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Benchmarking Hungary

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Benchmarking Hungary

     EUROPEAN UNION Technical Assistance to support the National

    Centre for Staff Training in Pre-University

    Education

    Phare Programme EuropeAid /121446 /D/SV/RO NCTPE/PIU

    Benchmark Analysis on In-Service Teacher Training Systems in Europe

    Country Report

    HUNGARY

    Péter Debreczeni

Bucharest, February 2007

    CONTENTS

    1. General aspects of in-service training system for teachers and school managers...........4

    1.1. Historical overview ..............................................................................................4 1.2. Ongoing debates & future developments...........................................................10 1.3. Specific legislative framework (including National Competency Framework for

    teaching professions) ....................................................................................................12 1.4. Decision-making bodies for in-service training ..................................................13 1.5. In-service training system in the context of performance appraisal and CPD ....15

    1.5.1. Frequency .....................................................................................................15 1.5.2. Forms ............................................................................................................15 1.5.3. Criteria ..........................................................................................................17 1.5.4. Promotion/advancement after participation in in-service training programmes

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    2. Providers of in-service training programmes .................................................................18 2.1. Types of Providers ............................................................................................18 2.2. Admission requirements for providers ...............................................................20 2.2.1. Accreditation requirements for provider institutions .......................................20 2.2.2. Certification requirements for teaching staff...................................................20

    3. Programmes .................................................................................................................21

    3.1. Types of provision .............................................................................................21 3.1.1. Compulsory or optional programme(s) ..........................................................21 3.1.2. Accredited or non-accredited programme(s) ..................................................21 3.1.3. Modular or non-modular programme(s) .........................................................21 3.1.4. Face-to-face or distant or online programme(s) .............................................21 3.1.5. Free of charge or commercial programme(s) (for the participants) .............21

    3.1.6. Degree of flexibility and adaptability of programme(s) ...................................22 3.2. Eligibility of the programmes (admission requirements) .....................................22 3.2.1. Local, regional, national or international eligibility of the programme(s) .........22

    3.2.2. Relevance the programme(s) are given by the providers ...............................23

    3.2.3. Willingness of the programme provider(s) to share best practice experience

    and disseminate it .........................................................................................................23 3.3. Curriculum.........................................................................................................23 3.3.1. Responsibility for training and development needs analysis (TNA) on

    organizational and individual level ................................................................................23 3.3.2. Methodology for designing, implementing and evaluating programme(s) ......24

    3.3.3. Structure of programme-related information provided by the providers ..........24

    3.3.4. Subject/topic of most frequently required programmes ..................................24 3.3.5. Specialization (of programmes) .....................................................................25 3.3.6. Diversification of programmes for specific needs of specific target groups ....26

Country Report Hungary 03.02.07

    3.3.6.1. Specific programmes in rural areas ...............................................................26 3.3.6.2. Specific programmes working with special needs groups ..............................26 3.3.6.3. Specific programmes on “QA in education” ...................................................26

    3.3.6.4. Specific programmes on “Project management for schools” ..........................26

    3.3.6.5. Specific programmes on “Classroom management” ......................................26

    3.3.6.6. Specific courses on “School-Community-Relationships” ................................27

    3.4. Duration ............................................................................................................27 3.4.1. Focus on short-, medium- or long-term programmes .....................................27 3.4.2. Programme lifecycle ......................................................................................29 4. Quality assurance (QA) in in-service training ................................................................29 4.1. School-based and nationwide databases on QA ...............................................29 4.2. Staff involved in providing QA in in-service training ...........................................29 4.3. Criteria in QA ....................................................................................................30 4.4. Forms of QA ......................................................................................................30 4.4.1. Self-assessment of training providers ............................................................30 4.4.2. External assessment of training providers .....................................................30 4.4.3. Self assessment of training participants ........................................................31 4.4.4. External assessment of training participants in schools .................................31 4.4.5. Certification of training participants ................................................................31 5. School administrative and/or management staff ...........................................................31 5.1. Qualification requirements for appointment as a school head (school manager)

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    5.2. Qualifications requirements for appointment as an inspector.............................32 5.3. Conditions of service for school managers ........................................................32 6. Summary ......................................................................................................................32

    6.1. Main competitive strengths and weaknesses of the in-service CPD system for

    teachers and school managers. ....................................................................................32 6.2. Typical strengths and weaknesses of in-service training programmes for

    teachers and school managers used in that country. ....................................................33 7. RECORDS of the interview ...........................................................................................34

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    1. General aspects of in-service training system for teachers and

    school managers

    11.1. Historical overview

    In Hungary, the former education system was unified and ideologically controlled. A centrally approved curriculum with detailed regulations was prepared for each subject, school type and grade, and was accompanied by a single textbook. The 1990s witnessed the dissolution of a school system which had seemed exceptionally solid, liberalisation in education, the development of the market for alternative programmes, and new issues in legislation. In 1993, the compulsory nature of the former central curriculum of 1978 was abolished by the Act on Public Education.

    The current education system in Hungary is highly decentralised. Responsibilities are shared by different ministries, regions, counties and, above all, municipalities and schools. Since the Act on Local Governments of 1990, educational institutions which had formerly belonged to the State became municipal. Under this Act, education is considered to be a public service, responsibility for which must lie primarily with local communities. The Hungarian system provides for a very high level of independence for individual players. Thus school heads are the employers of teaching staff, and take decisions determining their professional advancement. Since the adoption of the 1992 Public Employee Act, teachers have been considered public employeesentitled to a common salary scale. In accordance with this scale, head teachers take decisions concerning changes in the salaries of teachers (subject to mandatory consultation with professional interest groups) and in their tasks (with due regard for the opinion of professional working groups).

    At present the qualification of teachers is determined by two paralelly existing system: in the former dual system teachers need at least a föiskola that is, a four-year non-university-level

    qualification, for employment or for secondary-school teachers a five-year university-level diploma. In the newly introduced Bologna cycles, teachers should have a Master level degree, at Bachelor level students may choose so-called orientation courses up to 15 credits besides the broad fields of study leading to the level. In special conditions teachers of pre-pimary schools and also teachers for students with special needs may leave at Bachelor level also.

    Compulsory education lasts until the end of the school year in which pupils become 16 years of age. For those who have started schooling on 1 September 1998 or later, compulsory education lasts until the end of the school year in which they become 18 years of age. The education of children with special needs (gyógypedagógiai oktatás) has generally been

    provided in special institutions or classes which have also differed depending on the type of need concerned. These classes have been taken by teachers with relevant training in special education. Recently, there have been increasing attempts to integrate the children concerned in mainstream schools or classes, and the current trend is to offer both integrated and

     1 Partly from www.eurydice.org

Country Report Hungary 03.02.07

    separate forms of education in a number of fields, enabling children with special needs and their parents to choose from a wider selection of schools.

    There are 13 minorities officially recognised in Hungary, each with its own self-government, namely Bulgarian, Romany, Greek, Croatian, Polish, German, Armenian, Serbian, Romanian, Slovakian, Ukrainian, Ruthenian and Slovenian. These minority groups are statutorily authorised to use their mother tongue in education and also to establish and sponsor schools. Initial teacher training is also provided in most of these minority languages. Thus instruction in the mother tongue - admittedly under deteriorating conditions has been guaranteed for

    many years. The most important legal regulations today prohibit negative discrimination on any grounds in public education.

    The main steps of reforms:

    REFORMS, AIMS and their CONTEXT

    2, transforming it into a 1985: Law on Education, which terminated the system of inspectors

    counselling network available to schools. Schools can deviate from the provisions of central curricular regulations and introduce innovation. The Act also explicitly confirms the professional independence of teachers. The main policy aims were:

    3; decentralise the education system;

    ; improve the commitment of teachers;

    ; increase quality in education.

    This Act was based on the assumption of those responsible for educational reform in the Government that the system was too strictly centralised and did not guarantee high quality education.

    1990: Act on Local Governments, which provided detailed rules for the division of responsibility between the government andlocal authorities.

    Main aim concerning education: further decentralisation of the education system. This reform was a consequence of political changes in Hungary.

    1992: Public Employee Act, which defined teachers as public service employees. The employment conditions and wages of teachers came under the regulatory framework governing employees in this category. The main aims were:

    ; bring all employees in the public sector under the responsibility of the State;

    ; confer on teachers the same economic and social status and conditions;

    ; adapt the status of teachers to that of other employees in the public sector.

     2 A unique step all-over Europe 3 The question of centralization has a long tradition in the Hungarian education system: Since Hungary came under the influence of Habsburg Catholicism in the XVIIIth and XIXth century the tradition of centralization became strongest. The Protestants always denied centralization in education, however there were also trends for harmonising their educations to‟Ratio Institutionis‟ in 1807.

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    This reform was a further consequence of political changes in Hungary. The transition from a centrally planned economy to a market system made it inevitable that state responsibility in the public sector would be reconsidered. Besides, growing local government responsibility required common state regulations to ensure fairness in public services. Responsibility for implementation of the Act is shared by several players in a complex system. Local and school level decisions concerning wages and employment are taken in accordance with these national regulations. For instance, school heads determine increases in the salaries of teachers and how they will be promoted or re-graded only within the terms of these regulations.

    1992: Government Order of implementation of the Public Employee Act in public education. The Order specified the positions which corresponded to various wage brackets, as well as the nature and amount of the compulsory bonuses payable to teachers in certain positions. The main policy aims were:

    ; specify the salaries of teachers and other economic benefits due to them;

    ; specify the employment and working conditions of teachers in different types of

    schools, depending on the various tasks they had to perform.

    This Government Order was a direct consequence of the Public Employee Act. 1993: Public Education Act, which stipulated the conditions of employment of teachers and other school staff in various types of school, their rights and responsibilities. For instance, the compulsory teaching load for those working at lower secondary level was fixed at 20 hours a week for 37 five-day weeks a year. They needed at least a főiskola (college level)

    qualification for employment.

    A National Register of Experts and a National Register of Examiners were created. Teachers registered in the former may participate in the professional audit of public-sector schools, whereas those in the latter may be invited to chair examinations in secondary general and vocational education. The main policy aims were:

    ; Regulate the qualifications and working conditions of teachers;

    ; improve their professional status;

    ; improve the quality and fairness of public education.

    This Act, as well as the 1993 Acts on Vocational Education and Higher Education, respectively, replaced the 1985 Education Act. Signs of a greater sharing of responsibility (the decrease in the role of the former central state directives, the increase in local and school autonomy, cooperation with economic and social organisations, etc.) have lent justification to the separation of the three major subsystems (public, vocational and higher education, respectively).

    1996: Amendment to the Act on Public Education, which introduced a quality bonus system and described a new system of in-service training in which 120 credits in seven years became compulsory for all teachers. In addition, a specialised aptitude examination for teachers was introduced and made compulsory for those newly employed. This new system was based on distribution of responsibilities at different levels: the system is regulated by a government decree at central level (see 1997 (2)), while a yearly plan for in-service training

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    has to be prepared at school level based on the schools 5 years strategic development plan.

    The main policy aims were:

    ; avoid rigidities created by the 1992 Public Employee Act;

    ; make the teaching profession more attractive through increased remuneration;

    ; improve the quality of teaching and learning provisions at schools.

    With the 1992 Public Employees Act, teachers like other public employees became part

    of a unified system of employment, salaries and promotion. Yet, on the one hand, this system was unresponsive to changes in the work of teachers, as well as more general characteristics of their profession while, on the other, they were offered few opportunities for increased remuneration, compared to staff in business or elsewhere in the public service. This reform established a comprehensive system of in-service teacher training. 1997 (1): Government Decree No. 111 defined the common training requirements for all teacher qualifications. Special requirements peculiar to each subject taught (e.g. mathematics, music, etc.) were specified in similar governmental decrees. The two types of decree were to apply concurrently. The main policy aims were:

    ; modernise the content of initial teacher training;

    ; unify the professional requirements of teacher training;

    ; adapt training to the current objectives of education.

    The system of teacher training providing degrees at two levels specified by the institutes by which the provision were made (university and college), first took shape some 50 years earlier and had remained practically unchanged. The lack of an overall development plan resulted in further differentiation and the emergence of more than 100 programmes divided into seven branches of teacher training and 30 institutions involved in it. As a result it became inconsistent, inflexible, giving rise to „overproduction‟ of teachers and sometimes

    dysfunctional because of divergent development trends.

    The need for an overall unified regulation became a priority following the change of regime, as well as in the 1996 Amendment to the Act on Higher Education. This decree, however, did not regulate the system and structure of teacher training.

    1997 (2): Government Decree No. 277 of December, which regulated in-service-teacher training in detail, introduced arrangements for specialised examination of teachers and general compulsory in-service teacher training. The compulsory 120 credits inservice training required once every 7 years can be completed by choosen accredited training courses, graduate and post-graduate courses and also vocational courses offered by the National Register of Vocational Qualifications as well as courses provided by international organizations. Preparation for the specialised examination for teachers can be completed in 360 credits. Teachers holding this specialised examination qualification are entitled to a higher salary scale. The corresponding examination can only be conducted by higher education institutions, as the qualification is only obtainable in specialised postgraduate training. Any institution can offer in-service teacher training, on condition that its Charter entitles it to participate in adult education. Nevertheless, its in-service programmes and the institution itself must be accredited. The main policy aims were:

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    ; Improve in-service teacher training;

    ; encourage further training for teachers;

    ; the in-service teacher training system should be market-oriented;

    ; State support should go directly to schools (‟buyers of service‟);

    ; nobody should have a monopoly over programme provision;

    ; the quality of training provision should be better than it was in the past. This reform was linked to the ones initiated in 1996 with the Amendment to the Act on Public Education. In 1998, the Center for Information and Methodology in In-service Teacher Training (PTMIK) was created in order to register, coordinate and analyse in-service courses and training.

    1997-1998: Start of the SULINET-IRISZ programme for the provision of adequate equipment, technology and educational content and information about ICT. It has been accompanied by a new specialised information studies qualification for teachers, which is funded from in-service training resources. The main policy aims were:

    ; Introduce content to ICT programmes in schools;

    ; prepare teachers for work with ICT.

    The piloting of computers in schools took place during the 1980s, with a school computerisation programme launched in the spring of 1983. However, there was no well organised in-service teacher training programme to accompany it, and no significant breakthrough in the use of computers in school. However, in the early 1990s, new qualifications in informatics were offered in initial teacher training. The growing practice of obtaining information from the Internet in schools was supported by the central development programme (SULINET, later called IRISZ) launched by the Ministry in 1997 in order to extend the use of computers in schools.

    1999: Amendment to the Public Education Act, which abolished the compulsory nature of the specialised examination for teachers. This became a voluntary undertaking. In leading or expert positions, when new staff are recruited, priority must be given to those who hold such a qualification. The main policy aim was:

    ; Lighten the obligations imposed by general employment requirements.

    Introduction of the specialised examination of teachers as a compulsory requirement for employment (see the 1996 Amendment to the Act on Public Education) proved to be over-ambitious. The examination, however, was retained as a special requirement for certain positions.

    2005: The new Law on Higher Education, which defines overall consistency for all types of formerly existing teacher training, allowing a degree for teachers job only at Master level. At Bachelor level orientation courses can be taken up by students for maximum 15 credits. The main policy aims were:

    ; To create overall consistency for the former mixed modells (concurrent and

    consecutive)

    ; To develop the pedagogical and personal skills of teachers

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    ; The Government Decree on teachers competencies had created some discrepancies

    within the system financially

    2005: Government Decree 289 on Bachelor and Master level qualifications and specializations on the different levels. It defines the Bachelor level descriptors expressed in learning outcomes based on knowledge skills and attitudes for all newly introduced Bachelor level qualifications and the integrated Master level study fields (law, medical sciences, architecture). By this government decree the former 1400 specializations were replaced by about 15 large domains of study (in harmony with the newly organized maturity exam in the 15 so called ‟cultural domains‟, that is the maturity exam is not anymore subject based.). Beforehand a student entered in one of those 1400 specialization (called ‟tubes‟ in Hungary because one could not change subject fields) and in case of drop-out all the years of study were lost! In the new system a student enters the broad domain and can go out in about 87 different ways from the system. The teacher training is part of this new system, and dissolves the problem created by the former Government Decree on teachers competencies. The Master level qualifications are still under work.

    If we try to summarize very shortly the main trends in the history of INSET in Hungary, the following main steps can be pointed out:

    1. The first organized form of in-service training began in 1910 when the city of Budapest

    organized training for teachers. It was a „central‟ initiative, not obligatory, and it served

    mainly up-grading the knowledge base of teachers in the capital.

    2. After 1948 (when the “democracy invaded the country”, that is the Communist take-over

    of the power) mass teacher further training was organized at universities. It was

    - Institutionally based on universities;

    - subject based, that is served mainly “ideological up-grading” of teaching staff besides

    the up-grading of professional knowledge base; and

    - event based (not long-term, not pre-designed, just face-to-face courses in ad-hoc

    manner,)

    3. First in the Law on Education of 1985 the INSET became a right of teachers and in 1996

    with the amendment of the new Law on Public Education of 1993 it became a duty as

    well. As a consequence a new institutionalized system was introduced, with the following

    main characteristics:

    - it is obligatory for every teachers (except HE teaching staff, however there were

    initiatives to include them as well)

    - there is an obligatory accumulation of 120 credit in a period of 7 years, connected to

    a bonus system (salary raise)

    - it is a shopping model (the schools buys the services)

    - programmes and providers are accredited (for such programmes the State pays for it,

    giving 3% of the overall education budget to schools on per capita bases)

    - Non-accredited courses are possible, but the school has to pay for it, and cannot be

    included into the obligatory 120 credits.

    - 3 types of courses:

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    o Short term: 60 credit hours

    o Medium term: 120 credit hours

    o Long term: 240 credit hours (mainly for up-grading the qualification level)

    - The provision is very interactive, not face-to-face “academic” type courses as before

1.2. Ongoing debates & future developments

    As it is clear from the historical description the reforms of the INSET system preceded the overall reform of the restructuring of the higher education system that is the introduction of the Bologna cycles. The teachers welcomed the reform steps introduced in 1996 by the Law on Public Education and later by the Government Decree on INSET, but later it became clear that it would have been more adequate to introduce a system level reform for the whole teacher training (initial, pre-service and in-service) and link it to a carrier path. Until the 3 tier system was not introduced into higher education the initial training put the emphasis mainly on the knowledge side and though the pre-service training served to develop the skills of the trade the INSET was based mainly on the knowledge side. With the introduction of the new INSET system the emphasis was on the skills and competences and neglected the knowledge part. The basic element of the reform was that the INSET provision was based on the needs of schools and teachers and that the schools and teachers became „customers‟ on

    a training market. But as a consequence the quality of the programmes lowered, due to the obligatory 7 year cycle and that teachers are hunting for those programmes, which raise their qualification and by this their salary, and usually those programmes are not always what the schools‟ or their teachers‟ needs. On the other side the obligatory 120 credits equally for all teachers does not take into consideration the sometimes rather big personal differences of the teachers. This led to a non-efficient human resources development at certain schools. “Some teachers needed the 120 credits others not” as stated in “The teaching trade – 2005”

    a yearly published book by the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research. The other deficiency in the present system is that in a system build on the open market logic, there is need for correct and reliable information and also a system for continuous evaluation of the processes. According to the legal regulation it should be part of the system, but due to lack of enough resources this is still one of the weak point of the system or it is not done in an efficient way. In order to have efficient and productive INSET programmes there is a need for continuous and systematic evaluation of teachers (trainees) on which their further training can be built up. This element practically is totally missing from the Hungarian system. This should be the part of the providers‟ quality assurance system, but again the lack of resources

    does not allow to control these processes nor by the schools neither by the local governments. The Centre for Information and Methodology for INSET (TPMIK) again has not enough resources (human and financial) to carry on such surveys or „control‟ function,

    however the Ministry of Education financed such surveys on INSET (see below).

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