Thursday, 16 September 2010

”Will they become subjects or citizens?” Young people’s active citizenship competences in Hungary – a secondary analysis of international databases an

The Active Citizenship Foundation, Hungary carried out a secondary research analysis in partnership with the TÁRKI-TUDOK Knowledge Management and Educational Research Centre. Our study aimed to examine how young people define the concept of citizenship, and whether this awareness goes hand in hand with such values and skills that promote democratic action.

Our research arrived at the conclusion that the social and political activity of young people in Hungary is low by international standards. The results suggest that young people have a constant sense of disenchantment with politics, which manifests in a lack of confidence and interest, and which leads to an absence of action. Studies also confirmed that Hungarian students are not able to capture the essence of democracy.

A number of signs indicate, in parallel, that schools cannot or do not want to take on the role of implementing citizenship education. The Hungarian school system is organized along the lines of mere transmission of information, while teacher training and postgraduate education almost totally neglects the emphasis on democracy and active citizenship education.

But the research results also suggest that young people have an interest in expressing their views and to participate in decision making, if they get the opportunity. Both the school system, and the non-governmental sphere should reflect over this need.

The whole research report and its summary in Hungarian, and the executive summary in English are available on the website of the Active Citizenship Foundation, Hungary (www.aktivpolgar.hu).

Enikő Pap