Building on the results of national and international (OECD) comparative surveys, an overarching national medium-term strategy on financial literacy has been in place since 2017. It aims to support financial skills acquisition and proficiency of the Hungarian population and is being implemented in the period 2017-23 within the framework of two-year consecutive action plans managed by the Ministry of Finance.
In the first phase (2017-19) focus was placed on developing respective education programmes at different education levels. The primary target groups were general education and IVET learners (and through them their families) so that learners achieve a good command of financial skills by the end of secondary education. Several programmes were created:
- the School education for financial awareness programme in general upper secondary education and IVET programmes;
- the University level cooperation programme foresees that post-graduate students in economics can teach financial literacy skills in upper secondary (VET) schools;
- the Cashless school programme in schools enables non-cash payment methods;
- other financial skill acquisition programmes, such as the Be smart with your money and the Big financial test for young learners.
The School education for financial awareness programme
The first call for proposals, launched in 2019, focused on delivery of extracurricular school activities and on pilot programmes that will serve as good practices for other schools, such as mentoring HE students wishing to participate in the University level cooperation programme or implementing a financial obstacle course. The total budget of the call is approximately EUR 56 000; successful bidders receive a non-refundable grant – between EUR 1400 and EUR 8400 – which may cover up to 100% of the implementation costs.
One of the successful applicants is the Tóth János VET school. Established in 2018, due to its geographical location (in the southern border region of the country), the school attracts students from the surrounding small settlements and isolated rural areas where financial literacy skills might be underdeveloped, or from Serbia, where part of the Hungarian minority lives and is less aware of the national financial system.
In the framework of the ’Eco Go’ programme in place in the Tóth János VET school affiliated to the VET Centre of Szeged a ‘financial obstacle course’ was elaborated using gamification, consisting of eight digital stations. These are interactive touch screen panels learners use to answer questions elaborated by school teachers. To boost learners’ interest further, a flight of stairs in the school was used as a tool to visualise the relevant financial course topics available on the school’s online database. The course was inaugurated in 2020 during the ‘Pénz7’ thematic financial and entrepreneurial week (a programme attached to the European Money Week initiative), and has been permanently available in the school ever since.
Financial education in upper secondary VET to support youth employability
The new (2020) national core curriculum provides the institutional framework for the education of financial knowledge both in general education and VET. As of 2020/21, in the second year (grade 10) of the reformed five-year technological education programmes (in Technicums, former vocational-grammar schools) the ‘financial and entrepreneurial knowledge’ subject initiate learners into the conscious approach to finances. This subject has been taught in 317 schools nationwide since 2017/18. Textbooks and electronic teaching material are produced by the Money Compass Foundation that develops and implements financial awareness programmes since 2008.
School for financial awareness call for tenders [accessed 13.1.2021]
The School for Financial awareness programme provided at the Tóth János VET School
Developing financial awareness also helps the financial security of families [accessed 13.1.2021]
Enhancing financial literacy in Hungary [accessed 13.1.2021]
The Eco Go programme of the Tóth János VET School (social media account)