Dunaharaszti is a small town situated in the suburbs of Budapest, the capital city of Hungary.
Its location has all the advantages due to the proximity of Budapest: schools, universities, theatres, opera, museums, etc. but none of the negative sides of a big city where over 2 million people live: traffic jams, crowded places, pollution. Therefore, we can say that the 21000 inhabitants are satisfied with their living conditions and even if many of them commute to Budapest to their workplace, they are happy to come back to the peace and quiet of our town at the end of the day. All the essential services are available here; we have many small shops with high quality Hungarian products, supermarkets, banks, post offices and police station and an excellent system of transportation: bus, train and suburban train service, which connects Dunaharaszti to Budapest and other big cities all over the country. As far as education is concerned, there are several nurseries, kindergartens, three elementary schools and the Baktay Ervin Grammar School.
This educational level is considered as an important integrated part of school system. It caters for children from 3 to 6 years of age. Participation in pre-primary education is optional, except for the final year (beyond age 5), which is compulsory, but according to the new Law of Education, from 2014, kindergarten will be compulsory from the age of 3.
Children start primary school when they reach school-maturity, which is in the year they have their 6th birthday. Primary education can last for 4, 6 or 8 years, 8 being the most widespread.
However, students who are gifted or who would like to start their secondary education sooner, have the possibility to take an entrance exam to a grammar school after the fourth or the sixth grade. If they are successful, they continue their studies at a higher level at the school that has this teaching system.
There are three kinds of secondary schools:
Gimnázium or Grammar school (non-vocational; prepares students for higher education and teaches at least 2 foreign languages.
Szakközépiskola or Technical school ( vocational school but also prepares for higher education and lasts for 4 or 5 years)
– Szakmunkásképző Szakiskola ( vocational school that lasts for 3 years)
Secondary education usually lasts for 4 years. In grammar schools (gimnáziums) it can also last for 5, 6, or 8 years depending on how many years the student spent in primary school.
At the Baktay we have had the 6-grade form of education for many years and with good results! They are the youngest ones and they study in class „A” for another six years, until they finish grammar school. Class „B”, the “Language training class” is for those who are interested in languages, and their education lasts for 5 years as they have an extra year (0th grade) to study either English or German 19 hours per week, then they follow the normal curriculum for another 4 years. Finally, class „C” has the normal, regular form of education in secondary schools, it lasts for 4 years and it finishes with the final or school-leaving exam (Matura). In our school, as all three forms are available, there is quite a serious competition at the entrance examinations every year!
Higher education in Hungary dates back to 1367 when Louis the Great founded the first Hungarian university in the city of Pécs.
Higher education is divided between colleges and universities. College education generally lasts for 4 years whereas university education can last for 4 to 6 years depending on the course undertaken. The PhD usually takes 3 years to complete.
Languages, arts, history, sciences and environment are the main priorities in our school and our students’ excellent results in different competency evaluations show that we take our work seriously! We have in the curriculum “museum days” when the students visit art galleries, museums of history or archaeological sites (mainly Aquincum, which is close and highly educative). Many students spend part of their free time at school as they have a wide choice of extra-curricular activities: drama club and choir, dances, handball and basketball teams, gymnastics. For many years, the Baktay had the status of a museum, as our modern art gallery was located inside the school building. Last October however, our collection was transfered to the newly redecorated Laffert Mansion, a beautiful old building that houses exhibitions, lecture halls, auditorium and a cosy café! Our school plays an important part in the town’s cultural life, the Baktay drama club members being the main performers at almost all the celebrations, commemorations organized on public or religious holidays.
We have been a UNESCO school for over 15 years, so we are in the ASP-network, which means that part of our international relationships is with Unesco schools from Slovenia, Serbia, Poland and Austria. Annually our students participate in the international camp Roots and Wings, organised in Piran, Slovenia, and we have regular exchanges with Kikinda, Serbia and Wloclawec, Poland. Ferlach, Austria was one of our partners in the Comenius project „European Own Place” (2008 – 2010), together with the Finnish school from Ii, our „oldest” partner: we started exchanges with them in 1996 and since then numerous visits and joint projects have been carried out much to the satisfaction of our students, schools and communities! We expect to enlarge the number of partner-schools and we think that taking part in international projects like the one, (“Drama Journey”) we are working on now with Greece, Italy and Poland is an excellent opportunity to practise the English language, make new friends and continue the partnership even after the project has been accomplished!
Baktay Ervin Grammar School