Act cxc of 2011 on National Public Education

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Act CXC of 2011

on National Public Education

Parliament, alloying the noble traditions of Hungarian education with the possibilities of the future, being the pledge of the rising of the nation, for the purposes of the patriotic instruction and quality education of the future generations, to enforce the right to education as laid down in the Fundamental Law, to realise the right of the nationalities for education in their mother tongue, to determine the rights and obligations of those participating in public education and to control and operate a public education system which provides contemporary knowledge, hereby adopts the following act:

1. Purpose and Principles of the Act

Section 1
(1) The purpose of the Act is to create a public education system which contributes to the harmonic mental, physical and intellectual development of children and young people through the conscious development of their skills, abilities, knowledge, proficiencies, emotional and volitional characteristics and cultural education corresponding to their age characteristics, thus educating people and responsible citizens who are virtuous and capable of independent life as well as achieving their objectives, while harmonising private interests with the interests of the public. Its prioritised objective is to prevent the widening of the social gap and promote talent through the tools of education.

(2) Public education is a public service which establishes the conditions for the long-term development of the Hungarian society for the sake of the rising generation, and whose general framework and guarantees shall be provided by the State. The whole of public education is determined by knowledge, justice, order, freedom, fairness, the moral and intellectual values of solidarity, equal treatment and education for sustainable development and healthy lifestyle. Public education shall universally serve the common good as well as private objectives respecting the rights of others.

(3) The educational culture of educational institutions shall be characterised by the pursuit for individual treatment, acceptance of children / students, trust, kindness, empathy, formulating requirements corresponding to the age, the surveillance of the fulfilment of duties as well as comprehensive evaluation adjusted to the requirements and ensuring the development of children / students.
Section 2
(1) It shall be the public service duty of the Hungarian state to ensure, as laid down in the Fundamental Law, the right for free and compulsory primary education, free and generally accessible secondary education, until the obtaining of the secondary school-leaving certificate as well as the training for the first vocational qualification.

(2) Pre-school education in the institutions operated by the state and the local governments as well as by nationality self-governments, church and private institutions taking part in the performance of the duties of the state, and the use of pedagogical assistance services complementing pre-school and school education, as well as the provision of hall of residence to children / students who participate in free education and complying with the conditions laid down in this Act, shall be free.

(3) Public education institutions may be established and operated by the State, nationality self-governments and, within the framework of this Act, church legal persons registered in Hungary as well as other organisations or persons on condition that they have obtained the right for conducting such activity as laid down by statutory provisions. Pre-schools may also be established and operated by local governments.
Section 3
(1) Public education shall have in its focus the children / students, the teacher and the parent whose rights and obligations shall form an integrated unit.

(2) Within public education, the duties of education shall be shared by the parents, the legal representatives of the child and the public education institutions and the teachers. Such joint activity shall be based on trust and the professional credit of the institutions and the teachers.

(3) In the educational institutions of the state and local governments, the knowledge and religious and ideological information shall be communicated comprehensively and in an objective manner, respecting the religious and ideological belief of children / students, the parent and the teacher throughout the educational process, while simultaneously allowing children / students to attend the religion and ethics courses organised by the church legal person.

(4) Public education shall promote the educational interests corresponding to the cultural autonomy of nationalities.

(5) The language of education shall be Hungarian while in nationality pre-schools and schools it shall be the language of the nationalities, whether in whole or in part, respectively, and in bilingual schools, the target language according to the legislation.

(6) It shall be the prioritised duty of public education to provide for early childhood development before school and to account for the special needs of children / students with special education needs or facing difficulties in integration, learning or behaviour and to support their most remarkable development adjusted to their individual needs as well as to establish possibilities for their most complete social integration.

(7) Primary education, secondary education comprising vocational training in the school system and higher education shall be interdependent, integral parts of the education system. Public education may be conducted as adult education at any school level.

(8) Operators and schools may take part in achieving the goals of vocational training subject to the conditions set out in the Act on Vocational Education and Training. Pre-schools, schools, halls of residence and pedagogical assistance service institutions may participate in the training and in-service training of teachers as set forth in this Act.

(9) The fundamental units of the public education system shall be the institutions vested with professional independence. The quality of their work and their democratic and lawful operation are ensured by legal regulation and state control.

(10) The school system shall be interoperable, allowing joining any other school or school type even during the school year based on the requirements of the receiving institutions established within the framework of this Act.

2. Explanatory Provisions

Section 4
For the purposes of this Act

1. "basic task" means the public education duty laid down in the deed of foundation of the public education institution which may be:

a) pre-school education,

b) pre-school education of those belonging to a nationality,

c) primary school education,

d) primary school education of those belonging to a nationality,

e) hall of residence education,

f) hall of residence education for nationalities,

g) grammar school education,

h) vocational secondary school education,

i) vocational education,

j) grammar school education of nationalities,

k) vocational secondary school education of nationalities,

l) vocational education of nationalities,

m) education within the framework of the Köznevelési Hídprogram (hereinafter: Public Education Bridge Programme),

n) adult education,

o) primary art education,

p) developmental education / developmental teaching,

q) pedagogical assistance service duties,

r) pre-school and school education of children / students with special education needs who may be educated together with the other children / students,

s) pre-school, school education of and hall of residence education for children / students with special education needs who cannot be educated together with other children / students,

t) education required for children under permanent medical treatment in health resorts for children, healthcare institutions and rehabilitation institutions to fulfil their compulsory school attendance,

u) pedagogical professional service,

2. "children / students with difficulties in integration, learning or behaviour" means children / students who require special attendance and significantly underperform compared to their age based on the basis of the expert opinion of the committee of experts, or face social relationship problems or suffer from deficiencies in learning or the control of their behaviour, or their integration into the community or personal development is impeded or shows special tendencies but do not qualify as students with special education needs,

3. "all-day school" means the form of school organisation where lessons and other activities are organised evenly distributed over the morning and the afternoon periods. Its operation and system of requirements shall be determined in law by the Government,

4. "other activity" means an individual session or group activity with educational contents for the development of the students outside the traditional school day,

5. "advanced education" means the education of certain subject with higher requirements according to the general curriculum,

6. "location" means the address where the tasks defined in the deed of foundation of the public education institution are performed,

7. "ascending system" means the gradual introduction of educational and examination requirements, pursuant to which the change may be introduced starting at the lowest teaching year affected,

8. "operator" means the natural or legal person who or which has obtained or has the right to perform public education tasks and meets the requirements necessary for operating the public education institution according to the provisions of this Act,

9. "supervision of children / students in educational institution" means the provision of protection of the physical integrity and morality of children / students during the period from their entering the educational institution until the lawful leaving of the educational institution as well as during the time of the activities and programmes which are the mandatory part of the pedagogical programme and are held outside the educational institution,

10. "institutional reorganisation" means all decisions of the operator amending the deed of foundation according to any of the terms listed in paragraphs c)-k) of Section 21 (3), except for decisions concerning property which is no longer required for the performance of the task,

11. "institutional unit" means the organisational unit which performs any of the basic tasks of the public education institution or multi-purpose institution,

12. "children / students requiring special attention" means

a) children / students requiring special treatment:

aa) children / students with special education needs,

ab) children / students with difficulties in integration, learning or behaviour,

ac) particularly gifted or talented children / students,

b) children / students with disadvantages or multiple disadvantages according to the Act on Child Protection and Guardianship Administration,

13. "particularly gifted or talented children / students" means children / students requiring special treatment, who are highly creative and possess above-average general or special skills, and strong motivation and commitment may be generated in them towards the task,

14. "community service" means social and environmental protection activity, as well as its educational processing, carried out individually or in group for the advantage of the local community of the student, which is carried out within organised framework and is independent of financial interests,

15. "private institution'" means any institution which is operated by other than the state, local government or church,

16. "evaluation procedure" means the procedure for the evaluation of the teacher’s performance which is necessary for promotion,

17. "pre-school year" means, in the pre-school, the period from 1 September to 31 August of the next following year,

18. "teaching staff" means the group of persons employed by the educational institution in the position of a teacher as a public employee or employment relationship as well as the staff with higher qualification who are employed in positions directly assisting the pedagogical and educational work,

19. "part-time teacher" means a teacher who is employed under a general agreement for teaching not more than ten lessons or activities a week,

20. "performance of national task” means that a public education institution performs a national task if not less than fifty-one per cent of the persons using its services, calculated separately for each location except for the county (Budapest) where the location is situated, is constituted of persons living in no less than five different counties (Budapest) provided that no more than three public education institutions performing the task or providing the service concerned exist in the country, respectively where the institution fulfils the task of nationality education or is engaged in education committed to a religion or ideology, and there is only one such institution operating in one locality or in one district of Budapest,

21. "pre-school group, school class or hall of residence group" means an education organisation unit organised for not less than one pre-school or school year which is created for the performance of defined, common educational tasks from children / students admitted to the pre-school, school or hall of residence and who go to the same location,

22. "merged class" means, in the first four years of the primary school, in the primary art school and in the adapted physical and conductive educational institution, the class made from the students of not less than two and not more than four teaching years. Schools operating based on an alternative programme may organise merged classes according to the conditions set out in their licence,

23. "children / students with special education needs" means children / students requiring special treatment who, based on the expert opinion of the committee of experts, are handicapped or have perceptual, mental deficiency or speech disorder, or have multiple disabilities in case of the simultaneous occurrence of several deficiencies or have autism spectrum disorder or any other psychic disorder (serious disorder concerning learning or the control of attention or behaviour),

24. "professional staff meeting " means the group comprising the heads and the employees employed as a public employee or employment relationship in positions established for the basic tasks laid down in the deed of foundation of the public education institution,

25. "seat" means the location defined in the deed of foundation of the educational institution performing the basic tasks where the working place of its head authorised for exercising his/her right of representation is located,

26. "member institution" means the institutional unit where the duties of control or representation cannot be attended or may be attended in part only owing to its distance from the seat or the nature of the duties,

27. "grades" means an institutional unit established for the educational work carried out in the first to fourth and fifth to eighth classes of the primary school, respectively,

28. "school year" means, in schools and halls of residence, the period from 1 September to 31 August of the next year,

29. "teaching year" means, unless otherwise provided by law, the term time from the first working day of September of each year until the last working day before 16 June of the next year, except for the year of school-leaving or vocational examination; in the vocational training years of vocational secondary schools and vocational schools where no subjects in cultural domains are educated in the cases regulated by the Act on Vocational Education and Training, the teaching year may also be commenced in February as defined in the ministerial decree on the order of the school year,

30. "school day" means in each class any day used for educational lessons or class or group sessions being a part of the educational programme of the school which may not be carried out within the framework of school lessons including but not limited to school excursions, environmental educational events or cultural or sports events provided that the number of activity hours reaches three,

31. "children / students accident" means any accident which involves children / students during the time or the activity when they are under the supervision of the educational institution or the person conducting the practical training including accidents occurring during practical training outside the institution,

32. "site" means a location other than the seat,

33. "performance of regional task": a public education institutions performs regional tasks if, in the average of five years, not less than fifty-one per cent of the persons living in more than two counties other than the count where the seat of the educational institution is located or outside the boundaries of Budapest, use its services.

3. Phases of Pedagogical Work

Section 5
(1) The phases of the pedagogical work conducted in public education institutions shall be as follows:

a) pre-school education phase which starts when the child turns three years old and lasts until the child commences compulsory education,

b) phase of primary education which starts with the first class, lasts until the eighth class and is divided into two parts:

ba) the lower grades starting with the first class and ending with the fourth class, and

bb) the upper grades starting with the fifth class and ending with the eighth class,

c) phase of secondary education which starts with the ninth class, except for the secondary schools operating with six or eight years, and ends, in the vocational schools at the end of the eleventh year and in the secondary schools at the end of the twelfth year respectively (paragraphs b)-c) hereinafter together: phase of school education),

d) phase of school education preparing for vocational qualification which, unless otherwise provided by law, starts after the phase of primary education and ends in the vocational training school with the vocational training year set forth in the National Register of Vocational Qualifications.

(2) The principles of pre-school education shall be laid down in the National Master Programme for Pre-School Education. The pre-schools shall prepare their local educational programmes based on the National Master Programme for Pre-School Education.

(3) The curriculum and requirements of each teaching year are interdependent. Secondary education and the phase of school education preparing for vocational qualification may be conducted parallel at vocational schools and vocational secondary schools.

(4) The uniform contents of school education and the interoperability of schools shall be ensured by the National Core Curriculum (hereinafter: NCC) which shall determine the cultural contents to be acquired and lay down mandatory provisions regarding the organisation of education including, particularly the restrictions on the weekly and daily workload of the students. The detailed rules concerning the content requirements of subjects in cultural domains in vocational schools shall be determined by separate legal regulation while observing the NCC.

(5) The implementation of the provisions of the NCC shall be ensured by general curricula. In each school type, the objectives of education, the system of subjects, the topics and contents of each subject, the requirements of each subject applicable for one or two years, as well as the tasks of the development of intra-subject areas of knowledge and capability shall be laid down in the general curricula, which shall also define the mandatory and recommended time frame available for the fulfilment of the requirements.

(6) The operator of the school and the churches, religious denominations and religious communities acknowledged by Parliament pursuant to the Act on the freedom of belief and religion and the legal status of churches, religious denominations and religious communities, may submit curricula, prepared within the framework of this Act and the NCC, for approval. The costs of the procedures regulated in this Section shall be borne by the entity which initiated the procedure.

(7) The general curriculum to be implemented in the phase of school education preparing for the acquisition of vocational qualification shall be included in the general curricula to be prepared on the basis of the Act on Vocational Education and Training and ministerial decrees laying down the professional and examination requirements. The general curricula shall be published by the minister responsible for vocational training and adult education in agreement with the minister responsible for education.

(8) The pre-school education of nationalities, school education in bilingual schools, the pre-school education of children with special education needs, education in halls of residence and primary art education are based on the special provisions laid down in the decrees issued by the minister responsible for education.

(9) The consent of the nationality self-government with nation-wide competence shall be obtained in regards to matters concerning nationality education of the general curricula and the national master programme of hall of residence education as well as the publication of the guideline for the pre-school education of nationalities and the guideline for the school education of nationalities.

4. System of State Examinations

Section 6
(1) The secondary-school leaving examination is a state examination which shall be held applying uniform examination requirements in the entire country (hereinafter: central examination requirements). The central examination requirements of the secondary-school leaving examination shall be defined based on the examination regulations and the legal regulation on the detailed examination requirements of school-leaving. A secondary-school leaving certificate shall prove secondary qualification and entitles the holder to seek admission to any institution of higher education or vocational training course, and to seek employment and pursue activities. Furthermore, the vocational secondary school certificate entitles the holder to seek employment according to the statutory requirements.

(2) At the secondary-school leaving examination, students shall give account of their knowledge in the following subjects:

a) Hungarian language and literature,

b) history,

c) mathematics,

d) foreign language - for those taking part in nationality education, mother tongue and literature,

e) mandatory optional examination subject; in vocational secondary schools, vocational examination subject corresponding to the sector of the vocational secondary school.

(3) In addition to the mandatory and mandatory optional examination subjects, secondary-school leaving examination may also be taken from additional examination subjects.

(4) The issue of the secondary-school leaving certificate shall also be subject to proving the performance of fifty hours of community service. As regards secondary-school leaving examination organised within the framework of adult education, the secondary-school leaving examination may be started also in absence of proving community service. Community service may be omitted in case of students with special education needs based on the proposal of the committee of experts to that end.

(5) The vocational examination organised in vocational schools for acquiring the vocational qualifications listed in the National Register of Vocational Qualifications shall qualify as state examination. Students may take a vocational examination after satisfying the requirements of the last year of vocational training.

(6) The vocational and examination requirements of the vocational qualifications defined in the National Register of Vocational Qualifications shall be determined and issued by and the organisation of vocational examinations and the issue of certificates proving vocational qualification shall be regulated by the legal regulations governing vocational qualification.

(7) At the primary art schools, basic examination in art shall be organised and final examination in art may be organised. The primary examination in art shall authorise for further education in post-secondary courses. The examination requirements and examination tasks of basic and final examinations in art shall be defined by the primary art school within the framework of the decree of the minister responsible for education.

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