Ildikó Orosz: Hungarians in Transcarpathia request the restoration of language rights in education

The Hungarians of Transcarpathia have been living in their homeland for hundreds of years, and therefore they would like to be state-building factors with the rights and opportunities that go with it, and with “persistent tenacity” they are asking for the return of the rights taken away in the field of mother tongue education, said Ildikó Orosz, President of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Pedagogical Association (KMPSZ) and the Ferenc Rakoczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education in Visk, at the opening ceremony of the Hungarian schools in the county.

This year, the traditional opening ceremony of the Hungarian schools in Transcarpathia was held in the Reformed Church of Visk, a large village in Upper Tisza region. After the ceremonial service, Ildikó Orosz opened the new school year and said that teachers had stood their ground in the past school year, which was full of uncertainties.

The KMPSZ continues to consider supporting the operation and development of Hungarian educational institutions in Transcarpathia as its most important task

– she stated. Among the achievements, she highlighted the association’s involvement in setting up safe spaces for in-person education, organizing subject competitions, summer camps and teacher training courses.

She also noted that thanks to KMPSZ’s organization, 800 children were able to vacation in the Erzsébet Camp in Zánka, including 200 Ukrainian children who learned Hungarian as a foreign language. As part of the Határtalanul summer camp program held in Transcarpathia, 2 500 children participated in day-care programs in 55 schools in the last week of August.

Ildikó Orosz extended her gratitude to the State Secretariat for National Policy, Hungarian state institutions and civil organizations for their continuous support.

According to a preliminary survey by the KMPSZ, Hungarian classes have been opened in 99 schools this year, where a total of nearly 15 000 children are studying. The number of first-graders exceeds 1 100, which is close to last year’s figure.

For the children who stayed at home “it is worthwhile and necessary to do our part this academic year

– emphasized Ildikó Orosz.

According to her, “we did not come here as migrants; we were born here, and we have been living here for centuries.” Hungarians in Transcarpathia want to be state-building factors and enjoy the rights and opportunities that come with it.

With persistent tenacity we are asking for the restoration of our taken away rights in the field of mother tongue education

– she underlined.

In a departure from tradition, at the end of the opening ceremony, KMPSZ’s statement was read aloud, calling on relevant government bodies to ensure the restoration of previously existing educational and language rights.