State Secretary Miklós Panyi said the Hungarian government has decided to increase the aid to ethnic Hungarian families sending their children to Hungarian schools.
Speaking in Cluj (Kolozsvár) on Wednesday, Panyi announced that the government would contribute to a school bus project by the Rákóczi Association, to be implemented in small settlements of Transylvania. Panyi pointed to negative demographic trends in Europe and said they especially impacted Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin. A decreasing number of children has caused problems in the financing of Hungarian schools, and “the Hungarian government must address that problem,” the state secretary said. Providing school buses could be key in ensuring access to education in Hungarian, Panyi said. This could be crucial for Hungarian families, communities and schools in their efforts to survive, he added. From January on, students of Hungarian schools in Ukraine receive a gross of 100 forints (EUR 262), which increased from 22,400 forints, while students in other countries will receive a similar amount from September on, Panyi said. Csongor Csáky, head of the Rákóczi Association, said the school bus programme, launched in southern Slovakia last year, would be rolled out to a further 31 settlements in Romania. Altogether, the service will help over 500 children from over 100 towns to 34 primary schools, he added.