Primary and Secondary Schools in Hungary

Primary and Secondary Schools in Hungary by City:


About Primary and Secondary Schools in Hungary

In Hungary, public education system is based on a hierarchy starting from nursery and extending to universities. After completing their primary schooling, students can choose to enroll into general secondary schools called gimnázium or vocational secondary school, szakközépiskola. Apart from these, students can opt for vocational schools offering short term academic courses. The Hungarian government has made education compulsory for children aged 5 years and upwards. Kindergartens or nursery schools in Hungary offer Pre-school programs for kids. The last year of the kindergarten curriculum is meant for preparing children for the general school education system.

Primary Education in Hungary

Hungary’s flexible student enrolment system ensures that all children enroll into general schools by the age of 7.  Attending general school is mandatory for students and they need to clear eight grades for completing their tenure at a primary school in Hungary. The curriculum of general schools is divided into lower primary, and upper primary levels; both of which comprise four grades each. In upper primary stage, subject teaching is initiated in conjunction with basic skills. Students need eight years to complete primary education in Hungary, and they usually pass out of primary schools at the age of 13.

Secondary Education

Students who are 14 years or more in age can request an admission into a secondary school in Hungary.  Owing to an evolving educational scenario in Hungary, categorizing secondary education system can become a tad difficult. Schools that admit students after completing general school curriculum are broadly classified as secondary schools.  Secondary education in Hungary can be divided into vocational education and general education. After completing the duration of general secondary schools in Hungary, students need to take a school leaving exam for applying to higher education. The duration of courses offered in these schools is 4 years, from 9th grade through 12th grade. Students enrolling in bilingual schools require an additional year. They are taught a foreign language in the 9th grade and have subjects that are taught in that language during the 10th grade.  Apart from general education, secondary schools in Hungary provide intensive foreign language teaching to their students. As per Hungary’s education regulations, students leaving a secondary school in Hungary can opt between a high-level exam and a standard-level exam.

The secondary vocational education schools in Hungary or predominantly of two types. There are a number of vocational secondary schools in the country that provide students the chance to appear for matriculation exam. On the contrary, some other vocational schools lack this provision. The vocational schools can be segregated into three sub categories.
  • Secondary vocational schools (szakközépiskola), in Hungary offer both- the provision to sit for a school leaving exam along with a skilled worker's certificate, to students on successful completion of the 4 year course.
  • The vocational secondary schools that allow students to take matriculation exams usually offer technical education courses, comprising 5 years.
  • On the other hand, vocational school (szakiskola) in Hungary prepares students for entry into the labor market, but do not enable them to take the matriculation exam.
Applicants for higher education are selected on the basis of their matriculation examination scores.  In some universities, clearing an entrance test is also mandatory.

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