4.4.2. Creation of the pedagogic conditions for enabling catching up, vocational orientation and
        vocational training in the vocational school ................................................................................. 55

5. DRAFT PROJECT PROPOSAL TO PREVENT SOCIAL EXCLUSION................................. 60

    5.1 ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND EDUCATION POLICY REQUISITES ............................................................ 60

6. CASE STUDIES ............................................................................................................................... 62

    6.1 ALTERNATIVE SPECIALISED SCHOOL OF SZEGED ......................................................................... 62


1.1 The goals of the study

This study has been prepared to collect, organise, process and evaluate information on
the economic and social changes and the developments of the labour market in
Hungary, to analyse the situation of persons at risk of social exclusion and of those
forced out of the system of employment, assess the possibilities and opportunities of
disadvantaged young people in public education and vocational education and to
assess information on the involvement of young people threatened by social
exclusion, in vocational education.
An additional task is to assess the policy applied against social exclusion - economic
policy, employment policy, education policy, vocational education policy - and to
elaborate proposals concerning progress to be made and solutions to be applied.

1.2 Definition of social exclusion

According to the authors of the study social exclusion is a complex situation in life
where the individual - a member of a family or a social group - loses his or her
capability to create and provide for his or her own elementary requisites for life and
join the social and labour market structures.

Discrimination is one of the pre-dominant reasons for social exclusion.
Discrimination in Central Europe has been found to be targeted against three groups
of society in particular:
- In a number of countries there is a strong discrimination against national/ethnic
    minorities. In Hungary the proportion of national/ethnic minorities - German,
    Slovak, Serb, Slovene, Romanian - is relatively low, accounting for a total of 3-4
    percent of the population together. No discrimination is registered in Hungary
    against national/ethnic minorities in education, vocational education or
- As in the majority of the countries of Central Europe there is a discrimination
    against the Roma minority in the social environment and in the labour market.
- The third group affected by discrimination is the group of people with disabilities
    who, for a variety of reasons, have difficulties in finding employment in the
    labour market.
Two additional groups became targets of discrimination in the labour market during
the nineties - women and employees over 40 years of age.

The number of deprived people has grown dramatically in Central Europe since 1990.
Such individuals are regarded as ‗deprived‘ who, on account of their low income, do
not have access to services and goods that belong to the form of life of the majority of
the society. Deprivation is, therefore, a relative category.

Deprivation, however, is a category that is very difficult to define; the markets have
been opened up and today the offer of consumer goods in Hungary is similar to the
choice available in the west. The price levels of consumer goods are similar to those
prevailing in West Europe. Wages of employees, however, are just a fraction of wages
earned by employees in West Europe. So what should be considered as a norm?
We accept the terminology of sociology as a tool suitable for the description of
phenomena. In our study, however - and in particular in the chapter on vocational
education - we did not find it possible to consistently apply such categories. The
primary reason for this is that such concepts can only be interpreted in the given
context in each case. Such concepts will carry a different meaning in Budapest or in a
village in East Hungary and it will carry different meanings for people falling in
different social groups.

1.3 Vocational education as an instrument determining integration in the system
of employment and in the society

Vocational qualification is a predominant pre-requisite for employment in the
Hungarian labour market. Vocational qualification provides important information for
an employer concerning the capabilities and employability of a job-seeker even if it is
not possible to utilise a given qualification. A skilled worker certificate will prove, for
instance, that the given employee attended school on a regular basis for years, he or
she did meet the requirements, has an appropriate level of employment (work)
socialisation, motivation and is suitable for further training. The lack of vocational
qualification is negative information, indicating that something is wrong with the
employee, he or she may have weaker capabilities or is simply lazy, which is why he
or she failed in vocational education.
Vocational education will, therefore, improve the chances of employment even in
itself. Following the analysis of the position of employment of first job seeker young
skilled workers, however, efforts should be made to provide vocational qualifications
in the ‗first‘ vocational education of young people and in further training that will be
competitive even in a long run, include up-to-date knowledge and skills and for which
the training provides appropriate levels of key qualifications such as capability of
autonomous work, assumption of responsibility, communication skills, capability of
working in teams etc.

Consequently, the objective - according to which efforts should be made to ensure
that each and every young person receives at least two years of vocational education
or acquires general certificate of secondary education - as specified in several
recommendations made by the EU is accepted as a general goal and is considered as
valid for vocational education policy in Hungary as well.

On the other hand vocational education as an instrument determining integration in
the society may help to form the demand of lifelong learning, access to knowledge
and learning, public participation, civilian organisations in society and has other
cultural aspects (e.g. expression of opinions etc.).

1.4 The methodology of the study

The study is based primarily on processing technical literature. Each of its statements,
conclusions and all of its data can be documented. The sources will, however, not be
specified along with each piece of data/information for that would complicate
working with the material.

The sources of data where no source is specified include the Central Statistical Office,
statistical publications of the Ministry of Education and statistics provided by the
National Labour Methodology Centre.

1.5 Limited information

There is a very wide range of scientific research dealing in Hungary with social,
employment and education related aspects of social exclusion. The brevity of time
available for our purposes and the limits on the study have not permitted an up-to-the-
minute processing of the entirety of the scientific research background and
information. (This applies to the processing of the working documents of ongoing
research efforts - not the processing of the technical literature available in printed
form. The former would take a minimum of a year for a team of two or three experts.)

We had limited information on the population, demographic ratios and participation in
education of the Roma minority. We have no appropriate follow-up surveys that
would process the integration in the labour market of young people leaving the
education system. Over the recent two year period no empirical studies have been
made on the situation and position of schools involved in the education of
disadvantaged young people.

The authors have made efforts to fill gaps originating from the limitations of the
available set of information by consulting representatives of the areas concerned.


The transition to a market economy has lead to the liberalisation of a variety of
sectors (spheres) of society in the reformed economies of Central and East Europe.
The number of households living in financial uncertainty has remained high - indeed
it has risen - and certain groups of the society have had to face the fact of
impoverishment for the first time.
There may be two key factors resulting in inequalities in incomes and in the
emergence of poverty. First and foremost, the labour and capital markets play an
essential role by determining the employment and earning possibilities for all groups
of society. Social policy is also important, however, for it reallocates incomes through
the central budget from the higher income groups to the lower income groups of
society whereby it may play a very important role in mitigating (or aggravating)

During the transition period the adjustment of the labour market entailed two kinds of
impacts: on the one hand, it resulted in a polarisation of the chances of employment
which then lead to a diminishing of the proportion of the economically active
population, on the other hand, in the group of those who succeeded in retaining their
connection to the labour market, a general increase of wages and earnings was
Almost each one of the former socialist countries inherited a broad range of various
social policy institutions and benefits. Under the changed circumstances some of these
countries introduced reforms - others only planned to do so. Social policy definitely

has an impact on the composition and the distribution by social groups of the income
of the population as well.

From the aspect of the development of the former processes the change of the
economic performance (output) of the countries concerned has been particularly
important. In this aspect it should be noted that the economic performance (GDP)
declined dramatically in each former socialist country during the first years of the
social/economic transformation. The decline then was followed by a modest growth
from the mid-nineties - of varying proportions in the various countries. The
differences, however, are quite large among countries in this respect as well. By the
second half of the nineties Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and
Slovenia came to form the vanguard of former socialist counties in respect of the
growth rates of GDP. Since then their economic growth has continued, though at rates
varying by country. This growth has been accompanied by substantial structural
changes in the economy: the weight of the service providing sectors increased while
that of primary sectors diminished. In respect of industry, owing to the differences in
the initial resources and conditions, those in the rates of influx of foreign direct
investment, the changes of export opportunities and domestic demand, however, the
weight of some branches of the economy increased despite the general decline of the
share of industry in the global economy. Such branches include in Hungary for
instance the manufacture of road vehicles or that of IT devices. In general, the weight
of manufactured (processed) goods increased as a percentage of exports as well.

In parallel with the above a substantial rearrangement took place in each of these
countries in the labour market and in the structure of incomes as well. From the aspect
of labour market processes there are two trends that need to be emphasised. On the
one hand, a dramatic polarisation took place in the area of employment opportunities.
On the other hand, market incomes also differentiated substantially.

In what follows the authors present the key factors leading to social exclusion
(poverty, differentiation of employment, black economy, inequality of incomes),
noticing that the analysis is only based on the available data and the sources and
resources did not allow extensive research on the topic.

2.1 Poverty

Studies focused on poverty unanimously state that poverty has been growing and has
become increasingly visible in Hungary over recent years. According to data provided
by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) the proportion of people living below the
subsistence level accounted to about 10 percent of the entire population in the
nineties. By 1992 this proportion grew by some 50 percent, to about 15-16 percent
(CSO, 1993). According to data from the Hungarian Household Panel, however,
poverty had grown by 22-25 percent by 1993 and by another 30-35 percent by 1995.
In 1993 the World Bank estimated - with the subsistence level as a basis of
comparison - that poverty affected about half of the population. According to the
studies, the components of poverty in Hungary can be characterised as follows.

The most extreme degrees of poverty prevail primarily among Roma families. The
poverty rates among these families are extremely high if the higher limit of the lowest
income quintile is taken as the threshold of poverty. In this case 69-70 percent of all

Roma families and 72 percent of families with Roma household head are poor. A
more detailed analysis shows that the tighter definition is applied to poverty, the
higher the proportion of Roma individuals will be found living in poverty. It is also
revealed by analyses that the Roma population has practically no chance of improving
their income position to leave poverty behind.

      Household poverty rates in certain particularly high risk groups of the
                          population, Hungary, 1993
Definition of poverty  Median income is 50%        Bottom decile       Bottom quintile
education of the head
of the household
  less than 8 years in           8.5                    20.8                  41.3
primary school
  8 years in primary             8.3                    13.9                  30.2
   Type of place of              9.9                    18.8                  42.4
living: farmstead
   Type of place of              7.9                    11.7                  23.8
living: village
employment status of
the head of the
   Unemployed                   16.2                    24.8                  41.0
Type of household: a            14.3                    22.5                  34.2
household with a lone
Size of household: 5             8.3                    15.3                  22.7
or more members
Number of children: 3           34.2                    51.9                  65.2
or more children
ethnicity of household          38.9                    54.2                  69.8
head: Roma
all households                   4.8                     10                    20
Source: István György Tóth – Rudolf Andorka – Michael F. Förster- Zsolt Spéder: Poverty
inequalities and the incidence of social transfers in Hungary, 1992-93. Paper prepared for the
Word Bank Budapest Office, TÁRKI, Budapest, June 1994.

The type of the place of residence and the level of qualification both have a
substantial impact on the degree f poverty. Individuals with low levels of qualification
and those living in the lower segments of the hierarchy of place of residence
(primarily in the countryside) are especially strongly exposed to poverty. Those living
in farmsteads or households where the household head has low qualifications will
stand twice as large a chance of becoming poor than the national average.

The differences between the performance levels of village and town schools resulted
from the following reasons:
- lower qualifications of those living in villages
- smaller sizes and poorer supplies/equipment of village schools
- difficulties of employment, lower incomes, unemployment

-   schools are financed in accordance with the number of pupils, which is
    supplemented by local governments maintaining schools. The income of the local
    government of a village is smaller than that of a town and a higher percentage of
    this income is to be spent on social/welfare purposes.

The differences between and among types of municipalities are clearly visible in
terms of the patterns of the continued studies of pupils who have finished the eight
grade of primary education.

    Distribution of pupils continuing their studies at secondary level, by type of
        municipality, in 1998 (as a percentage of all pupils of the age group)
secondary grammar school vocational secondary vocational school no continued studies
village      17 %        36 %                41 %               4%
town         29 %        39 %                29 %               2%
Source: NAT (national basic curriculum) survey, National Public Education Research Institute,

In the sample covered by the survey 68% of pupils living in towns continued their
studies in schools providing certificate of general secondary education - the
corresponding figure among pupils living in villages was only 53 %.

Hungary is comprised of seven regions. The per capita gross domestic product (GDP)
is higher than the national average in two regions - Budapest and its vicinity and
along the western border of the country. The per capita GDP figures in Northern
Hungary and in the Great Plain amount to 36.6 percent of the Budapest GDP. Besides
the GDP figures of the regions, per capita GDP figures are also available on the
counties. The per capita GDP figure of the ‗poorest‘ county is not more than 30.6
percent of the per capita GDP of Budapest. (Gross domestic product - /GDP/, 1988
CSO. Territorial (regional) figures, Bp, 2000.)
The per capita GDP and the rate of unemployment are also quite comparable - the rate
of unemployment is highest in the regions with low economic performance.

The labour market also plays an important role in influencing poverty. Households
where the household head is unemployed stand a twice as large chance of becoming
poor than the average. Permanent or long term impoverishment threatens not
primarily those out of employment on a temporary basis - in their case unemployment
results in interim difficulties in making a living. Those permanently out of the labour
market, not yet entitled to pension or other social security benefit, are facing the
gravest problems.

The findings of various surveys have also shown that demographic factors play a
particularly important role among the factors determining poverty. Poverty rates are
higher in households with at least three dependent children, in households where the
head of the household is younger than 40 years and in households where a parent is
raising children alone. In households of 40 to 60 year individuals there are smaller
differences between the various types of households, however, families where
children are raised by one parent alone and families with at least three children will
face a higher risk of poverty even in this category. Finally, households where the head
of the household is at least 60 years of age, will be at a higher risk of impoverishment
if such elderly individual lives alone.

The number of primary school pupils per household in Hungary is almost six times as
large in the poorest 20 percent of households as it is in the richest fifth. More than 40
percent of primary school pupils live in the poorest fifth of households. The situation
is similar in the case of vocational school students: about five times as many
vocational school students live in the poorest fifth of households as in the most
effluent fifth. (A report on public education in Hungary 1997, OKI, Bp. 1998.)

Features of households with dependent children by income fifths in 1995 (Fifths
of the total number of households ranked by per capita net annual income, with
the poorest 20% in the first column)
                                                   1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Distribution of primary school pupils (%)          41 25 16 11 7
Distribution of students of vocational schools (%) 36 25 18 14 7
Distribution of secondary schools (%)           23 25 21 15 15
Distribution of students in higher education (%)   13 13 13 20 40

Source: Calculations of Andrews Sugar based on the household statistics of the 1996 micro-CSO,
1977. (A report on public education in Hungary 1997. OKI BP. 1998. p. 58.)

Based on the figures from the Hungarian Household Panel survey it has been
established with respect to the development of poverty in time that the changes of
proportions of the lowest income fifth of the population between 1992 and 1996 are
indicative of an expanding poverty gap among the various categories of society. This
is shown by the following changes:

   the proportion of poor people has dropped among those who have completed
    secondary school and/or obtained degrees at universities or colleges,
   the percentage of poor people has slightly increased among those living in villages
    and it has substantially diminished among people living in Budapest,
   the proportion of poor people has dropped among all of the social groups of
    people pursuing intellectual professions and among skilled workers and it has
    increased among farmers and agricultural workers.

On the other hand, there is no sign of a growth of the gaps between/among
demographic categories and the proportion of the poor has not increased in the groups
of the population formed of recipients of social income, pensioners and the
unemployed (indeed, in some groups the percentage of the poor has diminished
somewhat). The relative position of ‗home makers‘ and that of other dependants has
not declined either - indeed it seems to have been improving.

The composition of the lowest income group of the population changed significantly
between 1993 and 1996:
 the proportion of children grew;
 the proportion of the unemployed and pensioners declined;
 the proportion of home makers and other dependants increased;
 the proportion of unskilled workers and manual workers employed in agriculture
   increased somewhat within the group of the poor, along with those falling in other
   categories of active earners.

It is concluded from the above that poverty has increased primarily among those
belonging to the middle classes or lower middle classes. According to results of
analyses of data from the Household Panel, four basic types of poverty can be defined
in the Hungarian society, including:

   the category of ‗traditional poverty‘ comprised of social groups where the rate of
    poverty was higher than the average even before the system change (those of
    lower level education, villagers, those living in the north-eastern area of Hungary,
    unskilled workers and those employed in agriculture, survivor pensioners);
   the category of ‗new poverty‘ is comprised of groups that have appeared or grown
    since the system change, or those who were not poor before the change
    (unemployed, disability pensioners, home makers or other dependants - without
   the poverty of those forming the group that is referred to as ‗demographic
    poverty‘ has been known for some time but it has increased in the case of children.
    This includes children and those over the age of 70;
   the category of ‗ethnic poverty‘ is comprised of the members of the Roma ethnic
    group. Poverty was a lot higher than the average among them even before the
    system change but the rate of poverty in their ethnic group has increased
    significantly since the system change.

As a matter of course, there are large overlaps among the above four types. For
instance, member of the Roma ethnic group also belong, in the majority of cases, to
the categories mentioned under the headings of ‗traditional‘ and ‗new‘ poverty, i.e.
unskilled workers, unemployed, and parents of many children. The distinguishing of
the type of ethnic poverty is still justified by the fact that belonging to the Roma
ethnic group is an additional factor aggravating poverty in addition to the above
mentioned factors. Likewise, families with children are in a disadvantaged position in
each social and demographic category, in comparison with the average.

2.2 The differentiation of employment

During the transition period the decline of employment was most dramatic process in
the domestic labour market. Despite the fact that during the first four years of the
transition the GDP dropped by about 20 percent from the 1989 GDP, employment
continued to diminish even after these years and by 1995 total employment in
Hungary dropped by over 25 percent of the level recorded before the transition. In the
period between 1989 and 1993 a larger number of jobs disappeared than had been
created during whole of the communist period.

Employment also diminished substantially in each of the Central and East European
country. The decline of employment appears to have been particularly large in
Hungary both in absolute and relative terms, among the countries of Central and East
The decline of employment appeared in part in the increase of the rate of
unemployment. Open unemployment began to increase in the late eighties, however,
it remained at a fairly low level until 1990 (it did not reach 1 percent of the
economically active population). The growth of unemployment accelerated during the
year 1991 and by February 1993 it had grown to 13.6 percent. The increase of
unemployment, however, was only partly a result of redundancy programmes and

bankruptcies of companies. Another very important factor was that the economy did
not have a sufficient capacity to absorb those finding themselves out of the labour
market, therefore, long term unemployment increased rapidly. The social problems
caused by long term unemployment were aggravated by certain typical Hungarian
features of the households of unemployed people. In Hungary (as in Slovakia for
instance) there is a rather high proportion of long term unemployed who live in
households without a single active earner. In these two countries one in two long term
unemployed persons lived in such household while in the Czech Republic, Poland and
Slovenia one in three.

The development of the unemployment rates of the above mentioned countries
followed similar patterns, with the exception of the Czech Republic, where the level
of unemployment is significantly lower than in the rest of the countries in question.

The risk of becoming unemployed differed substantially in the various social groups.
The most exposed groups were those of young people, unskilled people and the
members of the Roma minority. Throughout the entire period these groups were
characterised by unemployment rates significantly higher than the average. The
unemployment rate among women was not higher than the unemployment rate of men
within a given social group. This particular feature of unemployment in Hungary
resulted primarily from the different rates of unemployment in the industries typically
employing women and those employing men, from the high percentage of the
recipients of child care benefit (GYED) and from the different rates of inactivity. A
young and mobile person, a man and a job-seeker with higher qualifications stood a
better chance of finding employment again. The chances of becoming inactive
appeared to be determined by gender and level of qualifications. Women faced a
higher risk of becoming inactive than men - particularly, if they had lower levels of

The dramatic polarisation of employment opportunities also had some macro-
economic consequences: the growth of inactivity and unemployment in general, made
it very difficult to finance social policy. In 1995 a total of 163 persons were sustained
by 100 employees which imposed very heavy burdens on employees. The proportion
of the economically inactive increased in Hungary to the largest extent among the
Central and East European countries: during the years between 1991 and 1996 the
percentage of economically inactive persons almost doubled - it grew from 25 percent
to 46 percent - while in the Czech Republic it grew from 22 percent to 26 percent, in
Slovakia to 33 percent while in Poland it remained at a rate somewhat higher than 40

Despite the rapid and unparalleled growth of unemployment in Hungary, it did not
entirely explain the decline in the proportions of employment. During the period
between 1990 and January 1995 the number of employees dropped by over 1.4
million while the number of unemployed people increased by some 500,000. These
two trends resulted in a decline of the economically active population by over
900,000. The population of active age remained more or less unchanged, therefore,
the decline was not a result of demographic changes. The growth of inactivity was
initially promoted by social policy as well, through increasing the number of those
participating in education and by making it easier to join the pension system, reducing
the supply in the labour market. This was characteristic of the processes in 1990 and

1991. Then between 1992 and 1994 economic inactivity extended to people in their
active ages as well and it became the single source of the growth of inactivity.
In 1997 the economy embarked on a growth path. The growth of the economy
accelerated in 1998 and now a 6 percent growth of GDP is expected for year 2000. In
parallel with the expansion of the economy the rate of unemployment has also
declined significantly.

2.3 Black economy

The reliability of estimates on black economy depends, of course, significantly on the
extent to which the visible economy represents the entirety of the economy. Estimates
concerning the size of the ‗hidden‘ or ‗informal‘ economy indicate that if in 1992 the
GDP had include the hidden economy as well, then the GDP would have been some
16 percent larger than the published amount. The same method of calculation shows
that GDP would have been 11.2 percent higher in 1980 and by 12.6 percent in 1990.
Since part of the ‗informal economy‘ is estimated within the officially stated GDP as
well, the above 16 percent does not indicate the entire difference. The total GDP was
29.6 percent larger in 1992 than the GDP that ‗can be supported by data‘ or the
‗stated‘ GDP.

The large differences between the estimates originate from differences in concepts
and substance but some differences are caused, of course, by the methodologies
applied by the various surveys. Therefore, these estimates are useful in showing the
uncertainties that exist in this field. It is not possible to expect that assessment should
relate to completely identical modes of income earning for there are large differences
in this aspect as well. For all tax evading activities are adjusted to the laws of the
country where they are pursued. As long as tax systems are not homogeneous, the
modes of tax fraud will also be different.

Fewer estimates are made concerning incomes obtained through crime than on
untaxed moneys obtained through other than criminal means. This is the situation in
Hungary as well. Since semi-legal transactions are often accompanied by illegal
operations, it is not possible to draw a definite dividing line between the two. In the
early nineties three surveys and analyses were made almost simultaneously on the
black economy. The results of the estimates did not differ much from one another.
According to the surveys untaxed incomes reached 23-25 % of GDP. No such
comprehensive survey has been made since then. Some occasional assessments have
been carried out by the Central Statistical Office (CSO), Kopint-Datorg and TÁRKI
(social scientific research institute) but those concentrated on smaller segments of the
untaxed economy - in essence, they covered only the income effects of black
employment and the grey and black markets in subways. By continuing the estimates
made in the early nineties some experts assumed (based primarily on the consumer
price index) that the untaxed economy accounted for up to 30 percent of GDP over
recent years. This percentage, however, does not include a variety of income earning
activities (including drug and arms trafficking, prostitution etc.).

The black or hidden economy, therefore, definitely influences the labour market, since
the above mentioned percentage of GDP has to be generated by someone. It is also
true, that the black economy substantially influences the processes of income

2.4 Inequality of incomes

The different chances of participating in the labour market have determined earnings
possibilities as well. The earnings of those who have succeeded in permanently
staying within the labour market, have increased a lot more substantially than that of
those who were in employment only at intervals.
It should be pointed out in general, that the variance of earnings increased
substantially during the period of transition. The status of occupation is considered as
a very important, pre-dominant factor determining wage differences. The wages of
intellectual (non-manual) employees has been higher by an average of 70 % than the
wages of manual labour. Differences by gender have also been rather large. These
differences remained typical during the second half of the nineties.

The growth of the inequalities of incomes may is also clearly shown by the market
incomes of households as well. Besides the trends of the market social policy also
plays an important role in the development (growth or decline) of inequalities. In the
countries in transition the majority of the various forms of social benefits were
inherited from the preceding system. The wide range of cash benefits includes old age
pensions, family aids, sick-pay, disability pension and a number of minor types of aid,
along with the recently introduced unemployment aid. The key features of these
subsidies (their amounts and coverage) were developed during the period of planned
economy when prices were centrally set and the entirety of the economy was
influenced by substantial economic aids. Furthermore, health services and education
were free of charge for the most part, and a substantial state subsidy went into the
housing sector as well. The transition entailed a thorough restructuring of public
spending, the public expenditures on economic services were dramatically reduced,
along with a significant reduction of the relative weight of welfare spending. Despite
the fact that the amounts spent on social security diminished in real terms (in the
majority of cases and in the majority of the countries of Central and East Europe),
during the first half of the nineties an increasing share of the GDP had to be spent on
the funding of social policy.
The growth of social spending results in part from the increase of the demand for
social policy, irrespective of the economic transition - including, for instance
demographic challenges such as the ageing of the population, the increase of the
burden of sustaining inactive citizens, the changes of the patterns of co-habitation of
families etc. Some factors, however, are related directly to the transition such as for
instance the diminishing of incomes available for households and the growth of

From the aspect of public social spending and the poverty levels western OECD
countries fall into two categories: on the one hand, there are countries with restricted
welfare budgets and higher than average poverty rates. These include Anglo-Saxon
and South European countries. The other group is that of countries with higher
spending levels and lower poverty rates, including the countries of mainland Europe
and northern countries. By including the four Visegrád countries in the assessment,
the categorisation changes as follows: the Czech Republic and Slovakia do not fit in
with the categorisation for in those two countries the low level of social spending is
accompanied by low rates of poverty. Conversely, Hungary and Poland have
relatively high levels of social spending as well as relatively high poverty rates.

The substantial growth of the social income within the total incomes of households is
a result of processes of recent years. The proportion of households without any
income from the market at all remained rather high throughout the period under
review: only 80 percent of households had registered income from the market. The
remaining 20 percent of households have been living exclusively off social benefits,
social security benefits or assistance received from other households. In the period
between 1992 and 1996 the proportion of households receiving earning-proportionate
social security income was almost as large as the proportion of those drawing income
from the market. Over half of such households have received some type of pension
benefit (old age, disability or survivor‘s) and some 13 percent of all households
received some type of unemployment benefit (either based on insurance or in the form
of aid). The proportion of the recipients of the child care benefit (GYED) seems to
have been diminishing slightly, about 10 percent of households fall in this group.
Some one third of all households receive benefits for at least one child and about 10
percent of households are recipients of social aid.

In respect of the role of market and non-market incomes within the various social
groups, according to the available data about one quarter of the incomes of
households where the head of the household is on pension, come from market income.
In households where the head of the household is economically inactive or is
unemployed, the market incomes account roughly for half of all of the household
incomes, while in households where the head of the household works, some 85 % of
all incomes come from the market. The groups in the worst position heavily rely on
some social support although even in their case such incomes do not form the main
source of income.

The majority of Hungarian households are recipients of some forms of social income.
The substantial inequality originating from primary income types (those falling in the
top decile earn twenty times as much as those falling in the lowest decile) are
significantly mitigated by the various types of social incomes. This is confirmed by
the various concentration surveys of incomes of various types. According to the
findings of such surveys the variance of incomes before income re-allocation is
reduced by adding social aids/benefits, i.e. income differences are reduced.

Surveys show that in Hungary the pension type supports are concentrated on medium
income groups while unemployment aids, family support and various aids based on
income certificates have been focused mainly on those falling in the lowest categories
of income distribution. A look at the distribution of market and social incomes in time
will reveal that in 1987 income from work accounted for 75.5 percent of the total per
capita income while social income types accounted for the remaining 23.5 percent. In
1995 the share of income from work was down at 69.4 percent while that of social
incomes increased to 29.3 percent, predominantly as a result of the fact that while in
1987 the number of active earners was 128 per 100 households, ten years later this
number was as low as 89. The change of the structure of incomes, however, differs by
social group and by income level (see the figure below). While in 1987 in the lowest
income tenth of the population the social incomes amounted to four times the amount
characteristic of those falling in the highest income tenth of the population, by 1995 it
had grown to five times as large. However, the income structure of those in the top
tenth group hardly changed at all between the two surveys. By 1995 it had been quite

clear that the lower the per capital income, the lower the proportion of income from
work and the higher the share of social incomes.

 The shares of income from the market and social income in the various tenths of
                  the population according to per capita income
                                 (in percentage)
Type of income       1      2       3       4       5      6     7     8      9              10
                                                 in 1987
Income from the 55.6      59.6 64.2       67.4    70.7 73.1 76.7 77.4 82.5                   87.5
Social income      44.2   38.7 34.7       31.5    28.3 26.1 22.3 22.0 16.6                   11.0
Other income        0.2    1.7     1.1     1.1     1.0    0.8   1.0   0.6    0.9             1.5
                                                 in 1995
Income from the 41.3      54.4 60.3       59.9    57.8 59.6 62.4 67.8 74.1                   86.9
Social income      56.7   44.1 38.8       39.3    41.4 40.0 36.8 31.5 24.9                   10.1
Other income        2.0    1.5     0.9     0.8     0.8    0.4   0.8   0.7    1.0             3.0
Market income is an aggregate of income from employment, entrepreneurial activities, other
autonomous economic activities (self-employment) and agriculture.
Source: Éva Havasi – Mrs. Ádám Horváth – Mária Rédei – Mrs. László Schnell: Income
distribution of Hungarian households today, Statistical Review, March 1998

The amount of the per capita incomes are determined not only by the total income of a
household. It is also a function of the total number of individuals living in a household
and the number of active earners and the number of sustained individuals. The
number of households continued to increase after 1987 - primarily owing to the
fragmentation of large households, the loss of the function of extended families of
several generations and other demographic features of the society - and in 1995 the
total number of households in Hungary was 3.87 million, by some 80,000 more than
in 1987. At the same time, the number of members of households dropped, from 2.8
to 2.6 on an average. The diminishing of the number of new-born children also
supported this trend. In 1987 there were 58 dependent individuals aged below 15
years per 100 households, while in 1995 the corresponding figure was 47. Despite the
diminishing of the number of children, the burdens of sustaining dependent children
increased for families as a result of the lengthening of the number of years spent in
education, the increase of the costs of education and also owing to first-job-seeker
young people‘s difficulties of finding jobs.

While the volumes of household incomes declined, their variance increased as a result
of their inequalities. The share of high income individuals of the total income grew
primarily but the impoverishment of the poor also increased. In 1987 the average
income of the top tenth amounted to 4.6 times to that of the lowest tenth and by 1995
this ratio had increased to 7.5. The lowest tenth of the population had 3.3 percent of
the total income in 1995, while the highest income tenth of the population disposed
over 25 percent of the total income.

       The shares of the various tenth of the population of the total personal income
Year        1       2        3       4         5        6      7        8       9      10
                                   per capita personal income tenth
1977       4.5     6.3      7.3     8.1       8.9     9.8    10.8     12.0    13.7    18.6
1982       4.9     6.4      7.3     8.1       8.8     9.6    10.7     11.9    13.7    18.6
1987       4.5     6.0      6.9     7.7       8.5     9.4    10.5     11.8    13.8    20.9
1995       3.3     5.0      6.2     7.2       8.2     9.1    10.2     11.7    14.1    25.0
   Source: Éva Havasi – Mrs. Ádám Horváth – Mária Rédei – Mrs. Lászlo Schnell: Income
   distribution of Hungarian households today, Statistical Review, March 1998

   In order to illustrate the growth of inequality from another angle it should be noted
   that the ratio of the average income of the top income tenth of the population to that
   of the lowest income tenth of the population was 4.64 in 1987 and it had grown to
   7.58 by 1995. The development of inequality in general has been promoted by the
   various internal inequalities of the different social, economic and demographic groups
   as well.

   The income position of a household was fundamentally determined by the economic
   activity of the head of the household and by that of its members. In households where
   the head of the household was an active earner in 1995 the average per capita annual
   income amounted to HUF 234,481. In households where the head of the household
   was on pension the corresponding amount was lower by an average of 10 percent,
   while in households where the head of the household was unemployed, the same
   amount was as low as HUF 131,218. In households with active head of household a
   total of 165 active earners and 10 unemployed persons, in household where the head
   of the household was on pension there were 21 active earners and 6 unemployed
   persons while in households where the head of the household was unemployed, there
   were 43 active earners and 121 unemployed persons on average per 100 households in
   the three categories. The activity of the head of the household, therefore, was closely
   related to the economic activity of the rest of the members of the given household.
   The income position of a household is, therefore, significantly influenced by whether
   there is or whether there is no active earner in the household. Although the existence
   of a second or a third active earner did improve the financial position of the household
   concerned but it did not have as large an impact as the activity of the head of the
   household (the key earner).

   Significant differences were found between households with active and households
   with inactive household heads: In a household where the head of the household is an
   active earner, an average of 85.2 percent of the gross income of the household is
   market type income while in a household where the head of the household is
   unemployed, this ratio was 58 percent, in a household where the head of the
   household was a pensioner the corresponding figure was 34.8 percent. In a household
   where the head of the household fell in another economically inactive or dependent
   category, the ratio was only 42 percent. The proportions of social incomes were, as a
   matter of course, the reserve of the above.

   In Hungary in the phase of transition schooling (qualifications) do have a predominant
   impact on the acquiring and retaining of lucrative positions in the labour market.
   Although more highly qualified labour drew a higher income in the socialist economy

as well, the majority of those of higher academic qualifications managed to secure
higher standards of living for themselves than the average of the society, the
differences were not as large as after the system change. In 1995 active earner heads
of households with up to eight years of primary education accounted for 35 percent in
the lowest income tenth while holders of higher academic qualifications accounted for
a mere 5 percent. At the same time, the share of both groups in all households
accounted for about 20 percent. In the richest five percent of the population the people
with the lowest levels of schooling accounted for 8 percent while holders of higher
academic qualifications made up 52 percent. The net annual per capita income of
households where the head of the household had no more than 8 years of primary
education was HUF 186,282 on an average - the average income in households where
the head of the household had higher academic qualifications was almost twice as

The change of the relations of employment is one of the features of economic
restructuring, whereby the number of self-employed and ‗entrepreneurs‘ has increased
radically within the group of active earners. In 1995 some 10 % of active earners
worked as sole proprietors, most of them without employees at that time. Privatisation
also changed the situation of many of employees as well. Although employment has
remained the predominant form, yet the majority of employees are now working for
the substantially increased number of private or joint enterprises and sole proprietors
working with employees. By the mid-nineties state property had ceased to be the
dominant form of ownership. At the time of the survey only some 35 percent of
employees were working for organisations in sole state ownership or for state
institutions. About 42 percent of active earners were working for private enterprises.

Within the group of households where the head of the household was an active earner,
in households with household heads earning their income as employees, the annual
per capita income was HUF 221,571 in 1995. In households where the head of the
household was an entrepreneur, the corresponding amount was HUF 290,702. The
difference must have been even larger in reality.
The level of the income of a household is predominantly determined by the economic
activity of the household head. The income of those performing earning activities,
however, was significantly determined by their position within the hierarchy of the
employer organisation. Where the head of the household was working in senior
position the per capita income of the household was about 1.5 times higher than the
average of the incomes of all households where the household head was an active
earner. The per capita income of households were active earners were performing
manual work that did not require qualifications, was particularly low.

Where the head of the household held a senior position or worked as a high level
professional, the household stood an outstanding chance of falling in the top 10 or 5
percent income group. Such households made up a three and a half time as large
proportion within the top income tenth of the society than the percentage they account
for in terms of their number. On the other hand, the households where the head of the
household performed unskilled manual work, stood an outstanding chance - two and a
half time as large as their percentage in society in terms of their number - of falling in
the lowest income 5 percent of the society. In households where the head of the
household worked in a senior position or as a high level professional employees the
per capita income was about 1.5 times higher than the national average and 40 percent

higher than the average per capita income of all households where the head of the
household was an active earner. The stated income of household heads who worked as
entrepreneurs performing intellectual work, amounted to 1.5 higher than the average
per capita income of all households where the head of the household was an active
earner. In the group of all households with active earner household heads the
households of unskilled worker household heads were in the worst financial position.
Their income was 34 percent lower than the average per capita incomes of active
earner household heads.

    Income proportions according to the position of the household head, in the
                households with active earner household heads, 1995
                                Per capita annual net income Percentage of all households
Household head
                               as a percentage of the average
Senior                                      139.2                         6.1
High level professional                     137.5                        11.0
Other professional                          105.1                        11.0
Clerical staff                              104.6                         2.6
Skilled and semi-skilled                     81.3                        44.8
Unskilled worker                             66.1                         6.6
                All employees                94.5                        82.1
Of which:
  Intellectual worker                       124.0                        30.7
  Manual labour                              79.4                        51.4
All entrepreneurs                           124.0                        17.9
Of which:
  Those performing                          151.7                         5.5
intellectual work
Those performing manual                     113.0                        12.4
Total of active earner                      100.0                       100.0
household heads
Source: Éva Havasi – Mrs. Ádám Horváth – Mária Rédei – Mrs. László Schnell: Income
distribution of Hungarian households today, Statistical Review, March 1998

The differences of income relating to the economic activity and the position of the
heads of households are increased by the differences among the various types of the
municipalities of residence. At the two extremes of the income hierarchy were the
households of household heads living in Budapest and working in senior positions
(with an average income over twice as large as the national average) and those of
dependent household heads living in villages.

The number of dependent children also plays a significant role in the development of
income differences. In 1995 there were dependent children below 20 years of age only
in almost 40% of all households. On the contrary, only in less than 40 % of
households with active household heads were there no dependent children below 20
years of age. While the number of dependent children continued to diminish, the
obligation of sustaining them imposed an increasing burden on households. In
comparison with the per capita income of households without children the income

position of households with children declined by 7 percentage points between 1987
and 1995. In 1995 the per capita income of households with children equalled 72
percent of the per capita income of households without children. One dependent child
reduced the average per capita income level by 18 percent in comparison with a
household without a child - two children reduced it by almost 30 percent. In the case
of households with three or more dependent children the per capita income amounted
to less than half of that of a household without a dependent child. The inequality that
may be identified by applying various concentration ratios typically increases in
parallel with the increase of the number of dependent children.

The age profile of a household does not have a clear-cut impact on the average
income of its members but some particular features are worth pointing out. The
presence of young people among the members of a household deteriorated the income
position of the household. Households comprised only of middle-aged individuals
were in the best income position for they were living in the active phase of life
without dependent children. They were followed, in substantially lower levels, by
households of only elderly individuals and by households comprised of middle-aged
and elderly persons. These were followed by types of households where there were
young people as well. In 1995 the members of three-generation households were in
the worst financial positions. The co-habitation of generations is often an arrangement
chosen of necessity, the changing of which is prevented by the low level of income.
The average annual net income of households of with the household heads falling in
various age groups covers different degrees of income inequalities. The maximum of
the incomes of those falling in the lowest 10 percent of the households with young
heads of households was half as large as was those of households of elderly household
heads. This difference was less than 1.5 times between the incomes of young and
elderly households living at medium income levels. The initial difference did not exist
between the young and elderly households in the top income tenth of households,
indeed, the income of effluent young households was higher than that of high income
elderly households. Despite the fact that the income level of younger generation was
lower than the average, the income inequalities in this generation were larger than the
average. At the same time, older generations lived at higher income levels, with
smaller inequalities in 1995 than did young people. The territorial differences
increased by type of municipality between 1987 and 1995. In 1987 the per capita net
monthly income of those living in Budapest was only 14 percent higher than the
national average - this difference had grown to 26 percent by 1995. It is only among
the poor that the hierarchy of municipalities does not increase income inequalities.
The lowest income people were equally poor in Budapest, provincial towns and
villages. The income gap appeared in the medium income groups between Budapest
and the countryside but in the group of higher income households the territorial
hierarchy was apparent at each of the three levels. Moving upwards in the hierarchy
of municipalities, from villages towards the capital city one finds increasing income
inequalities. The income of the most effluent tenth of society is 7.5 times higher than
that of the lowest income tenth on an average - the difference is 10 times in Budapest
and 5.9 times in villages.

As it can be seen from the foregoing the poverty is the most motivated factor
comparing the other three element. The differentiation of employment, the black
economy as well as the inequality of incomes can be traced back to the definition of
the poverty.


3.1 Identification of endangered groups of young people

The integration of young people in the society and the labour market is closely related
to their performance at school which correlates with the poverty. Young people with
poor performance at school will be disadvantaged from the aspect of employment and
social integration. These groups include the following:

-   those who have not completed the primary school;
-   those who do not continue third studies in vocational education or secondary
    grammar school;
-   young people attending special primary schools who then obtain vocational
    qualification at special vocational schools;
-   those dropping out of vocational education and secondary school;
-   young people who have taken vocational education that is not required by the
    labour market;
-   being one of the Roma minority.

Failure at school is often a result of a variety of underlying factors:

Poverty factors:
- low qualification of parents;
- low income, unemployment of parents;
- large number of children brought up in the family, low per capita income;
- divorced parents, lone mother;
- place of residence: small community, village;
- depressed region with poor transport infrastructure/accessibility, high rates of
- being one of the Roma minority.

Non-poverty factors:
- deviant behaviour patterns: crime, alcoholism, etc.;
- rigidity of the pedagogic model applied by the school concerned;
- ill health of parents.

The above factors often occur together: a pupil failing at school lives in a small
municipality, in a depressed region where industry has failed, unemployment prevails,
his or her parents have low schooling levels or are out of work or do odd jobs or
perhaps do some farming activities.

The following will be a categorisation of the factors determining failure at school. We
aim to specify such groups, analyse the process of failure at the education institution
and to establish the number of people falling in the endangered groups.

3.1.1 Those who have not completed primary school

The completion of primary school in Hungary equals the obtaining of the certificate
of having completed the eight grade of an eight-grade elementary school. About 3.5

percent of pupils attend special school for pupils of various disabilities. (Those with
mild mental retardation, moderate mental retardation, those with hearing or visual
disabilities, blind pupils etc.)

According to statistics the rate of completion of mandatory education is very high.
Over the past 5 yeas 95-96 percent of pupils completed primary school by the age of
16. (Hungarian Statistical Yearbook 1998, CSO Bp. 1999.)

             Pupils finishing primary school till the end of schooling age
             Denomination                1990         1995        1996                    1997         1998

Pupils finished 8th grade of primary            93,9          96,8       96,5             95,2            96,2
(general) school till the age of 16 as
percentage of 16 year-old population
Of which:
till the age of 14                              81,4           79,7      78,3              76,7         80,6
till the age of 15                               9,3           12,7      23,7              13,9         12,1
till the age of 16                               3,2            4,4       4,5               4,6          3,5
Children reaching the upper limit of           10 300         5 000     5 200             5 000        5 100
school age, with finished less then 8th
a): Calculated data

        Pupils finished primary school and those who continue their studies
           Denomination                 1990      1995        1996        1997                         1998

Pupils finished 8th grade of primary          164 614        122 333   120 529       116 708          113 651
(general) school in full-time form
Ratio of pupils who continue their              93,8          99,3       97,1             97,9            95,8
studies in the same year, %
Of which:
At apprentice school                            42,0          34,2       31,9             30,8            24,6
At specialised secondary schoola)                3,2           4,3        3,6              2,6             2,5
At vocational secondary school                  27,5          33,7       34,4             35,5            38,0
At general secondary school                     21,1          27,1       27,2             29,0            30,7
a): Including 9th-10th grades of primary (general) schools

                                Specialised secondary schools
     Year             Schools         Teachers       Students            Students in          Students
                                                                       the 9th (I/13th)      completed
                                                                            grade           their studies

                                              Schools for shorthand-typing
     1990                63                221            5 600          3 036                    2 083
     1995                40                136            2 267          1 214                    1 160
     1996                31                126            1 870          1 000                     927
     1997                22                 76            1 238           599                      675
     1998                14                 62             863            378                      475
                                               Sanitary vocational schools

     1990              30              498             6 549         2 424             1 292
     1995              14              183             2 054          861              1 058
     1996              10              109             1 067          347               670
     1997               7               45              728           219               356
     1998               6               24              368           116               240
                                       Other specialised secondary schools
     1990              16               52              684           684               —
     1995             239              796            13 984         7 745             4 753
     1996             201              706            11 624         6 256             4 817
     1997             160              577             9 310         4 501             3 864
     1998             127              478             7 245         2 513             3 280
Hungarian Statistical Yearbook, 1998, CSO Bp. 1999 p. 220

Some 80% of pupils complete primary school by the age of 14, another 12-13% of
pupils finish primary school by the age of 15 and another 3.5-4 % by the age of 16.
I.e. some 96 % of pupils complete primary school before the end of the age of
compulsory education. Another 1-1.5 percent of people complete primary school in
adults‘ evening schools.

It is concluded from available data that almost 12 percent of pupils fail at school and
repeat a grade once and another 8 of them twice. (The data are slightly influenced by
the flexibility of enrolling children in primary school. Children born after 1 June enter
the first grade of primary school but the date of starting to attend primary school may
also be postponed on the basis of such recommendation by the kindergarten.) This
proportion - if it is also taken into account that children with disabilities (3.5 percent
of primary school children attend special schools) often repeat a grade upon their
transfer, and in view of that some 10 percent of primary school children are Roma
children disadvantaged from a number of aspects - should not be regarded as
particularly high. (The proportion of Roma children is higher in the group of new-
born infants, owing to various demographic changes.)

In assessing the data it should be taken into account that a significant proportion -
according to some estimates about 20-25 percent - of students holding certificate of
having finished the eighth grade of primary school have acquired knowledge at rather
low levels. There is a strong contradiction between the high standard requirements -
primarily in the area of maths and sciences - and the lenient practices of appraisal
which enables pupils to leave school with deficient knowledge.

3.1.2 Young people who do not continue their studies in vocational education or
secondary grammar school

Between 1988 and 1991 the proportion of children continuing their studies having
successfully completed primary school dropped from 95% to 91.9 %. This was
followed by an increase between 1992 and 1994 from 95.7 percent to 98.8 percent.
Over the recent four years the percentage of young people continuing their studies
after the successful completion of the eighth grade of primary has been declining.

The proportion of young people continuing their studies after the successful
completion of the eighth grade
          SG VSS            AS VS NSPEC VS         9-10       Total
1990      21.1 27.5         42.0  3.2 -                       93.8
1995      27.1 33.7         34.2  0.7 3.6                     99.3 %
1998      30.7 38.0         24.6  0.3 1.3          0.9        94.4 %
1999*     31.6 39.0         22.9        1.8**      0.6        95.9 %
(CSO. Data on education, 1999/2000 Bp. 2000)
* Preliminary figures
** VS + NSPEC VS together
SG: Secondary grammar school, secondary school preparing children for the general certificate of
secondary education, to be followed by university studies
VSG: Vocational secondary school, a secondary school combining vocational school and
preparations for the general certificate of secondary education
AS: A vocational school providing skilled workers‘ training (apprenticeship school)
VS: A vocational school preparing young people for work in the health sector or to perform clerical
NOSPEC VS: A special vocational school for children without disabilities enabling them to catch
up with their age group, providing prevocational and vocational education
9-10: 9th and 10th grade programme organised in primary school

The high proportion of continuing studies at secondary level is an indication of the
recognition by all groups of the Hungarian society of the fact that employment and
success in life depend on studies. The steady growth of the rate of continued studies
up to year 1995 is probably a consequence of the financing practice under which
schools were funded by the central budget according to the number of their pupils. In
1995, however, an austerity programme was launched in the central budget which
prompted organisations maintaining schools to rationalise education institutions and
to reduce existing training capacities. The integration and closing down of institutions
became more important for organisations maintaining schools than the increasing of
the number of pupils.
Another predominant change was the downsizing of special schools of children
without disabilities. (This institution was introduced after 1990 to enable young
people forced out or dropped out of vocational education, to catch up with their age
group, to provide them with vocational orientation, primarily in order to help them
return into the system of vocational education.)
The third change was the growth of poverty in certain regions. The parents of the
poorest children cannot finance the costs of commuting for their children or other
education-related expenses.

The fourth change: the structure of apprenticeship school was transformed. It used to
be a three year school, with 50 percent of the training time comprised of practical
training or productive work in training shops or at work places. In the new model in
the first two grades a general education was provided in the 9th and 10th grades,
supplemented by five hours a week of pre-vocational education. Vocational training
was provided in the 11th and the 12th grades.
The new model doubled the demand for classrooms for vocational education - in
some cases vocational education institutions have had to turn down applicants for lack
of room.

3.1.3 Young people attending special school, who acquire vocational qualifications
in special vocational schools

Some 3.5 percent of pupils attends special primary schools for children with

The number of pupils attending primary schools for children with disabilities,
1998/99 school year
Mild mental retardation            31,431
Moderate mental retardation         3,866
Speech disabilities                   862
Motoric disabilities                  239
Hearing disabilities                  276
Deaf                                  464
Visual disabilities                   3,79
Multiple disabilities                1,134
Total:                             37,383
(Ministry of Education, Statistics Information Intermediate, 1998/99 school year Bp. 1999)

A highly differentiated system has evolved in Hungary to provide general education
for the above groups. A large number of those with hearing, visual or motoric
disabilities etc. have problems only in some of their capabilities and many of them are
highly talented, they acquire vocational qualifications, pass the general certificate of
secondary education or go on to university. Their problems are related to the
provision of support (aid) for transports, individual assistance or the creation of
appropriate working environments. Obviously, they have limited opportunities for
employment under the conditions and circumstances prevailing in the labour market,
many of them find employment only at ‗protected /sheltered/ work places‘.

It also applies to those with moderate mental retardation that they find employment
primarily at sheltered workshops, in special employment institutions.

The largest group of people with disabilities is made up of individuals with mild
mental retardation who are now often referred to as ‗hindered in learning‘ the
Hungarian equivalent of which is a verbatim translation of the German term
‗Lernbehinderte‘. The meaning of the term mild mental retardation is not quite clearly
defined - there are a number of indications of children enrolled in special primary
schools or ‗primary schools with different curricula‘ for social reasons as well.

This problem arises in a particularly acute form in the schooling of children of the
Roma minority. According to the latest official statistics in the school year 1992/1993
Roma children in „special schools‟ accounted for 42.6 percent of the total number of
pupils. Data yielded by surveys carried out during the nineties vary in a rather wide
range. The problem was analysed in 1999 by the ombudsman for minorities. The
report prepared by the ombudsman cites statistics from three surveys, according to
which Roma children accounted for 41, 67.9 and 94 percent of classes with „different
curricula‟. The Parliamentary Commissioner of Citizens‟ Rights turned to the
Minister of Education in August 1999 with a proposal for legislation and certain
recommendations attached to the report by the ombudsman for minorities, on the

same issue. The above data are not accepted by a certain proportion of teachers of
children with disabilities.

The situation of the education, vocational education and employment of people with
disabilities may be analysed from five distinct angles
1.     Schools with ‗different curricula‘ - although they are equivalent from a legal
perspective - do not properly prepare young people hindered in learning, for
secondary education. (For instance, they do not teach physics, chemistry or biology -
they only have a simplified subject on nature.)
2.     Only about half of the children who have completed the special primary school
to on for education and training in special vocational schools. (The statistics are
difficult to interpret for 9th and 10th grade primary school programmes have been
launched recently in a number of special primary schools, therefore, the number of
pupils in special vocational schools has declined somewhat.)
3.     Special vocational schools provide simple vocational qualifications in general
with short training periods, narrow profiles which are often not competitive at all in
the labour market.
4.     Children and adults with disabilities still run into a variety of difficulties during
training, the choice of vocation, employment and in their day-to-day lives in general
despite the differentiated institution system and the high standards of special
education services for children with disabilities.
5.     The practice of transferring children to special primary schools should be
reviewed. In the development and improvement of the vocational training of children
who have finished primary school with ‗different curricula‘ efforts should be made to
provide young people enrolled in special primary school for social reasons with
access to the ‗normal‘ vocational education system and the labour market. To this
end, complex vocational orientation and pre-vocational education programmes should
be organised to make it possible to decide what type of training a given young person
is suitable, in which - accepting the equivalence of the primary school with ‗different
curriculum‘ - subjects that have not been included in those ‗different curricula‘ but
that are necessary for the acquiring of a vocation, can be taught.
In the vocational education of children with disabilities vocations of modular, multi-
level structures with a variety of requirements to be met, should be developed. (Semi-
skilled worker level, sectoral skilled worker level, fully skilled worker level.). Young
people should enter the labour market having attained the levels as befit their

3.1.4 Those dropping out of vocational education and secondary schools

In the secondary schools providing general certificate of secondary education the
drop-out rate has been slowly diminishing over the recent decade (at a slower rate in
the case of secondary grammar schools). The drop-out rate of the group that entered
the secondary school in 1989 and that took their final exams in 1993 was 11.5
percent, while that of the group in secondary school between 1993 and 1997 the
corresponding ratio was 9.3 percent. The figures on vocational secondary schools -
which provides both general certificate of secondary education and vocational
qualification, have been dynamically improving. The group that entered such schools
in 1990 and took their final exams in 1994, had a drop-out rate of 17.3 percent. The
same rate was only 8.7 percent in the group that started in 1993 and took their final
exams in 1997. (According to the annual report by the Ministry of Education.)

Drop-out rates are a lot higher in apprenticeship schools. In this type of institution the
drop-out rte varied between 20 and 25 percent, it declined slowly until 1995 but by
1998 it increased to 25 percent again.

The reduction in vocational schools as experienced in the first half of the nineties had
been determined by the above mentioned financing model, where subsidy was
allocated based on the number of children learning in the given school. If a pupil left
the school then financing was reduced in the next year.
After 1995 the organisations maintaining schools were forced by the government‘s
austerity program to reorganise and integrate schools. The conditions of education
deteriorated. The Government launched a separate programme to provide for the
severance pay due to teachers made redundant in rationalised schools. The purchasing
value of wages declined. The best and most highly qualified teachers and instructors
left the field of vocational education.

After 1995 the number of young people who continued their studies after primary
school in secondary vocational schools that provide general certificate of secondary
education, at the same time the number of young people enrolling in apprenticeship
schools dropped.

Distribution of young people continuing their studies having completed primary
school (%)
             secondary school         apprenticeship school
1990             48.6 %               42.0 %
1995             60.8 %               34.2 %
1998             68.7 %               24.6 %
1999             70.6 %               22.9 %
Source: CSO. Data on education, 1999/2000 Bp. 2000

The proportion of properly motivated pupils best suited for training dropped among
pupils entering apprenticeship schools. This process may be one of the reasons for the
increase of the drop-out rates.
The distribution of 9th graders among the various types of schools is, however, not
identical with the distribution of those continuing their studies after the 8th grade, for a
significant number of pupils failing in the secondary grammar school or in secondary
vocational school transfer to lower prestige schools - primarily to apprenticeship

Distribution of 9th grade pupils           number of children              %
primary school 9th grade:                      694                         0.53
special primary school 9 grade                 921                         0.73
secondary grammar school                       39,537                      31.6
secondary vocational school                    49,647                      39.6
apprenticeship school                          30,876                      24.64
vocational school                              276                         0.2
other vocational school*                       1,914                       1.52
vocational school for those with disabilities 1,422                        1.13
Total:                                         125,287                     99.95
(1999/2000 school year)
*special vocational school for those without disabilities

The real structure of continued studies may be analysed more properly based on the
distribution of students in the 9th grade. The table is proposed to be simplified and the
data of the rest of the vocational schools should be added to those of the
apprenticeship school, for the drop-out trends are similar. This shows a distribution
pattern as follows:

Distribution of pupils in 9th grade, among types of schools (1999/2000 school
secondary grammar school:                      32 %
secondary vocational school:                   40 %
apprenticeship school, vocational school:      27 %

From the aspect of social exclusion the group of people dropping out of
apprenticeship schools should be analysed. Most of the drop-outs give up attending
the apprenticeship school at the end of the first school year - two thirds of them drop
out at the end of the first year, one sixth during the second year, another sixth during
the third year and/or fail their final exams. Over the recent years approx. two thirds of
apprentices dropped out of school after the first school year, half of the remaining
third in the second year, the remaining number dropping out in the third year or failed
the examination.

This structure confirms the conclusion of sociology surveys according to which the
most important reason for children dropping out of apprenticeship schools is the
inappropriate preparation of the decision on the choice of vocation and the forced
choice of vocation. Children coming with the poorest primary school certificates will
not necessarily be admitted to the school of their choice. They will be transferred to
schools where the lowest number of children want to enrol and/or where there are lots
of free capacities.

According to the preliminary statistics on the 1999-2000 school year in the 1998-99
school year a total number of 12,401 (33.8 percent) young people dropped out at the
end of the first school year from apprenticeship schools. (CSO Statistics on education
- 1999/2000 Bp. 2000)

(The 9th grade was started in 1998 by a total of 36,658 pupils, in 1999 the 10th grade
was started by 24,257 children.) This is an astonishing drop-out rate: twice as large as
the rates observed before. Th reason must lie in the development programme launched
in the Hungarian public education system in the autumn of 1998 in which there is no
vocational education in the 9th and 10th grade of the apprenticeship school, only a pre-
vocational education in five hours a week. The programme of general subjects were
put together by schools in accordance with the new national basic curriculum and in
some schools the programme of the apprenticeship school was adjusted to the
secondary vocational school‘s programme of general subjects.

In analysing the drop-out patterns of apprenticeship schools it should be taken into
account that many of the drop-outs return into the system of vocational education. The
modelling of such correction processes is rather difficult - the order of magnitude of
young people concerned may only be deduced from statistics on the structure of
vocational qualifications of young people entering the labour market for the first time.

The drop-out rates of 9th graders were also surprisingly high in the 1998-99 school
year in secondary vocational schools. Since these figures are modified by a large
number of factors (such as repeating of grades, changing of schools), it is difficult to
draw definite conclusions.

Secondary vocational school:
9th graders in 1998:                     48,472,
10th graders in 1999:                    44,070
Drop-outs:                                4,402              9%

Secondary grammar school:
9th graders in 1998:                     38,395
10th graders in 1999:                    36,671
Drop-outs:                                1,724              4,5 %

It is possible to prepare model calculations on the number of drop-outs. Over the
forthcoming 8 years the total number of eight graders will be 124,000 on an average -
including students of the appropriate age groups in schools for children with
disabilities and those of 6 and 8 year secondary grammar schools. The fluctuation of
the number of pupils is a negligible few percents.
Number of pupils:                                                     124,000
Those who do not acquire qualifications by the age of 16              4%      5,000
those who have finished primary school and do not continue education:4 %      5,000
Those who continue their studies                                      114,000
from secondary grammar school 32 %             36,480           10 %       3,648
from secondary vocational school 40 %          45,600            10 %      4,560
from apprenticeship school          27 %       30,780            25 %*     7,695

The total number of those who do not complete primary school and do not
continue education, who go without vocational qualification, is 25,904, or 20.9
   It is assumed that the drop-out rate in 1998-1999 was a single phenomenon, triggered by the
    combined effect of a number of factors, and the model calculations should be based on the data of
    the preceding longer period of time.

It is difficult to estimate the number of young people who entered some other
vocational education after failing in one school, and finally obtained vocational
qualification. Those dropping out of secondary vocational school or from secondary
grammar school stand a relatively better chance. A substantial percentage of this
group will acquire qualifications in apprentice training or complete secondary
education in evening school.
According to the results of the model calculation those not completing school and not
acquiring qualification account for some 20 percent of their age group. It is assumed
that about a third of this group goes on later to acquire some qualification. Young
people choosing this ‗second way‘, however, should be regarded as disadvantaged
irrespective of the possible success in this effort. for in vocational education they
usually acquire qualifications that are of lower value in the market and even after
acquiring the general certificate of secondary education in evening school third status
in the labour market and in society will remain rather uncertain.

3.1.5 Young people who have acquired vocational qualification that is not required
by the labour market.

It is difficult to identify the group of qualifications that are competitive in the labour
market. In the eastern and northern regions of Hungary even those who completed
secondary vocational school or some ‗polytechnic‘ will find it difficult to find a job.
On the contrary, in the western regions of Hungary even those with traditional skilled
workers‘ qualifications will find it quite easy to find employment.
The length and nature of the phase of life between vocational education and labour
market is generally found to have changed. While about fifteen years ago a first-job-
seeker practically immediately found a job, today most of them do experience
unemployment as well. Joining the re-training system is a typical arrangement.
According to the findings of a survey almost 60 percent of young people who have
completed their studies at secondary level joined the re-training system instead of
entering the labour market.

The capability of training and certain key qualifications such autonomy, reliability,
capability of working in teams, IT skills, communication and problem solving skills
and capabilities, have been increasing in value. In the traditional apprenticeship
training system the development of the capability of training and that of the key
qualifications is not quite satisfactory.

In the labour market the employers‘ expectations to be met by first-job-seekers
include the key qualifications as well as some working experience. Consequently,
young people who participated in training programmes with little practical training -
and even that taken in the school environment - will be in a disadvantaged position.

Hypotheses may be formulated concerning the vocational qualifications that may be
regarded as not meeting the requirements of the labour market.

1. The qualifications acquired through brief training periods in vocational schools for
   pupils with disabilities
2. Restricted (narrow) profile vocational qualifications acquired in apprenticeship
   schools through brief training periods.
3. Qualifications that cannot be sold in the regional labour market. (There are large
   differences between regions and the demand varies rapidly and substantially at
   times.) For instance, large numbers of lathe operators were unable to find
   employment for years - the entry of the economy by a number of large enterprises,
   however, has resulted in a short supply of such workers.
4. Programmes that do not properly improve the trainability and the key
   qualifications of pupils.

3.1.6 The Roma minority

The description of young people belonging to the Roma minority, as a specific
subgroup at risk of failure at school, is complicated by the fact that since 1993
statistics on education do not include separate data on Roma pupils. Technical
literature has continued to cite statistics from 1992.

There are no precise data on the number of individuals of the Roma minority in
Hungary. According to surveys performed in the mid-nineties their number is
estimated to be about half a million (5% of the population of Hungary). Some Roma
politicians, however, often argue that the total number of the Roma population is
between 600,000 and 800,000. Along with the uncertainties of statistics it is quite
surprising that some precise figures are presented in technical literature as for instance
the total number of births per 1,000 Roma individuals - it was 32 in 1971 and 28.7 in
1997. In 1993 11.9 percent of the children born in Hungary - approx. 13,700 persons -
were of Roma origin.

In 1999 a total of 95,000 children were born in Hungary (a 0,094 percent birth rate).
The number of new-born children of the Roma minority is estimated to fall between
13,000 and 15,000. This means that one in six or seven babies is of Roma origin.

Conclusions concerning the territorial distribution of the Roma population may also
be drawn from the statistics on education, collected in 1993. The Roma minority is
found to be concentrated primarily in two counties in north-east Hungary, two
counties in Transdanubia and in two counties in the Great Plain. Another relevant
aspect is the type/size of municipality. The percentage of Roma pupils is highest in
the schools of municipalities where the population is smaller than 5,000 (in 1992).

Percentages of Roma students in the education institutions of municipalities with
populations below 5,000
number of residents  - 1,000      15,2 %
                     1-2,000      12,5 %
                     2-5,000       9,7 %

Kertesi-Kézdi: Roma children in primary school In: Roma people and school, Bp. 1996.

The territorial distribution of the Roma population has not substantially changed since
the surveys carried out seven years ago. Th influx to larger towns that had
commenced earlier, has continued. In some urban districts the number and percentage
of the Roma population has grown. Nevertheless, it is possible to define the regions
and types of municipalities where the share of the Roma population - and that of
pupils - is highest. (Certain counties and municipalities of in the northern, eastern and
southern regions of Hungary.)

The number of all pupils and the number of Roma pupils (t and c). Ratio of
Roma children in primary school by counties (ca)

County                               t                         c                        ca

Budapest                         166 145                     6 730                      4,05
Baranya                           41 323                     4 082                      9,88
Bács-Kiskun                       56 295                     2 511                      4,46
Békés                             40 697                     2 028                      4,98
Borsod                            84 064                    13 389                     15,93
Csongrád                          42 210                     1 359                      3,22
Fejér                             45 556                     1 109                      2,43
Győr-Sopron                       45 105                      834                       1,85

Hajdú                              60 273                4 291                   7,12
Heves                              32 972                3 886                  11,79
Komárom                            32 909                1 331                   4,04
Nógrád                             22 555                3 589                  15,91
Pest                               97 325                4 348                   4,47
Somogy                             33 745                3 865                  11,45
Szabolcs                           68 746                9 302                  13,53
Szolnok                            45 430                5 025                  11,06
Tolna                              26 853                2 206                   8,22
Vas                                27 504                 876                    3,18
Veszprém                           41 531                1 442                   3,47
Zala                               31 781                2 038                   6,41
Total:                           1 043 019              74 241                   7,12
In: Roma people and school. Bp. 1996. page 39)

Further concentration of the Roma minority is indicated by the finding of a research
according to which over 70% of Roma pupils attended schools in 1992 where their
proportion was in excess of 10 percent (such schools had an average of 23 percent of
Roma pupils).
― That is, 49 Roma children go to school together with 164 non-Roma children in the
schools attended by the majority of Roma children.‖(Kertesi-Kézdi: ibid. p. 11.)

The nineties brought about dramatic changes in the life of the Roma minority. Jobs in
the construction and manufacturing industry that used to provide for the employment
of the Roma minority were closed down. While about a quarter of a century ago the
majority of Roma men worked, today hardly a third of them can find employment.
According to the ombudsman for minorities one in three gypsy pupils is raised in a
family where both parents are unemployed. In the evolving market economy Roma
people with insufficient qualifications and those with qualifications that used to be
required by the socialist large enterprises, have been forced out of the labour market.

The majority of Roma pupils are characterised by multiple factors causing
disadvantages: they live in depressed regions with high unemployment rates. Their
parents are without qualifications. The majority of the parents have been out of work
since 1990, living off odd jobs and aid. According to a survey carried out in 1996 18
percent of Roma family heads have a job, 19 percent of them are unemployed and the
remaining 63 percent are economically inactive. The rate of unemployment of the
non-Roma population was 4.9 percent in the given sample - it was 51 percent in the
Roma sample. (A report on public education in Hungary 1997. OKI BP. 1998. P.

These figures need no explanation: The net average wage of an employee in Hungary
is USD 200, the minimum wage is hardly USD 100 while social aids amount to USD
60-80. Part of the Roma population live in small villages in east and north Hungary in
poverty that is characteristic of the third world. The only way out of this poverty is
offered by education and vocational education. The majority of Roma pupils now do
complete the primary school and about a third of them go on to secondary schools and
vocational education.

Information on the results and success of young Romas is provided by the surveys
conducted by István Kemény. (István Kemény : The Roma minority and education in
school, 1996. I. p. 71-83.)
According to his data primary school is completed by 31.3 percent of Roma children
at the age of 14, by 43.6 percent at the age of 15, by 62.7 percent at the age of 16 and
by 64.4 percent by at the age of 17.
The ratios on education in secondary school are a lot lower. About half of Roma
pupils continued their studies in secondary school in 1993.

Continued studies of Roma pupils who finished primary school, in 1993
      vocational school               9,4 %
      apprentice school (SC)        31,2 %
      vocational secondary school   10,0 %
      secondary grammar school       0,6 %
      Total                         51,2 %

If 64.4 percent of Roma pupils finished primary school and 51 percent of them
continued their education, then the proportion of those participating in continued
education was 33% of those learning in a given year (grade). Finally, the share of
those obtaining vocational qualification or general certificate of secondary education
was hardly more than 20-25 percent of all Roma pupils.

3.1.7 Summary

According to the findings of the MONITOR surveys exploring the differences in the
performance of pupils living in the various categories of municipalities, the
differences by region and county of the per capita GDP and the proportions of the
unemployed and the distribution of the Roma minority by region and type of
municipality it is possible to relatively precisely identify the regions, counties and
smaller areas where there is a high rate of young people at risk of failure at school.
The highest risks are observed in areas where there is a high rate of unemployment a
higher than average proportion of the Roma minority and low levels of GDP alike. If
programmes are to be launched to prevent failure at school in the given regions by
improving the conditions of education and the instruments and means of teaching, the
following three principles need to be applied:

1. Programmes cannot be restricted to regions with low GDP generating capacities
   for the conditions resulting in failure at school are present in regions with better
   conditions as well.
2. Aid has to be distributed at regional, county and local levels.
3. Programmes cannot be limited to the Roma minority (Principle of integration).

The process of failure at school is quite clearly identified. The causes of failure at
primary school, wrong decisions on vocational orientation and dropping out of
secondary school are also clearly outlined. In order to manage - reduce - failure at
school steps should be taken to develop teaching/education methods and programmes,
in some cases appropriate institutions need to be established to integrate and assist
young people who have dropped out the system. The improvement of the social
conditions and circumstances and the increasing of the number of available jobs will
take a longer period of time.

The above sections were aimed to outline the process of failure at school and to
identify the groups of society who tend to fail in education. The creation of a set of
tools and instruments that will be suitable of managing such failure will be a task for
education policy. The following chapters shall be devoted to these questions.

3.2 Classification of the disadvantaged groups of young people according to their
positions in the labour market and in society, at a regional level

Integration in the labour market is a determinant of integration in society. In Hungary
a vocational qualification or general certificate of secondary education is an important
pre-requisite for integration in the labour market, even if it is not possible to employ
the given individual in a job corresponding to the given vocational qualification. The
reason for this is that the certificates obtained at school provide important information
for the employer on whether the young job-seeker meets their expectations or not. A
young person who attended secondary vocational school for a period of four or five
years, or an apprenticeship school for a period of 3 years, and achieved good results at
school, proves that he or she is disciplined, persistent and is capable of working on a
proper, regular basis. Appraisals and certificates from school will provide information
for an employer on the field of interests and the expected performance of the given

The hierarchy of vocational education programmes is clearly identified:
- Those completing schools and apprenticeship schools for children with disabilities
are in the worst position. Employers hire such individuals usually for the performance
of simple supplementary tasks. The changes of technology, however, are resulting in a
reduction of the number of such tasks and jobs.
In the labour market one also finds negative discrimination against people with
disabilities. This is partly a result of the shortage of information, partly that of the fact
that employers do not undertake to bear additional costs and investments relating to
the employment of people with disabilities (as required for the creation of special
work places).
Furthermore, the vocational qualifications acquired in the vocational schools of
people with disabilities are not marketable, their contents are outdated and the training
period is short. The technical equipment of special vocational schools is also outdated
in most cases. There is also a short supply of properly trained teachers since in
Hungary there is no special training for teachers of children with deficiencies in the
category of teachers of vocational subjects.

- Young people who have not completed the eight years of primary school, and those
who have completed primary school but have not acquired vocational qualifications
are also in an adverse position.

- Young people who have acquired their vocational qualifications at vocational
schools with short training periods (vocational training programmes of 6, 12 or 24
months, concentrated on restricted subject areas, aimed to meet reduced requirements,
corresponding more or less to the German ‗Teilfacharbeiter, Teil-Qualifikation or part
qualification or the I or II level qualifications in the Netherlands or the I or II level
NVQ in Britain) also stand little chance in the labour market.

- The position in the labour market of young people who have completed
apprenticeship schools of the traditional three year training form depends primarily on
the demand for the given vocations or in part on the regional job supply. It is more or
less true that young people and young adults with skilled worker qualifications, will
find employment in the regions where the conditions are better than the Hungarian
average, i.e. along the Austrian border, in the region around Székesfehérvár and
Budapest. It is also typical, however, that a certain proportion of first-job-seekers will
not be employed in jobs that correspond to their qualifications.
Conclusions may be drawn concerning the situation in employment from the fact that
almost 30 percent of young people who have finished apprenticeship schools acquire
the general certificate of secondary education in adult education at evening and
correspondence courses in secondary grammar schools and secondary vocational
schools. For there is a large number of young people among those participating in
evening classes, along with people in uncertain positions, living off odd jobs.
- The situation of young people who have finished secondary vocational school or
secondary grammar school differs by region. In general, the majority of them enter
various further training, vocational training, post-secondary and adult training
programmes right upon the completion of secondary school or after the first attempts
at taking up a job. Besides the programmes focused primarily on IT and language
courses, a broad supply has developed over recent years for those holding the general
certificate of secondary education in the form of short - one or two year - training
programmes organised by vocational secondary schools, education and training
businesses and higher education institutions. The majority of young people who have
completed secondary vocational schools do not fall in the group facing the risk of
social exclusion. Some of them, however, may find themselves in difficult situations.
(Illness of parents, drug abuse etc.).

On the whole, it may be pointed out that the situation of young people just out of
school cannot be assessed on the basis of a single factor. Qualifications, vocational
qualification, the regional and local labour market demand and family circumstances
each belong to the set of relevant factors. Young people without vocational
qualifications and those who have acquired their qualifications in short training
programmes are definitely at risk. The possibilities of those who have completed
traditional skilled worker training are determined by the regional situation and their
family conditions. (e.g. in a depressed region a young person with vocational
qualification may participate in a family business). The situation of those holding
general certificate of secondary education is favourable they have an access to a wide
range of schooling, market and post secondary training opportunities.

Besides training and regional aspects the third relevant factor is coming from the
Roma minority. About five percent of the population is estimated to belong to the
Roma minority In 1992 7.4, today about 10 percent of primary school pupils are of
Roma origin. Eight years ago some 12 percent of new-born babies, today an estimated
14-16 percent of new born babies are children of Roma parents. (This is not a result of
the growth of the number of Roma children, rather, it is caused by the dramatic
decline of the number of births and the stagnation of the same in the Roma minority.)

In some counties and districts the higher rate of unemployment, the lower rate of GDP
and the higher proportion of Romas in the population exist concurrently.

  Economic performance, employment and the proportion of Roma pupils, in a
                          breakdown by county
        County         GDP per capita in the  Ratio of the Roma    Unemployment rate3)
                         % of the national      students in the
                            average1)          primary school
                                             (within the county)2)
Budapest                       186                   4,05                  3,7
Baranya                         79                   9,88                 11,2
Bács-Kiskun                     71                   4,46                  9,2
Békés                           69                   4,98                 11,1
Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén            69                  15,93                 16,8
Csongrád                        89                   3,22                  7,6
Fejér                          124                   2,43                  7,6
Győr-Moson-Sopron              121                   1,85                  4,3
Hajdú-Bihar                     76                   7,12                 13,0
Heves                           73                  11,79                 11,3
Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok            72                  11,06                 12,0
Komárom-Esztergom               84                   4,04                  9,4
Nógrád                          57                  15,91                 14,3
Pest                            78                   4,47                  5,9
Somogy                          69                  11,45                 10,9
Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg          57                  13,53                 15,9
Tolna                           86                   8,22                 11,2
Vas                            117                   3,18                  5,0
Veszprém                        81                   3,47                  7,5
Zala                            90                   6,41                  7,5
Total:                                               7,12                  8,8
1): Data from 1998
2): Data from 1993
3): November 1998

The poverty of the Roma minority and the discouraging position of some groups in
the labour market is not a reason for doing nothing. Let us consider four key factors:
-      Some of the Roma minority do successfully integrate with the society even
-      Under suitable economic conditions the majority of Roma men did work for
their living in the past.
-      The majority of Roma children do attend school on a regular basis and - even if
at an older age - they do complete primary school and some of them go on to enter
vocational education.
- Over recent years a number of local initiatives and projects were launched which
successfully developed and applied methods to educate disadvantaged young Roma

3.3 The general views held in education policy on apprentice training

The Hungarian system of apprentice training is comparable to the dual vocational
training system of Austria or Germany. The training period has been three years since
1977. In general, practical training is not conducted under apprentice contracts.
Instead, a special co-operative form is used where the employer participating in

training undertakes to perform certain tasks of practical training - without the full
responsibility as in the German dual model. Practical training accounts for half of the
training period. (One week at school, one week of practical training in a training shop
or at a workplace).

Proponents of aspects of sociology have been criticising pedagogic aspects of
apprentice training over the past thirty years, with particular emphasis on the
following aspects:
-     vocation is to be chosen at an early age (14 years);
-     pupils receive training of a narrow profile (bricklayer, electrician, baker, lathe
-     child labour can be used in the framework of practical training which is
prohibited by international agreements (as well);
- practical training is provided by instructors or skilled workers without teacher

After 1990 companies that lost their markets and international relations terminated
their participation in practical training first. Some of the training shops in companies -
established before, with assistance provided by the Vocational Qualification Fund set
up to promote practical training - were taken over by schools and training enterprises.
Both schools and training businesses were forced to pursue productive activities in
those training shops.
After 1990 when the unemployment rate increased to over 10 percent in a ten year
period the majority of young skilled workers who had just completed their training,
could not find jobs. In some regions the majority of factories were closed down.
Vocational schools, however, continued to provide training in the traditional
vocations - despite the fact that it could be expected that people would not be
employed with such qualifications.
The market economy, however, has brought about certain permanent changes as well,
in Hungary, the most important of which is the transformation of the structure
(relative proportions) of wages. While before the transition the wages of skilled
workers were not much lower than subordinated technicians and engineers, now the
differences grew spectacularly.

By the early nineties a legitimacy crisis arose in vocational apprentice training, which
did influence the behaviour of young people, parents and the organisations
maintaining schools. The following should be pointed out from among the
consequences :
- In the period between 1990 and 1999 the number of individuals learning in
traditional apprenticeship training and in vocational schools dropped by 40 percent
(45 percent in 1990 and 27 percent in 1999).
- The traditional model of vocational training was questioned as a result of
uncertainties in the conditions of the labour market. Instead of the previous vocation-
based model education policy proposed a flexible model under which the length of
primary school education is extended by two years and vocational education provides
new programmes of various training periods, flexibly adjusted to the requirements of
the labour market.
- The conditions for the commencement of vocational training also changed.
Vocational training used to be started after the completion of the 8th grade, in the new
model vocational training is commenced after the 10th grade.

- Following the model of the English National Curriculum, education policy
introduced a single basic curriculum for the first ten years of public education.
- In long term development concepts the proportion of those acquiring the general
certificate of secondary education is to be increased to 80-85 percent. This would
practically entail the termination of skilled worker training in secondary school.

The society and education policy both responded in a radical way to the changes of
the labour market after 1990: if the labour market does not require skilled worker
qualifications, if the labour market does not pay much for skilled worker
qualifications, then parents will not enter their children in the system of apprentice
training and the vocational education policy will lay little emphasis on the
development of apprentice training. The concept of skilled worker training used to be
adjusted to the model of a secure labour market, where changes are transparent and
predictable, where even a skilled worker has a future - a perspective in life.
The new model prepares participants for an uncertain future.

The future development of vocational training depends on the development of the
economy and that of the labour market. The traditional vocational training system
may be expected to stabilise only if the economy increases its participation in
vocational training and the conditions that evolve in the labour market (job security,
acceptable wage structure) are attractive for young people about to chose some

3.4 Limited institutional capacity of VET to counteract school failure

The determination of failure at school had already been pointed out by Zsuzsa Ferge, -
sociologist - in 1978 (Zsuzsa Ferge: The obstacles of the school reform: objective
difficulties, conflicts of interests. In: Social Policy, Bp. 1980. p. 62).
"In the long run it is in the interest of the national economy as a whole that there
should be a sufficient number of people who are willing to undertake and carry out
the simplest work as well as work pursued under the worst possible conditions. The
easiest way to achieve this is by restricting the propensity of the pupils of the poorest
qualities to learn and to pursue continued studies, by means of the school, i.e. by
purely symbolic instruments, at good time."

However surprising it may seem, this is rather in line with the radical theories
prevailing in the west at the time. In a segmented labour market it is in the interest of
employers to have employees with such work-place specific qualifications that they
can sell in the outside labour market only under limited circumstances. (Sengenberger
/Editor./: Der gespaltene Arbeitsmarkt. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt-New York, 1978.)

Progressive pedagogy and vocational education policy trends have been seeking for
solutions to two key problems over recent years. They have been making efforts to
formulate models in the area of public education that would not reduce the learning
motives of those with poorer capabilities and they have been making efforts to create
qualifications in vocational education that would be broad-based, not company-
specific and that would be easy to sell in the external labour market as well.

The determination of failure at school has been pointed out by the results of the
surveys performed by József Nagy as well. (József Nagy: The readiness for school of

our 5-6 year old children , Bp. 1980.) According to József Nagy some 7 percent of the
five year old generation who are already at the level of the seven year old age group
in terms of readiness for school should be enrolled in school earlier. In the framework
of preventive compensation an intensive school preparatory compensation should be
provided for children at the age of five for about 20-25 percent of children who are
not retarded by more than two years. ―Children start their career in school with
learning results corresponding to their level of development prior to their entering
school. Whether a child will continue his or her studies is decided during his or her
first year in school‖ (ibid., p. 8.)

The work of the primary school has been determined so far by the curriculum reform
introduced in 1978 which followed the general trend of the seventies, focusing on a
scientific approach. Consequently, emphasis was laid on natural sciences, physics,
chemistry, biology and mathematics. Textbooks written at that time contain a lot of
information that used to be taught in the higher secondary education phase in earlier

The results of the content reform are contradictory. Although Hungarian pupils
achieved outstanding results at IEA examinations in the group of 14 year olds on a
number of occasions, it is also true that one quarter of pupils do not have the
elementary knowledge in mathematics, natural sciences, mother tongue and social
issues upon the completion of the eighth grade that would be required for a choice of
a vocation or for successful participation in vocational education.

Another fundamental cause of failure at school lies in the conflict between the value
model of families and that of the school. The model of values of groups of the society
that are increasingly impoverished, whose situation is increasingly uncertain is
becoming increasingly removed from the model preferred by schools. The
transformation of the mode of life of young generations is also assumed to play an
important role. The former organised forms of spending spare time (culture houses,
sports clubs) are also disappearing. Adverse processes have evolved in the network of
libraries as well. Study circles at school that used to be free of charge are now
replaced by afternoon programmes in schools for which participants have to pay a fee.
The spending of spare time is now dominated by watching television and video films.

Young people of the Roma minority form the group facing the highest risk of failure
at school. The reasons that determine the failure at school in the entirety of the
population accumulate in Roma families (including poverty, unemployment, a
disorganised mode of life, discarding of norms of schools etc.). The chances of Roma
children at school may only be improved if success can be achieved in the position of
Roma employees in the labour market, the conflicts between the hierarchy of values
of families and those of the school can be reduced and if education can be better
adjusted to the features of the age groups in school and their opportunities, at the same

The competency of education policy in the narrow sense of the term is restricted to
the school building and the school room. By direct and indirect means education
policy can influence the goals and values of the various types of institutions, the
contents of education and the means and methods of education.


4.1 General conditions of education policy

Over the recent decade the supporting of marginalised groups has been increasingly
neglected. The attention of political sciences has turned towards the ‗middle classes‘
and the majority of the innovations in education policy have also been determined by
the requirements and the interests of the new ‗middle class‘.
These changes are definitely reflected by the new textbooks in schools. New concepts
have appeared in the curricula of schools that are alien even to parents with general
certificate of secondary education. (One example from mathematics in the fourth
grade of primary school: the category of mathematics that are called by a forty year
old person ‗equation‘ is referred to in the textbooks of primary school children up to
the 4th grade as function, machine or open sentence and these are resolved by pupils
by guesswork.) In the seventh grade of primary school the teaching of physics,
chemistry and biology is determined by a scientific approach. One typical example
from the seventh grade programme is the introduction of the Avogadro-number that is
six times ten to the twenty third.

Six and eight grade secondary grammar schools re-appeared after 1990 where items
that used to be taught at the age of 15 are now tried to be taught in some cases at the
age of eleven or thirteen. Primary schools, if they are to retain their pupils, are forced
to adopt text books of eight grade secondary grammar schools. A typical example is
the book entitled ‗mathematics for the 6th grade of the primary school and for the 2nd
grade of the 8 year secondary grammar school‘.

Education policy tried to respond to the differentiation of public education and to the
increasing competition between 1994 and 1998 at first by developing the common
national curriculum for the first ten grades in school. Competition, however, is
difficult to restrict when as a result of the diminishing of the number of births the
number of pupils is also declining and the organisations maintaining schools threaten
schools by rationalisation - and closure.

4.1.2 Initiatives in the area of vocational education (1990-1992)

The first attempts to support disadvantaged young people have been made primarily
in vocational education. The legal framework was created by Article 28 of Act No.
1990 amending Act No. I of 1985 which made it possible to teach young people
without disabilities in special vocational schools that used to provide vocational
education for young people who could not develop together with the rest of their
contemporaries on account of their disabilities, and the objective of training of such
schools was supplemented by preparing children for life and employment.

In 1990 and 1991 large numbers of special vocational schools were established
primarily in areas of household keeping, agriculture and traditional industrial areas.
There was a high proportion of girl pupils among the attendees of such schools. The
vocations trained were of narrow profile and short training period and the schools

organising such programmes were, for the most part, primary schools but they also
included nursing homes and culture houses and employees‘ primary schools also took
the opportunity.

The new vocational schools appeared in the statistics as special vocational school for
young people without disabilities. In 1990 there were no more than 600 pupils
learning in this new type of school. By 1993 the number of pupils of this type of
school increased to 17,300. the reason was that larger generations born in the second
half of the seventies got to vocational education and secondary education after 1989.
In apprenticeship schools and in secondary schools there were many classes of up to
35 pupils after 1990. In certain schools education was conducted ‗in two shifts‘ in the
morning and in the afternoon. The rapid expansion of special vocational schools was,
therefore, not a result of the social sensitivity of the education governance - rather, it
was used to provide for the education of young people forced out of the regular course
of education by the lack of capacity.
Some of vocational schools, however, elaborated highly valuable pedagogy
programmes, in view of the social background of pupils entering the institutions, their
personality problems developed as a result of their failure at school, their knowledge
acquired beforehand and they made efforts to provide pupils with competitive and
marketable vocational qualifications.

The conference on vocational education held in April 1990 in the town of Veszprém
played a decisive role in the development of vocational schools. The conference was
subsidised besides the Hungarian education and social/welfare ministries by the
senate of Berlin as well, where the means of the vocational education of
disadvantaged young people were analysed for the first time. Between 1989 and 1991
a number of experts visited Berlin to study programmes aimed to prepare young
people for the acquiring of vocational qualifications and to enable their catching up
with their contemporaries, by means of social pedagogy.
One association - the Habitats Association - played an important role in this
development. They promoted the work of teachers involved in the vocational
education of disadvantaged students by organising study tours and by publishing
books describing the work of the institutions concerned.

Non-governmental organisations (NGO's) also made a substantial contribution to the
development achieved after 1990. Many of the exemplary vocational schools had
been launched by foundations - and these are still operating.

To highlight some example-setting initiatives:
An ‗Alternative Vocational School‘ established by transforming the evening primary
school of the town of Szeged which implements basic schooling, vocational
orientation, vocational basic training, sectoral vocational training and full vocational
training in its modular structure education programme.
In the Budapest Education Centre traditional crafts were trained at high quality
standards. They did establish a school. Their curricula and programmes were adopted
by dozens of institutions. Today the school is maintained by a foundation, they are
training potters, fancy leather goods makers, saddle makers, carpet weavers and
joiners and they also operate an evening secondary grammar school.
The school of the Don Bosco foundation in Kazincbarcika combines the provision of
primary school qualification with job creation and vocational education. The majority

of their pupils come from the Roma minority, therefore the cultivation of the Roma
culture is also emphasised in their programme. The foundation is now operating a
secondary vocational school as well.
The transformation of part of the youth hostels providing for young people raised by
the state is also important. An increasing number of institutions have launched
vocational education and employment programmes.
Later on, a programme was launched in Zalaegerszeg following the model of Danish
productive schools, combining training with employment.

For experts of employment it was clear that vocational qualifications based on short
term training would not provide reliable access to the job market in the nineties.
International practice has shown that the majority of disadvantaged young people can
be provided with fully marketable vocational qualifications through appropriate
training and education techniques. The alternative that a ‗second‘ vocational
education system should be created for marginalised groups of the society, was found
unacceptable from a number of aspects.
The participants of the economy are not normally willing to participate in the training
of marginalised groups. Therefore a training shop system is to be established in
schools which, however, cannot ensure real chances for employment despite the high
costs, for owing to the discrimination prevailing in the economy and the society, those
pursuing a ‗separating‘ model provide vocations for disadvantaged young people that
are considered by the economy as ‗second rate‘. This then contributes to the
preservation of segregation.
The training of disadvantaged young people can be promoted only by a policy that
follows the principle of integration instead of that of segregation, one, which does not
create a ‗second‘ system for vocational education but enables the returning of the
target group to ‗normal‘ institutions.

In 1990 a large number of vocational schools submitted applications to the Ministry
of Education planning to provide housewife training and dressmaker training for
licences for their individual experimental programmes. In this situation it became
necessary to elaborate new model programs that could be offered to schools.

In early 1991 a working committee was set up of representatives of the Ministry of
Labour, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of the
Interior, the National Institute of Vocational Education and the National Institute of
Public Education to promote the vocational education of young people
forced/dropping out of secondary schools. The committee put in a proposal for the
elaboration of four programmes:
- to modernise the primary school following the Scandinavian model by increasing
    the education period to nine years, by strengthening the skills development
    elements of the elementary phase and by implementing a flexible closing phase in
    which it is possible to integrate a closing phase of vocational orientation;

-   to introduce a vocational orientation programme that can be implemented under
    the framework of the primary school, following the model of the Austrian
    polytechnic year;

-   a program to provide vocational orientation and vocational basic training that may
    be implemented under the framework of the apprenticeship school

-   a one year programme of adults‘ night primary school combining the skills and
    knowledge required for the acquiring of a vocation, with vocational orientation.

From among the programmes the curricula of the programme to provide vocational
orientation and vocational basic training programme that can be organised in the
apprenticeship school have been elaborated. The curricula of the general subjects
were prepared by the National Institution of Public Education, while the vocational
curricula were elaborated by the National Institute for Vocational Education. In 1992
the second year curriculum of vocational orientation programmes was completed - it
provides a vocational basic training and enables transfer into the system of traditional
apprenticeship training. In developing the concepts for the programmes the
documents of the Austrian polytechnic year (Polytechnisches Jahr), the German one
year programme preparing for vocational education (Berufsvorbereitungsjahr) and the
one year programme providing basic education in groups of vocations
(Berufsgrundbildungsjahr) and the programmes aimed to provide preparations for
vocational education applied by the Federal Labour Office. Between 1991 and 1992
almost 300 schools adopted the model programmes, primarily the special schools
established at that time, which, however, often lacked the requisites required for the
launching of a vocational orientation programme.

Today this programme is considered as partially successful. In 1991 and 1993 - when
relatively large age groups transferred into the secondary education and when
traditional apprenticeship training had lost partners providing practical training owing
o the conditions of the economy in quite a number of vocations, special vocational
schools contributed to the termination of the deterioration of the statistics on pupils
entering secondary school and then to the dynamic improvement of the proportion of
pupils entering secondary education. Special schools, however, are characterised by
outdated technical facilities, the lack of highly qualified vocational instructors, the
training of sectoral vocations of low prestige in the labour market and the lack of the
necessary investment programmes.

In: Institute of Research on Education, Ilona Liskó performed surveys in 1993 and
1994 in special vocational schools. She found that special vocational schools were
institutions attracting large numbers of disadvantaged young people. Three quarters of
the respondents filling out her questionnaires were girls, 51 percent of them had come
from villages and one or both parents of 52 percent of them were unemployed. A total
of 43 percent of special schools involved in the research had been launched in primary
schools. The institutions were small and in two thirds of them there were only one or
two classes of vocational school. Education was often complicated by the lack of
appropriate text books, equipment, training shops and in 23.6 percent of the
institutions practical training was provided in classrooms, in 66.2 percent of cases it
was in training shops of the schools. The training in such schools was dominated by
low prestige industrial and agricultural vocations, dress making and housewife
training. (Ilona Liskó: The position of special vocational schools . Presentation,
delivered at a conference in Budapest between 10 and 12 October 1994 in Budapest
on the vocational education of disadvantaged young people.)

Ilona Liskó worded her message in a straightforward way: "The practices of special
vocational training convinces us of the grave irresponsibility of the education
governance when it introduced the secondary training of disadvantaged children under

deficient personal, material, financial and technical/professional conditions, without
clear cut objectives, in special vocational schools. One might say that they succeeded
in creating form of training for socially disadvantaged children, that is disadvantaged
from a technical/professional point of view. Consequently, this type of training cannot
be expected to improve the social integration and the chances in the labour market of
the children enrolling in such schools.
In order to improve the effectiveness of this form of training the education
governance should carry out what it has not carried out so far. The objective of the
training and its output conditions should be clarified first of all, along with what the
certificate acquired here entitles its holder. At the same time a technical/professional
infrastructure (proposed curricula, text books, teaching aids, the means for assessing
the effectiveness of training, teacher training and continued training etc.) should be
created that is indispensable for the operation of any new type of training.
Furthermore, funding sources should be made available for all schools (perhaps in the
form of a budgetary fund created for this purpose) to enable the creation of the
personal and material requisites in the institutions concerned, as befits the objectives
of training. This is probably the only way that could ensure that in special schools in
the future the ‗special‘ feature can be other than the especially poor conditions under
which training is provided but that teachers can use special training and education
methods (adjusted to the needs of the children)."

4.1.3 International co-operation in the training of marginalised groups

There are several significant international programmes in the area of the training of
marginalised groups.

The conference at Veszprém that was supported besides the Hungarian education and
social/welfare ministries by the senate of Berlin, and the study tours to Berlin
provided an important assistance to the launching of vocational education
programmes in Hungary.
Under the German/Hungarian governmental programme the German government
provided DEM 700,000 for the establishment and equipment of a model institute. In
the summer of 1992 a delegation comprised of representatives of the Ministry of
Education, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Agriculture, the Budapest
municipal government and various education institutions studied the German
practices of the vocational education of marginalised groups of the society. The
concept was to set up a centre in Budapest for which the municipal government would
have provided the necessary real estate. Finally, the centre was constructed in
Esztergom, financed with DEM 2.2 million, and it is operated and maintained by the
Kolping association. The concept of the centre follows the one year catching up and
vocational orientation programme of the German labour office /Förderlehrgang der
Bundesanstalt für Arbeit/. The institution was planned to enable 72 pupils to catch up
and to receive pre-vocational education in six vocational areas (wood processing,
metal processing, textile, catering, information technology and printing). The goals
included catching up and vocational orientation and that upon the completion of the
one year programme the pupils would continue their studies in the vocational
education institutions of the town. The task of the institution would have included -
besides the training - the organisation of teacher training programmes and the
development of education programmes.

The Kolping vocational school in Esztergom started working in the 1994-1995 school
year. Its technical facilities were suitable for assisting, as a model centre in
accordance with the German/Hungarian government programme, the vocational
training of disadvantaged young people. The town of Esztergom, however, did not
undertake to provide support to the new institution - despite its earlier promises. The
vocational school was in a poor financial situation. The Kolping vocational school
supplemented the original objective - the pre-vocational training - by undertaking new
tasks to provide for the costs of operation. (Vocational education, adult training.) The
original goal, the operation of the model centre, became gradually neglected. In
assessing the changes, however, it should also be taken into account that upon the
completion of the pre-vocational programme pupils were not willing to transfer to
another school and they well-nigh forced the school to continue vocational training.
The Kolping organisation operates training institutions also in the towns of Szekszárd,
Várpalota, and Gyöngyös, the technical equipment and facilities of which are similar
to those of training centres in Germany. A new Kolping vocational school was later
established in east Hungary in the municipality of Nagykálló, which is now training
pupils - primarily of Roma origin - in the areas of information technology and health
services. The standards of the equipment and the technical work of the Kolping
schools is higher than the average in Hungary. Today, in my view, the vocational
school in Várpalota and the one in Nagykálló are the most innovative ones of them.

Along with the construction of the model centre in Esztergom, in the framework of
the German assistance programme, in 1992 and 1993 eight one week further training
programmes were organised - by Kolping organisations of Augsburg - at the centre of
the National Institution for Vocational Education for staff members of schools
undertaking to provide training for disadvantaged young people. The programme
enabled almost 200 teachers to learn principles applied in Germany in the vocational
education of disadvantaged young people, successful methods and the specifics of the
organisation of education. The programmes followed the agenda of the further
training programmes of Germany entitled "Benachteiligtenprogramm". The further
training effort provided a detailed analysis of the role of the socio-pedagogue in
vocational education, it presented the ‗project method‘ that is successfully applied in
the education of apprentices and the ‗guiding text method‘ (Leittextmethode) that is
built on the autonomous activities of the pupils.

The further training programmes were supplemented by study tours to Germany
where participants could familiarise themselves with the practical aspects of training.

In my view this programme had the most important impacts from the aspect of the
development of programmes for the disadvantaged in Hungary.

Following several years‘ of preparations in 1994 a PHARE programme was launched
in the Ministry of Labour, providing support to two dozen special vocational schools
for the improvement of the conditions of training. The technical conditions, financial
problems and the features of the vocations trained in the schools and institutions
selected by the experts of PHARE were highly similar to those identified by the
survey carried out by Ilona Liskó: with small-scale industry vocations, housewife
training, textile industry and agricultural training dominating, the programmes
included vocations of short term training. Although the programme was originally
launched for disadvantaged young people, it was joined by a number of schools where

young people of mild mental retardation - hindered learning capabilities - were

The further training programmes and study tours played an important role in the
PHARE programme as well. The tender for the organisation of further training
programmes was won by the BBJ Association of Berlin. The further training
programmes concentrated primarily on the role and tasks of the socio-pedagogue and
on efficient methods of vocational education. The study tours abroad also presented
new elements, including for instance vocational education combined with
employment. The study tours were aimed at vocational education institutions of
France, Italy and Germany.

This further training - which provided an opportunity for an intensive exchange of
experience of experts working with disadvantaged young people - was a dominant
element of the PHARE programme of the Ministry of Labour. In the closing phase of
the PHARE programme regional conferences were organised to which teachers of
specific regions were invited and the results and findings of the programme were
The participants of the PHARE programme established an association following the
closure of the programme in order to maintain their technical/professional relations
and to continue the utilisation and spreading of their results and achievements.
(Dialogue association)

Along with the above programme the Ministry of Education also put out a PHARE
tender which was aimed at the development of model programmes enabling the
catching up of the target group, providing them with vocational orientation and
vocational education. A total of 12 vocational schools participated in the programme
which was launched in late 1995. Some those institutions also participated in the other
PHARE programme. The social and ethnic composition of the pupils enrolled
changed typically - in two thirds of the institutions over 60 percent of the pupils were
of Roma origin. The Danish productive school of Zalaegerszeg also participated in the
The technical/professional support of the programme was provided by a Dutch
organisation. The goal of the programme - the development of teaching materials -
was not fully accomplished. The reasons include the growing uncertainty of public
education policy conditions, the delays of the amendment to the public education act,
the growing uncertainty of vocational education and the deepening of the legitimacy
crisis of vocational education.

4.1.4 Assessment of programmes launched between 1992 and 1998 to promote the
vocational education of disadvantaged young people

The special vocational schools and vocational schools (referred to in statistics
publications as ‗special vocational schools of people without disabilities‘ or ‗other
vocational schools‘) established after 1990 have contributed to the increase of the
percentage of those continuing their studies after the completion of primary school.
They enabled the rehabilitation and the returning into the system of vocational
education of young people dropped out of other types of institutions. In some areas
primarily in east and north Hungary groups could be attracted to education that did

not use to go in for continued education after primary school before the introduction
of these new types of institutions.

Other vocational schools‘ were usually small - according to statistics - and operated
with an average of two groups. They normally provided training in sectoral vocations
with lower theoretical requirements and with two year training period, with typical
areas in agriculture, housewife training, simple metal processing, wood processing,
construction and textile industrial activities.
A large proportion of the institutions did use the curricula elaborated by the National
Institute of Vocational Education. This programme package contained elements for
the first year aimed to enable participants to make up for deficiencies and to provide
vocational orientation as well as to provide basic vocational training. In the second
year vocational training was provided in the sectoral vocations. The small sizes and
technical facilities of the institutions, however, did not enable the implementation of
the planned high standard vocational orientation in three or four vocation fields,
therefore, the programme was substantially transformed in most places.

The plan of the farmer and housewife training programme elaborated and spread by
the Ministry of Agriculture in 1989, following the example of the Austrian farmer
training schools, was widely distributed and adopted.
The programmes training traditional crafts - basket weaving, leather goods
manufacturer, potter, carpet weaver etc. - developed by Budapest Education Centre
staff were quite popular and they attracted not only young people with multiple
disadvantages. Special attention should be paid to the vocational schools established
primarily in large towns of the Great Plain (in the towns of Szeged, Debrecen,
Nyíregyháza, Szolnok and Miskolc) which further developed primary schools of
adults and introduced full time training and supplemented general education with
vocational orientation and then continued it with vocational education.

It should be noted that the institution system so established did not form an integral
part of the national vocational education system. The majority of the vocational
schools undertook to provide short - usually two year - sectoral vocational training
instead of the functions specified in the central programme of 1991 - including
catching up, vocational orientation, rehabilitation, basic training, returning people into
the system of full value vocational education. The reasons for this included that the
small sizes and meagre facilities of the vocational schools did not enable them to
implement vocational orientation programmes covering several vocational areas and
apprenticeship schools were not quite willing to take over poor, low performance
pupils who were difficult to handle, from vocational schools.

On the whole, however, it should be emphasised, that the programmes assisting the
vocational education of disadvantaged young people did create the requisites for
progress over recent years. The evolution of an institution model that accepted young
people with multiple disadvantages should be recognised as an achievement. Partly
as an element of the 1991 programme (socialisation programme) and as an element
adjusted to bilateral programmes and the PHARE programme elements of social
pedagogy have appeared. Under international co-operation employees of dozens of
institutions learned European models formulated for the rehabilitation, integration
and vocational education of marginalised groups. Vocational schools received assets
- equipment - worth hundreds of millions of HUF from the Vocational Training Fund

and from foreign - Swiss, German and PHARE funds. Thousands of young people
from the Roma minority were enabled by the programme aimed at the disadvantaged
to enter the system of vocational education. In east and north Hungary, in regions
with the highest rates of unemployment and in large towns of the Great Plain a series
of institutions setting examples have been established whose experience should be
built upon and that may be important not only for Hungary but also for the Central
European region and even for the European Union.

4.1.5 Assessment of the activities of the government and those of non-governmental
organisations (NGO’s)

The vocational training of disadvantaged young people was listed among the tasks of
the Hungarian education and vocational education policy in 1990 already. The
primary reason for this was the combination of demographic and labour market
factors: thousands of young people in the mandatory education age were forced out of
the education system for demographic reasons - because there was a shortage of
capacity in vocational schools - and at the same time it was clear that under the
changing conditions in the labour market those without qualifications will not be

It is difficult to judge whether the central government or NGO‘s played a more
important role in launching programmes. One thing is certain: the conference in 1990
in Veszprém and the establishment of the Habilitas association were both initiated by
two professionals working in the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Between 1991 and 1993 the ministries launched relatively dynamic initiatives, the
preparation of the model programs, the project of the model centre and the launching
of the first PHARE programme were fast and rational actions. After 1994 the efforts
of government lost some of their impetus, the reasons for which are likely to include
the following:
- Personnel changes - these were incidental and should not be regarded as a political
- The legitimacy crisis of vocational education (if there is no point in acquiring
    vocations, why should there be support provided for preparation for learning
    vocations and for vocational education)
- The public education policy promoted the extension of the duration of the primary
    school education to 10 grades and it did not intend to support vocational education
    before the completion of the 10th grade even in the case of young people with
    multiple disadvantages. It is characteristic of the approach adopted by the Ministry
    of Education at that time that it offered the primary school‘s budgetary subsidy for
    the model centre established in Esztergom in 1995 under the German-Hungarian
    co-operation despite the fact that the pre-vocational education of disadvantaged
    young people in small groups in training shops would require an increased
    budgetary subsidy in the area of vocational education.
- After 1994 the diminishing age groups born after 1980 reached the secondary
    school. Organisations maintaining schools intended to support their traditional
    secondary grammar schools and they made efforts to downsize vocational schools
    ‗draining‘ pupils form secondary grammar schools.

The inactivity of the Hungarian government is clearly indicated by the amount spent
on the development of vocational schools. In the first half of the nineties the aid by
the German government was the most significant item. From German sources almost
USD 3 million were spent on programmes I know of, primarily through the Kolping
associations. An aid of a similar amount but distributed among hundreds of schools,
was provided by the Vocational Training Fund allocating 1.5 percent of the wage base
of employees. After 1994 the two PHARE programmes constitute the key source. The
complex and rich activities of the Soros Foundation aimed to prevent social exclusion
should also be emphasised.
The Soros Foundation put out a number of tender invitations to support the training of
disadvantaged young people - the objectives including the procurement of school
equipment, machinery, the further training of teachers, to provide for the wages of
social pedagogues, to provide subsidies for artisans and entrepreneurs undertaking the
training of disadvantaged children, to provide cash aid for poor pupils.

The Roma programmes of the Soros Foundation are of outstanding importance -
besides the assistance to institutions these provided regular financial aid for a large
number of Roma primary school pupils with good achievements in school and those
making it to secondary school and university.

It is not easy to compare governmental actions and the activities of non-governmental
organisations. In my view it is a well-founded statement that the education and labour
organisations of the Hungarian government launched resolute and well-founded
development programmes to promote the training of disadvantaged young people in
the early nineties, drawing on the experience of Germany and Austria. The criticism
of the quality of the programmes, however, as was quoted from Ilona Liskó is also
well-founded, however, in its assessment the economic conditions and the resources
of the vocational schools should also be taken into account.

The actions by government and the activities of the NGO‘s suitably complemented
each other. The programmes of government and those of the NGO‘s included a
number of initiatives that may be of interest for developed EU member countries as

4.2 Steps in support of the vocational education of disadvantaged young people
in the programme of the Ministry of Education

4.2.1 Training of disadvantaged young people among the tasks of the Ministry of
Education specified in its work plan

In the Ministry of Education the promotion of the involvement of young people in
multiple disadvantaged positions was specified as a task of the work plan in 1998.
This task is an integral part of the government programme which assigns priority to
the training and development of labour capable of adaptation to the changing
circumstances of the economy and the labour market, in the vocational education
system which is an integral part of the system of public education and higher

One year ago a government resolution was introduced entitled ‗Medium term package
of actions to improve the living conditions and social position of the Roma minority‘
specifying the following tasks. ‗The acquiring of vocational qualifications and the
employment of young people and young adults dropping out of the schooling system -
in particular, members of the Roma minority - shall be promoted by the elaboration
and institutional introduction of complex programmes. The elaboration of such
training and employment programmes shall be based on foreign experience and the
experience of the PHARE programmes of the former Ministry of Labour and the
Ministry of Education. The programmes shall have to promote the successful
completion of the primary school.‘

4.2.2 Transformation of the institution system performing the tasks of vocational
education of disadvantaged young people

a) In the institutions providing for disadvantaged young people, in the special
   vocational schools of people without disabilities, in the ‗other‘ vocational schools
   according to the currently applied terminology, the number of pupils declined
   from the 1994/1995 school year.

Changes of the number and of the number of pupils of ‘other’ vocational schools
(Ministry of Education Statistics, Secondary education, 1998/99)
Year             Institution Teacher     Pupil
1990/91          16           52         684
1993/94          257          760        17,298
1994/95          252          871        16,338
1995/96          239          796        13,984
1996/97          201          706        11,269
1997/98          160          577         9,310
1998/99          127          478         7,245

Some of the pupils of ‗other vocational schools‘ - 873 in 1998/1999 - acquired the
general certificate of secondary education. The number of pupils of ‗other‘ vocational
schools falling in the group of disadvantaged young people was 6,372.

b) The ninth-tenth grade programmes organised in primary schools absorb a minor
fraction of the age groups. (In 1988/1999 the total number of pupils in ninth grade
was 1,005, while the number of pupils in the tenth grade was a mere 212.)

c) The total number of pupils of apprenticeship schools (vocational schools) dropped
over the past ten years from 200,000 to a mere 110,000. While in 1990 42 percent of
those successfully finishing the primary school continued their studies in
apprenticeship schools, in the autumn of 1999 this was down at 23 percent, according
to preliminary data.
d) After September 1998 in vocational schools general education and vocational
training are separated in accordance with the provisions of the Public education act of
1996. (9th and 10th grades: general education, from the 11th grade - vocational
education.) Until the introduction of the National Basic Curriculum in an upward
system the previous curricula are applied, organising training to concentrate
vocational education to the hither grades.

e) A significant proportion of young people completing secondary education do not
enter the labour market - they enter new training or re-training. This fact draws
attention to that the acquiring of vocational qualification does not itself guarantee
employment in the increasingly liberalised labour market. High standard and
competitive vocational qualification is to be provided if disadvantaged young people
are also to be provided with jobs.

4.3 The legislative conditions of the vocational education of disadvantaged young

4.3.1 Assessment of the regulation introduced after 1993

The extension of general education was the predominant element of the public
education policy of the nineties. The new legislation adopted in 1993 changed the
conditions of the commencement of training.

a) According to the rules that entered into force in 1998 the completion of the
mandatory education - the first 10 grades - was a pre-requisite for the commencement
of vocational education. Only 4 percent of state-recognised vocations may be learned
without completion of the 10th grade, including primarily qualifications hardly higher
than the semi-skilled level, in agriculture, food industry and construction materials
industry, that can be acquired through 6-12 months of training.
b) A large proportion of disadvantaged young people - at least one fifth of each age
group - completes up to only 10 grades - including the time spent in vocational
education. The tightening of the conditions of entry excluded part of disadvantaged
young people from the previous traditional three year apprentice training
programmes. This regulation was particularly hard on young people of the Roma
minority, a substantial percentage of whom complete even the 8 grade primary school
only after the age of 16.
c) The principle that the acquiring of only the first vocation is free was particularly
adverse on disadvantaged young people who acquired vocational qualification in
vocational school after short training periods.

4.3.2 The legislative environment in the wake of the amendment to the Public
education act in 1999

After the change of government in 1998 the Public education act was amended yet
again. In the course of the amendment of to the Act in 1999 the improvement of the
conditions of the entry of disadvantaged young people in vocational education was
one of the most important tasks. To this end, the concept of basic qualification was
altered. (The certificate made out on the successful completion of the 8th grade
certifies basic qualification irrespective of the type of school.)

The vocations that can be acquired after short - 6 or 12 month - training do not
provide good chances of employment in the labour market. Therefore, according to
the amendment, only such vocations may be taught in vocational school whose
training period is at least two years.

According to the 1996 version of the law in the 9th and 10th grades of apprenticeship
schools general education and a very uncertain pre-vocational training could be
provided in 5 hours a week. A vocational school could continue vocational
preparations only if it had acquired accreditation of the pre-vocational programme as
a subject of examination of basic education.
Conversely, the amendment to the act in 1999 enabled vocational schools to perform
vocational orientation and pre-vocational knowledge and vocational basic training
besides the education/teaching laying down the foundations for general education.

The pupils who have not completed the primary school by the age of 16 are prepared
for vocational education in vocational school in the framework of a one year
programme to enable them to make up for deficiencies.
Those who have not completed even the 6th grade by the age of 16 participate in a two
year programme of this kind, if necessary.

The provision on the vocational school is very complicated. The reason for this is
primarily that vocational training may be started in principle only after the age of 16
and having completed the 10th grade. The changes, however, make it possible to
develop and operate catching up and vocational orientation programmes that have
proven successful in the training of marginalised groups also in the vocational schools
and they also permit the relatively quick integration of young people who do not
complete the primary school, in the vocational education system.

From the aspect of the vocational education of disadvantaged young people it is an
important element that the acquiring of a second vocational qualification is also free
of charge. For over recent years a very large number of young people acquired
vocational qualification through very short vocational training.
Another element of the amendment to the Act is the increasing of the budgetary
support to the education enabling young people to catch up (a pupil participating in
such training is worth two from the aspect of financing).

The implementation of practical training is enabled by the permission of employing
vocational instructors with secondary qualifications.

4.3.3 Concepts, principles and proposals concerning the vocational education of
young people with multiple disadvantages

In late 1998 a conference was organised in Budapest on the situation of the vocational
education of disadvantaged young people. The experience of the past years were
assessed at the conference and a number of goals and fundamental principles were
laid out. A position statement was also put together.

According to the position statement public education and vocational education cannot
undertake to manage the social and labour market related causes of failure at school.
It is in charge primarily to enable young people who have failed in the system of
public education and vocational education institutions, in primary education, in
vocational school or secondary vocational school to catch up, to provide them with
vocational orientation and to provide them with vocational training. The analysis of
the management of failure at school is a task that may be imposed on pedagogy along

with the formulation of complex means that will be suitable to reduce the proportion
of the groups who fail at school.

The goals include
-     the provision of basic qualifications,
-     guiding to vocational education
-     the provision of vocational qualification enabling permanent employment in the
labour market,
for young people dropping out of education.

Based on experience of recent years the fundamental principles of the vocational
education of disadvantaged young people may be laid out as follows:

1. The vocational education of marginalised groups is extremely costly, therefore,
prevention should be aimed at (principle of prevention)

2. Since it is not possible to create a new institution system for 25,000 - 30,000 people
a year efforts should be made to integrate them in the system of ‗normal‘ vocational
education (principle of integration)

3. According to international experience, in the forthcoming phase of modernisation
the proportion of jobs requiring low levels of qualifications will decline and young
people without qualifications or with narrow qualifications will find it difficult to be
hired. Therefore, high level training is to be provided for disadvantaged young people
as well (principle of competitiveness)

4. Disadvantaged young people are found to have failed in the school transferring
knowledge. In their education an activity oriented pedagogy, one combining
theoretical knowledge with practice, an be effectively applied (practice orientation)

5. In the course of their education the contents, methods and requirements are to be
determined in accordance with the knowledge they already have and their capacities

6. In the training of disadvantaged young people up-to-date means learned through the
PHARE programmes should b applied (social pedagogy, project model, productive

7. A large proportion of disadvantaged young people belong to the Roma minority.
The formulation of new set of instruments is proposed for them that will take into
account their traditions, customs and values.

8. In the course of the education of disadvantaged young people individual
development should be enabled (working in small groups)

9. In the course of the training of disadvantaged young people efforts should be made
to influence the activities of pupils outside the school (free-time pedagogy, family

4.4 Means promoting the education of groups in multiple disadvantaged
positions, dropped out of vocational education

4.4.1. Programmes aimed to reduce drop-out rates in school, in public education
and vocational education

a) primary school

One of the key reasons for failure at secondary school is that a large proportion - an
estimated fifth or quarter - of pupils do not acquire the knowledge and skills in the
primary school that will be necessary in vocational education and secondary
education, for progress. Another important reason for the termination of secondary
level studies is the lack of a well-founded decision on the choice of vocation.
According to domestic and foreign experience the development of the pedagogy
model and culture of basic education is the most important tool for the management of
this problem, which focuses on development, instead of just transferring knowledge
as used to be the case. According to the recommendation formulated by the working
group of the EU efforts should be made to adjust the methods and requirements of
education to the possibilities of children with different capabilities and the abstract
and deductive transfer of knowledge should be enriched with inductive means relying
on experience - taking into account the results of research on learning.
The weights of skills subjects such as drawing and crafts should be increased In the
final phase of the primary school vocational orientation should be introduced even if
this is implemented in the 9th and 10th grades of the vocational school in a different
and more intensive form.
The strengthening of vocational orientation is particularly important in the
forthcoming interim period, until the strengthening of the new model of the vocational

The amendment to the public education act was followed by the elaboration f the
frame curricula for primary schools. The first version has been completed recently.
The newly prepared document also follows the former scientific, abstract, deductive
model. The proportion of skills subjects, drawing, crafts, is low, very little time is
devoted to vocational orientation.

b) vocational school

The largest group within those entering the labour market without qualifications is
comprised of drop-outs from vocational school, apprenticeship school and secondary
vocational school. The reasons for dropping out may be assessed at the level of the
individual - poverty, socialisation problems, lack of knowledge, wrong choice of
vocation. The institutional conditions may also be analysed, along with pedagogy
culture, the adjustment of training programmes to the possibilities of pupils, but the
transformation of the institution structure should also be evaluated.
The proportion of pupils in vocational school dropped by 40 percent over the recent
decade and little more than a quarter of pupils each year go on to study in vocational
school. In the vocational school the proportion of disadvantaged young people or low
performance has been increasing and pupils with week motives have also appeared in
secondary vocational schools.

The changes have accelerated over the recent three years. We have only superficial
information on the developments. A survey by the National Institute of Vocational
Education reported in early 1999 of an increase of the number and proportion of
failures in the 9th grade of vocational schools and secondary vocational schools. Drop-
out rates in the year 1998/1999 confirms our assumption that more flexible and more
differentiated programmes need to be launched in vocational schools.

4.4.2. Creation of the pedagogic conditions for enabling catching up, vocational
orientation and vocational training in the vocational school

Following the amendment to the public education act the development of curricula
and programmes adjusted to the new regulations was commenced.
The law precisely defines the frame conditions for the development of the vocational
school. The involvement of disadvantaged young people may be promoted by
improving the following programme elements:
- catch-up training
- 9th and 10th grade programmes
- modularly built up vocational education years integrating social pedagogy elements
proven in the vocational education programmes and in the framework of the PHARE

a) The programme of catch-up education

The development of the frame curricula of catch-up training is launched after the
preparation of the first version of the primary school frame curricula. Pupils who have
completed at least 6 grades of primary school get prepared to enter vocational
education in one year, those who completed fewer than 6 grades get prepared in two
years. Training is conducted in the vocational education. Pupils process the core
material of the curriculum of the 7th and 8th grades of the primary school. Our concept
is that the requirements concerning general subjects should be adjusted to the
differentiated possibilities and needs of the entering pupils. In the course of planning
the functional skills, capabilities and knowledge should be focused on that are
indispensable for entering vocational education. In the catch-up programme the
teaching of general subjects is supplemented by vocational orientation and a
vocational preparatory training.

In the framework of pre-vocational education it should be made possible for the pupil
to get familiar with the most important vocational areas, with the fundamental forms
of activities of industry, agriculture, human services, office-administrative areas. The
pre-vocational training does not exceed the requirements of polytechnic training in the
good sense of the term. In the training shop the pupils are enabled to use hand tools
and the learning about office work is also enabled by a study office equipped with a
few computers. The system of requisites for the orientation practices for human
service and agriculture can be provided by similarly simple means.

Pupils who have not even completed the 6th grade of primary school by the age of 16
are prepared for entering vocational education in two years. In the second year instead
of vocational orientation and pre-vocational education they are given vocational basic
training which is already part of vocational training.

In the framework of catch-up education pupils may get prepared for the closing
examination of the primary school of adults as well. The closing examination is
organised by an external primary school.

b) Programmes for 9th and 10th grades

In April 2000 the first version of the 9th and 10th grades of vocational schools was
prepared. In the vocational school - according to the effective legal regulations -
vocational orientation, pre-vocational education and basic vocational education may
be provided in the 9th and 10th grade besides basic general education.
In panning the programme it had to be taken into account that the pupils of special
schools form smallest burden bearing capacity quarter of the population of their age.
They have typically experienced failure at school. The have deficient knowledge and
capability in mathematics, sciences, social sciences, literature and language. I.e. the
general education programme for the 9th and 10th grade can, therefore, not be planned
as a continuation of the education in primary school, rather, as a stabilising,
motivating and rehabilitation programme. This assumption is confirmed by the 33.8
percent drop out rate experienced in the 9th grade.

Vocational orientation, the possibility of acquiring of practical knowledge and basic
vocational training play a key role in the 9th and 10th gar. These have been found in
international experience to be successful means of returning marginalised grades to
into the system of education.
In the 9th grade of disadvantaged pupils the primary goal of providing general
education is to organise and stabilise knowledge, to develop basic skills and to build
up motivation. In planning the general education programmes functional skills,
capabilities and knowledge have to be highlighted that are indispensable for entering
the system of vocational education.

In the planning of vocational education, pre-vocational education and basic vocational
education the emphasis is placed on laying down the foundations for making a
decision on the vocation to be chosen.
The pre-vocational training and the basic vocational training are both activity
oriented. This is necessitated by the position and level of motivation of the pupils
participating in the programme. Efforts should, however, be made to prevent the
programme from being restricted to manual work. The theoretical vocational
preparatory training is associate with the practical problems in which we also
integrate natural science modules that are closely associated with the requirements of
the given vocational area.

The first version of the curriculum only partially conforms to the above principles. In
the area of the catching up of disadvantaged pupils the experts of curriculum
development involved in the development had little experience. The development of
operable programmes will be a task for the forthcoming months.

c. Vocational education

In the organisation of the vocational education grades in the course of the education of
disadvantaged young people three aspects had to be taken into account: the principle
of competitiveness had to be applied, efforts have to be made to launch modularly

constructed programmes and to apply means of teaching that have proven successful
in international practice.

According to international experience, in the forthcoming phase of modernisation the
proportion of jobs requiring low levels of qualifications will decline and young people
without qualifications or with narrow qualifications will find it difficult to be hired.
Therefore, high level, competitive training is to be provided for disadvantaged young
people as well.
According to Hungarian and international experience, in the vocational education of
marginalised groups of the society the proportion of traditional manual types of
vocational qualifications is rather high. Although disadvantaged young people have
often failed in the knowledge transferring type of school, and in their education it is
always an activity oriented type of pedagogy combining theoretical knowledge with
practical skills can be applied efficiently, effort should be made to provide training
opportunities for marginalised groups also in the areas (IT, electronics. services) that
will provide secure employment possibilities even in the long run. In the course of
training efforts have to be made to develop the key qualifications, autonomy,
responsibility, communicative capabilities, co-operating capabilities and a systemic
approach and to enable disadvantaged young people to acquire appropriate
foundations in the application of information technology.

In the vocational education of disadvantaged young people a modular structure is
proposed that enables entering of the labour market after the completion of the
various phases of training. The training phases may be divided by school year as in
the Dutch practice for instance, where the basic training (semi skilled worker level),
the ‗managed‘ skilled worker level, the autonomous skilled worker level and the
middle manager level each can be acquired following the completion of a phase.
According to international and Hungarian experience the social pedagogy model can
be successfully applied in the education of disadvantaged young people. In the further
training programmes in Esztergom in 1993 and 1994, and in the PHARE programme
between 1995 and 1997 the transfer of social pedagogy methods were focused on. In
order to disseminate the social pedagogy model in Hungary the following steps are
proposed in the further training of pedagogues
- supporting of basic research, analyses, experiments and technical publications
    relating to the application of social pedagogy in vocational education
- integration of knowledge relating to vocational education in the programme of the
    training of social workers and social pedagogues
- integration of basic knowledge of social pedagogy in the programme of teacher
- the promotion of the employment of social workers in vocational education.

The development of the list of vocations enhances the competitiveness of vocational
education. The goal is to specify competitive vocations of at least two year training
periods that may be provided also for disadvantaged young people who have finished
the eighth grade. In the current list of vocations there are about 150 skilled worker
vocations such as baker, electrician, bricklayer. The development task would aim at
two directions: on the one hand, the supplementary instruments that can improve the
competitiveness of the given vocations should be explored (e.g. entrepreneurial
knowledge elements, information technology, the improvement of the quality of
practical training, foreign language teaching, revision of the teaching materials), on

the other hand, it should be assessed as to what vocations of short - 1 to 1.5 year -
training periods could be improved by combining two vocations and by enhancing the

d) Transferring of young people hindered in learning and enrolled in special schools
for social reasons.

As has been mentioned, some children are entered in special schools for social
reasons. Children belonging to the Roma minority are particularly at risk.

Today the primary schools with ‗different‘ curricula are in principle equal with the
‗normal‘ primary schools, although pupils do not learn physics, chemistry in these
schools and in the apprenticeship schools - partly owing to the lack of knowledge,
partly as a result of the different pedagogy approach - they tend to soon drop out of
school. The formal equivalence of the schools of children with disabilities prevents
institutional assistance for young people with normal capabilities who have completed
such special schools with different curricula.

In the vocational education of children who have completed primary schools with
different curricula two groups should be separated: those who can be developed only
to a limited extent, and those who can become capable of higher standard vocational
education as a result of an intensive pedagogical support.
In international practice the introduction of young people with hindered learning
capabilities in vocational education is preceded by a long vocational orientation, pre-
vocational programme. In the course of such a programme it is clearly established
whether the given pupil can be enabled to take on full vocational education and
whether he or she is capable of autonomous work or can be trained only to perform
part tasks under direction or supervision.

In the development of the vocational education of children who have completed
primary school with different curricula efforts should be made to ensure the acquiring
of full vocational qualification for young people who are capable of development
while those hindered in learning should be improved to the level that fits their
capabilities. To this end, such complex vocational orientation and pre-vocational
development programmes should be organise that make it possible to see what type of
training a given young person is capable of and in which - accepting the equivalence
of primary schools with different curricula - the subjects not taught in the primary
school but that are necessary for the acquiring of vocations can be taught.

In the vocational training of people with disabilities the development of vocations of
several levels and various requirements is proposed. (Semi skilled worker level, part
skilled worker level, skilled worker level) The pupils would enter the labour market
having reached the levels matching their capabilities.

The development of the programmes preparing young people hindered in their
learning process may be started in connection with the development of the
programmes and curricula aimed at enabling young people to catch up. The
development of vocations of modular structure is a complex task. In the National
Institute of Vocational Education a working group has been working for three years,
in close co-operation with a number of vocational schools and the College for

Training of Teachers for Children with Disabilities, developing professional
programmes that may probably provide proper foundations for the elaboration of
programmes built up in a hierarchic structure.

4.5 Programmes promoting the training of disadvantaged young people

The professional support and the use of the results of the No. 2 project of the PHARE
programme launched to promote the social integration of young people with multiple
disadvantages, primarily those of the Roma minority

In 1998 the Hungarian government initiated the launching of a PHARE programme to
support the social integration of young people with multiple disadvantages, primarily
those of the Roma minority. The programme aims to assist children and young people
falling behind in their development, from kindergarten to university.
The No. 2 sub-project of the programme is closely co-ordinated with the
developments launched following the modification of the public education act. Its
concept has been put together by the Ministry of Education.

The No. 2/1 sub-project is aimed to ‗develop and to launch special programmes in the
schooling system with the aim of enabling young people dropping out of the
schooling system and of assisting them to return into the system of education and to
make it possible for them to find employment, by supporting the following three
groups of activities:
Elaboration and launching of special catching up programmes to enable young people
dropping out of the schooling system to return into the system of education
Introduction of new, full value, module system vocational education programmes in
the most disadvantaged regions with substantial Roma population
Development of the general and the vocational education system by developing
vocation orientation programmes in the 9th and 10th grades.‘

The No. 2/2 sub-project is aimed to ‗develop training outside the schooling system, in
the labour market, by complex programmes combining training and employment, for
unemployed young adults or those at risk of becoming unemployed, living in
backward regions.‘

The PHARE programme is not aimed to support insular initiatives - it is aimed to
create models that will efficiently help the management of the problems in Hungary
but may also be successfully applied in other countries of the Central European
region. This raises the requirement of the evaluation and dissemination of the results

The tender invitation of the PHARE programme has been completed, it is under
review by experts in Brussels. If it is approved, the tender invitation will be put out in
the autumn of year 2000.


5.1 Economic, social and education policy requisites

The Hungarian education and vocational training policy accepts that the provision of
vocational education for young people is one of the most important means for the
prevention of social exclusion. The above sections described the legislative changes,
the new curricula and programmes the Ministry of Education intends to apply to
improve the chances of training for disadvantaged young people.

It has also been pointed out, however, that the training of skilled workers is in a
legitimacy crisis today, for the following reasons:
- Long term unemployment of people with skilled worker qualifications in counties
with lower levels of economic activity.
- The difference between the wages of skilled workers and employees of higher level
qualifications has increased.
- Over the recent ten years the proportion of those opting for acquiring vocations has
declined dramatically. Apprentice training has become a category collecting pupils
with deficient knowledge, little motivation with social disadvantages. The social
markers of pupils have an adverse impact on the perception of apprentice training and
skilled worker qualification, thereby, the prestige of skilled worker qualifications has
been declining in the labour market.
- Ten years ago companies in Hungary played a dominant role in the (practical)
training of skilled workers. Practical training is currently provided in many cases in
training shops in schools. A training shop in a school does not make it possible for
children to learn the requirements of a work place.

Under such circumstances it is difficult to convince decision makers to support costly
programmes to help entering vocational education. The vocational education of
groups of young people at risk makes sense only if the legitimacy and acceptance of
apprentice training can be secured.

The improvement of the legitimacy of apprentice training is a task primarily for the
economy itself. The improvement of the chances of employment, the modification of
the relative proportions of wages, the improvement of the position of skilled workers
and the increasing of the training activities of companies are necessary pre-requisites
for the increasing of the interest of people having to chose vocations, in apprentice

The economy of Hungary has become part of the economy of Europe. Today the
wages in the labour market are determined by foreign owners who have acquired what
used to be large state companies. In the short run the low level of wages of skilled
workers is advantageous for them. According to findings of some surveys the supply
of skilled workers has become the key restriction on investments. In the medium and
the long run they may provide for the supply of their requirements of skilled labour if
they take steps to improve the attractiveness of the skilled worker qualifications and
they join the system of vocational education.

It is possible to describe an economic policy that may efficiently help job creation. In
Hungary following the completion of privatisation and the transformation of

ownership the conditions for the application of such a policy are now given. In our
view the transition of the Central European countries may be accelerated if this
transformation does not ‗happen to them‘, instead, they can actively formulate the

The improvement of the possibilities of employment is particularly important from
the aspect of the Roma minority. In the central and the southern European countries
there are very strong prejudices in the labour market. The chances of employment of
the Roma minority may be improved only if almost the entirety of the non-Roma
population is employed. This means that full employment is a rational requirement in
this region.

In the previous chapter we gave a detailed analysis of the role of competition in
school as one of the reasons for failure at school, along with the scientific, abstract
approach of programmes applied in the primary school. To prevent social exclusion
the requirements of the primary school, its contents, methods and working conditions
are to be transformed in order to enable children to make a decision on what vocations
or trades to learn who are not given assistance by their parents.

5.2 Project proposals to prevent social exclusion by means of vocational

A number of programmes with comprehensive goals have been launched over the
recent decade in the Hungarian vocational education system to promote the vocational
education of disadvantaged young people. Based on the experience from such
programmes we have outlined the principles of the training of disadvantaged young
people. By the amendment to the act on public education the legal requisites have
been introduced for the stabilisation of the institutions of vocational education and
this year the development of frame curricula and programmes has been started.

We have described the institutions working to provide disadvantaged young people
with vocational qualifications. The number of ‗other vocational schools‘ is rapidly
diminishing. Owing to demographic conditions - reducing number of pupils - and to
the behaviour of organisations maintaining schools (the closing down of schools) the
actions are proposed to be extended beyond special vocational training institutions.

Three programmes may be launched to promote the training of disadvantaged young
people in the wake of the act on public education:
- A programme combining the pre-vocational education and basic vocational
education of pupils in the 9th and 10th grades of vocational schools with the
arrangement, stabilisation, supplementation and enhancement of general education.
- For 16 year old people who have not completed the primary school a programme
combining the completion of primary school with pre-vocational education and basic
vocational training.
- Modularly structured programmes using means of social pedagogy in the are a of
vocational education.

Vocational training institutions and non-governmental organisations may equally
participate in the launching of such programmes. The development of the most
successful programmes and the improvement of their working conditions is assisted

by the PHARE programme described above. The aim is to create projects through the
programme that can be used as models for development elsewhere.

The vocational education programmes of disadvantaged young people may be
described at three levels:
- as a national vocational education policy programme
- at the level of the PHARE programme
- at the level of local initiative, vocational school or a NGO development project.

It is not possible to provide a detailed description of the PHARE project, for the
documentation of the tender is not public before the closure of the decision making
process in Brussels.

The third level, the level of local initiatives, is represented by a Roma project in north
Hungary the school that was established 10 years ago in Kazincbarcika, now named
after Don Bosco.

6.1 Alternative Specialised School of Szeged
(Alternative Primary School, Vocational School and Specialised School of Szeged,
representing a selected methodology of working with disadvantaged groups)

Brief history of the school

Background: When surveying the short history of the school we cannot forget
mentioning the social changes which had made possible, even necessary to establish
the school.
As well known, as from the year 1989 labour market conditions have dramatically
changed. The losers were groups with poor training background, not to mention those
with low education the risk of unemployed for whom leaped to an absurd extent. The
failure in school can be closely linked to the expected labour market position as
proven by calculations. The falling-back strata come primarily from the groups which
fail in the school. Without skills these children could have no chance to find some job,
so there was a need to find some form of training for them: that was how special
vocational training had started in 1990. The operation of that form of training had
been made possible already by the Act on Education passed in 1985, so the launching
of specialised vocational school had been necessitated by the increase of the number
of children rejected from entrance to secondary schools as well as by institutional
interests influenced by the demographic wave-trough. Specialised vocational training
had been introduced primarily by institutions which were affected by the processes
referred to above and in which children rejected after 1990 by the ―normal‖ school
applied earlier also. Students of such type had earlier been directed to the youth
classes of the workers‘ schools, that is to a type of school which by that time had
already terminated its real function.

The predecessor of our school was the ―Primary School of Workers, the
establishment of which had been justified by the duel social need detailed above,
making it possible for those who could not finish primary education for mistakes not

their own earlier; moreover continuous social, economic changes launched tendencies
as a consequence of which there was a growth in the number of those who could no
longer be taught, educated and trained in the traditional schooling system.

Not only demographic changes, but legislative changes also necessitated newer
modifications in the operation of the school. The biggest change was that the number
of classes in public knowledge increased, so the pupils of primary school also had to
spend 5 days in school per week; 4 days were spent on following the standard
curriculum and one day was spent in the workshop on practical training. The
vocational training grades continued to attend school in the traditional way with the
difference, that the ratio of vocational training dropped to increase the time spent on
the traditional school curriculum. Despite of the changes we have been trying to
preserve the basic idea on which the school had been established, namely to provide
practice centred vocational training for young people who failed in the school.

The actual conditions of the school

         a) The school buildings

(1)   The present situation
(a)   The school operates on two sites
(b)   The total number of classrooms is 10.
(c)   The number of specialised workshop halls: 4 (agriculture, building industry,
      carpet weaving, information technology)
(d)   Other premises
     Workshop :7
     Green house: 1
     Canteen:1
     Library :1 (in the absence of other conditions it can currently not operate)
     Teachers‘ room:2

The shared features of education in the school

Because tuition takes place in small groups we can take into consideration the
progress of the individuals, and the teachers can pay greater attention to the individual
Training is practice centred: A main objective of education is to prepare the students
for learning a trade. For this reason the number of classes in practical subjects
(technique, vocation orientation, preparation for trade) is high, teaching the students
the main elements of several trades: timber industry, metal industry, building industry,
clothing industry, crop cultivation, handicraft, the preparation of leather items.
Practical training takes place in the own training workshops of the school, under
conditions similar to vocational training. Even in the subjects on general information
we concentrate on issues which are most important when learning a trade (apart from
imparting some minimum general knowledge which is mandatory to be available to

In addition to the mandatory classes we consider it important to care for the
individual students, to help them bridging the gap.
The training units of the school

Primary School- day-time course
We enrol to grades 6., 7 and 7 primarily students of school-age, who lag behind their
age group by 2-3 years, do not work and intend to learn a trade after finishing grade 8.

Primary school- correspondence course
The school operates primarily for students below the age of 17, who finished six
grades and would like to complete primarily education while working. They have
classes once a week, and prepare by themselves otherwise for the examinations. We
make it possible also to complete grades 5 and 6 in the form of distant learning.

Vocational school, grades 9-10
We offer this kind of training to students of school age and those who are by 1-2 year
older, and who finished grade 8 but could not decide how to continue their studies, in
what direction, or, because of their limited knowledge could not start apprentice
school. We provide for them detailed vocational orientation/ preparatory training, to
make it possible for them to join some apprentice school.

Specialised school, grades 9-10
The objectives of the training- launched for students who finished grade 8 of the
primary school- are similar to those of the vocational school, but here it is even more
important to make the students refresh the knowledge, or supplement it in subjects
which are indispensable for learning a trade.

Apprentice school
For students who finished grade 8, are no longer of school-age, or have certificate on
having finished grade 10 the school provides apprentice training of full value. The
possibility is open also for the students who finished grade 10 of the specialised
secondary school.

The skills in which the students are currently trained or are planned to be trained in
the near future are as follows (the figure in bracket is the number of years of training)
 Vegetable and spice –herb producer (1 year)
 Wooden toy maker (1 year)
 Mason (2 years)
 House-painter (2 years)
 Maker of leather goods (1 year)
 Carpet-weaver (1 year)
 Iron and metal worker (in charge of preparatory works) (1 year)
 Park tender (1 year)

The curriculum of the “hour of class teacher”, social sciences, economic basics
contain the programme modules proposed for the following groups of trades:

   The organisation of life and vocation
   Improving communication skills
   Labour rights
   Students‘ rights
   Healthy life-style
   First aid

 Man and his environment (basic module)
 Training for business life in vocational training.

The basis of the programmes for bridging the gap is composed of the programme
modules developed by the National Institute for Vocational Training:
 Writing module
 Reading module
 Counting and measuring module
 Mathematics module
 Mass communication module
 Man and society modules
 Module of nature protection, environmental protection and health protection
 Our natural environment module
 Module of learning methodology
 Communication module
 Module to correct defects in writing

Activities outside normal classes and other services

   The development of talents: literature stage, singing, handicrafts
   Specialised groups, differentiated development of skills,
   Sports groups
   Preparation for cultural performances
   Preparation for national vocational competition
   Excursions for classes
   Annual life-style camps
   Preservation of traditions

Developing pedagogy

Since 1999 we have in our school a ―developing teacher‖ who helps to identify
learning capabilities and to correct defects.

Social work

For our school to be able to efficiently perform its tasks and reach its objectives must-
in addition to performing its pedagogical tasks- perform also tasks related to the
protection of children. The tasks of the protection of children and young people can
be listed in four groups:
1.      Tasks related to the students
2.      Tasks related to the parents
3.      Tasks to be performed in the teachers‘ community
4.      Independent tasks

International relations

In the Hungarian educational system this type of school has practically no history, so,
to the extent possible, we have been trying to gain foreign, primarily EU experiences.
Since our school was established the members of the school‘s staff have made several

study tours- in Austria, Italy, England, Germany, Holland, Denmark- to study the
arrangements they have.

Since 1993 we have developed closer relationship with the Jugendaufbauwerk in
Berlin. As a consequence in the autumn of 1994 young Germans visited Szeged to
participate in a joint vocation practice arrangement, and one year later the students of
Szeged could return the visit.

Between 1995 and 1997 we participated in a series of seminars discussing the
management of unemployed young people of four cities, namely Turku, Rostock,
Cologne and Szeged. When the turn of Szeged came to host the meeting the
organisers were the staff members of the school, with the financial support of the
town of Szeged.

These links have been suspended in recent years, mainly due to the lack of funds, but
we hole that we shall soon have the possibility to continue with this tradition.

6.2 Don Bosco Vocational Training and Primary School in Kazincbarcika

Presenting the organisation and operation of the school

It has become evident by the mid 1980es hat in the education-teaching system we had
young people who, because of their different situation experience failure and finally
drop out of the system.

The average school of our times is organised to teach average or above-average young
people and does not tolerate those who differ. Although they had established some
correcting, saving organisations, such as for instance fast courses or the system of
evening schools of workers – which at some time looked promising- but which were
later significantly modified. These people used to be anything but workers and were
in no way interested in learning in any school of the traditional system.

That target group includes young people who are victims of family- and social
problems, face behaviour and adaptation difficulties, those with deviant attitude,
children landing in state care institutes, a larger group of youngsters under some kind
of guardianship as well as those who had outgrown the state care institute, the drop-
outs (also from primary school).

In this target group Gypsy students are represented in especially large number.
Naturally the young Gypsies and their families have been affected closely and directly
by the negative and positive phenomena of the changing society.

The situation varies from region to region, but it is especially grave in North-East
Hungary. The reduction in the number of work places by the end of the 1980es, the
closing down of companies, the dismissal of the so called ―‖paper‖ labour, parents
becoming unemployed, the development of the market economy- all that had grave
effect on the young people between the age of 13 and 26, those in the target group.

In 1990 an outstanding organisation, the HABILITAS association was established to
identify the situation and to manage it by civic society.

For many years it has been supporting the young people in detrimental position from
several aspects by professional programmes, methodology support, by helping them
to submit successful bids .

At the end of the 1980es we had in our region approximately 15,000-20,000 young
people who were drop-out from various school grades and used to hang about without
work on the streets. In 1988 the basic initiative of our school was limited to channel
young people in similar situation in the town of Kazincbarcika and its vicinity, collect
them by offering pleasant programmes, games, work, useful practices for life.

Naturally that basic programme was fast modified when the young people started to
realise that uncompleted school and unlearned trade, behaviour problems would
always hinder a more honest life. We succeeded to obtain school licenses for their
education, teaching. First to enable them to finish the primary school, then to get
vocational training, live in hostels, then also to enter and finish secondary school
which issued baccalaureate certificate.

We organised their life in a way as to provide everything they missed, they needed for
learning. For instance to clothe those who were cold, to offer a dish to the hungry
children, affection to those who missed it, some self-respect and the feeling of success
to those who had failed and were unsuccessful. We could do all that with dedicated
teachers, in small groups, in family atmosphere.

I, as the founder of the school gained the best advise, programme from the priest of
Salezi Don Bosco (1818-1888, Turin) .
Our work was made much easier since 1993 when the reborn Salezi Order undertook
to maintain our school.

Practice and methodology

Our first task was to help the children fit into the community, to make them come
voluntarily and to feel at home. We had to develop almost tailor made individual
programme for each as their knowledge was very limited even in the subjects in
which they had marks from the school. Their basic writing, reading, counting skills
was also limited, so they had to be instructed in small groups, in forms with 4-10
students each. Regular instructions were suspended with entertaining game
programmes and practical skills built on physical work.
With these methods 95% of the students completed successfully the 8th grade.
It was a difficult task to co-operate with the parents- including Gypsy parents- in the
interests of the children. Typically 4-5 brothers and sisters came one after the other to
our school.

The selection of carrier, carrier orientation is a very difficult task, and so the students
became acquainted with 8 trades, in our own training workshops, learning some basic
skills in grades 7., 8 and 9 already. Naturally there are more demanding trades (e.g.
printer, hairdresser) and also easier ones (e.g. shoemaker, mason, house-painter). In
these areas we received very significant assistance from the National Institute for
Vocational Training, which also provided us with complete curricula.

Even during the first period, when we instructed the basics, helped the children to
adapt themselves to the new conditions we felt religious classes would help to shape
them as human beings. Those liturgy programmes in which most students participated
helped them to accept, understand each other.

We consider it as good result that of these young people in the 13-19 age group many
are ready to take the First Communion, Confirmation, even baptism.

In that phase already it becomes evident that the young people who are being thrown
about for thousands of reasons could perform well, and that was why we have been
providing them with vocational training of full value.

Surveying the average performance of the past 12 years we observed that most of
these youngsters became skilled workers, leaving the school to start new, useful life.
For the best of our students- for some one third of them- we organised secondary
school for skilled workers, training ending with baccalaureate examination- in fact so
far 85 young people got thus far and ten of them continued their studies in institutes of
higher learning. Because of the human atmosphere of our school, our tolerance a
growing number of adults undertake to join such training course during evenings.
Currently we have 440 students in our school, with 173 of them attending evening

Our school has fruitful relationship with sister-schools in Belgium, Holland, Austria
and Germany.
Recently we established links with institutions in Italy also.

In addition to exchanging specialised teachers, students we exchange also
methodologies and submit joint applications for PHARE grant.

Every application we submit is some kind of an examination, but we need these
programmes for financial reasons.

We pay great attention to the training, further training of our teaching staff, with
special regard to the specific tasks we have to perform.
Out of our teaching staff of 30 currently 8 teachers continue their studies, 4 of them
wanting to receive the diploma of social-pedagogue.

Our institute operates in the outskirts of the town, in the dilapidated buildings of a
former mining site, so we have been continuously constructing the buildings with our
students and teachers joining hands.
We plan to build a new hostel, replace the current gymnasium by a modern sports hall
and also want to build a small chapel.