Zsolt Semjen – Photo: MTI

Deputy PM: Hungarian-language education key to preserving Hungarian communities across borders

Maintaining schools and Hungarian-language education is key to preserving Hungarian communities across the borders, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen said on Monday, at the inauguration of 38 school buses for transporting Hungarian children to school in Transylvania.

Unveiling buses operated by the Rakoczi Foundation, Semjen said currently 252,000 children were enrolled in Hungarian-language education in the Carpathian Basin, in 1,700 kindergartens, 1,243 elementary schools, 259 secondary schools and 20 colleges of tertiary education, he said.

The Hungarian government also supports many children in Hungarian education with a 100,000 forint (EUR 260) annual grant, he added.

Gergely Gulyas, the head of the prime minister’s office, said that schools were the “best tool to preserve the identity, communities and culture of Hungarians across the borders”. The government has taken on the responsibility of caring for the lives of Hungarians across the borders, as enshrined in the Fundamental Law, he said.

The government supported the purchase of the buses with a 500 million forint grant, and the Rakoczi Foundation provided 150 million, he said.

Hunor Kelemen, the head of the ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party in Romania, said the school bus programme would help 2,500 children to attend Hungarian-language schools in the country.

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