Raising the attractiveness of vocational education and training is high on the national policy agenda. Priority is given to support schools’ capacity to train young people and adults for new skills needed in local economies. The 21st century VET school development programme is a mid-term nationwide initiative to renew all State-owned VET institutions, to respond to the challenges posed by digitalisation and 4.0 technologies.
How it works – Concepts and planning
The programme, coordinated by the local network of integrated VET centres, focuses on two main areas, renovating buildings and modernising school laboratories, equipment and teaching methods. The aim is two-fold, to offering learners excellent training quality in a modern learning environment. The project actions include:
- improving the energy efficiency of school buildings, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using renewable energy; supporting alternative means of transport (e.g. by creating bicycle parking spaces); improving the architectural beauty of school buildings and increasing green areas;
- building gyms and multifunctional sports grounds for physical education; creating, renovating, and developing community spaces;
- providing broadband internet access for teachers and students; building classrooms with state-of-the-art furniture accommodating the latest technology; and introducing up-to-date ICT tools, including electronic teaching materials.
Development plans will be based on local needs assessment (sectoral practical training, foreign language communication in specific sectors and regions, technologies in use). Actions should be cost-effective (a conception plan and an indicative budget for operation costs are foreseen) and have a full utilisation rate. With a budget of HUF 10 to 20 billion a year (EUR 31.5 to 63 million) for a 10-year period, the 21st century VET school development programme is expected to create an attractive alternative training path for learners deciding on their future career.
Digitalisation and sectoral technologies – Key success factors
Digitalisation should be present in up-to-date tools and equipment, teaching methodology, administration, curricula, and students’ learning culture. Each school should establish modern workshops where students can learn sectoral technologies together with the basics of a profession. Digital teaching materials should have a more prominent role, due to the fast evolution of professional content. For example, an educational film can motivate students better than teaching material on paper. This way, digitalisation can make education more efficient.
Work begins – Pilots and expectations
Miskolc and Győr, two cities with remarkable economic potential, have received HUF 10 billion ( EUR 31.5 million) to pilot the programme in local VET schools (June 2019 to August 2022). Debrecen and Kecskemét are in the preparatory phase of the pilot phase (starting in 2020).
The programme aims to strengthen the capacity of tomorrow’s VET schools to match labour market demands, through cooperation with local economic stakeholders; and link basic practical training in school workshops with dual training at companies. ‘Vocational education and training will be transformed to achieve the economic development goals of the Hungarian Government’, said Dr László Palkovics, the Hungarian Minister for Innovation and Technology.
Government Decree No 1168/2019 of March, 28 for the adoption of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) 4.0 mid-term policy strategy for the renewal of VET and Adult Education (AE), the answer of the VET system for the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution’ [in Hungarian]