Published: December 14 2023
The decision to lower the school-leaving age in Hungary from 18 to 16 has had significant effects on education and society. This article will discuss the consequences of this policy change and its impact on educational institutions, labor markets, and societal dynamics.
Impact on Education and Labor Market
A study conducted by Anna Adamecz, Dániel Prinz, and Ágnes Szabó-Morvai reveals that the lower school-leaving age has widened social inequalities in Hungary. Young people with lower social status have experienced more pronounced effects on their education and job prospects. The government's emphasis on vocational training and early entry into the labor market contradicts the global trend of promoting lifelong learning. Contrary to the government's stance, global data supports the idea that individuals who stay in education tend to have higher incomes.
Early School Leaving and Employment
Despite the government's intention to facilitate early entry into the labor market, early school leaving has increased without a corresponding increase in job opportunities. Many individuals who do find employment end up in positions that do not require qualifications, contributing to a stagnant primary labor market. A study highlighted by Telex shows that young pregnant women under 20 face significant challenges compared to those over 20. Early motherhood can negatively impact women's integration into work and society in the long run.
Increase in Births and Abortions
The lowering of the school-leaving age has correlated with an increase in births and abortions among 16 to 18-year-olds, particularly among children of parents with lower education. This trend raises concerns about the long-term negative impact on women's integration into the labor market and society. Hungary's high rate of young pregnancies compared to the European Union average highlights the country's unfavorable situation in terms of early parenthood.
Other Government Initiatives
In addition to the school-leaving age reduction, the Hungarian government has implemented initiatives like CSOK and CSOK Plus, which aim to financially support families and encourage higher birth rates. These initiatives, coupled with the decision to lower the school-leaving age, suggest a broader goal of increasing birth rates. The potential correlation between these policies and their impact on education, employment, and societal dynamics warrants further examination.
While the intention behind lowering the school-leaving age was to facilitate early entry into the labor market, the consequences have been more complex. Increased social inequalities, a stagnant primary labor market, and potential adverse effects on women's choices and integration call for a careful reevaluation of the long-term implications of this policy change on education, employment, and broader societal dynamics in Hungary.
Questions & Answers
How did Hungary's decision to lower the school-leaving age affect education and society? Lowering the school-leaving age in Hungary from 18 to 16 has led to changes within educational institutions and on a broader societal level. It has widened social inequalities, particularly affecting young people with lower status in terms of educational and labor market outcomes.
What were the consequences of lowering the school-leaving age in Hungary? The consequences of lowering the school-leaving age in Hungary include increased social inequalities, a stagnant primary labor market, and potential adverse effects on women's choices and integration. Early school leaving increased, and there weren't more people finding jobs. The gap between the more and less educated in terms of income is larger than the OECD average in Hungary, highlighting the importance of educational attainment in securing higher-paying jobs.
What impact did early school leaving have on employment in Hungary? Contrary to the government's intention of facilitating early entry into the labor market, early school leaving in Hungary did not result in more people finding jobs. Many who did secure employment ended up in positions requiring no qualifications, contributing to a stagnant primary labor market. Data from the study suggests that those who stay in education fare better in terms of income.
How did lowering the school-leaving age affect young pregnant women in Hungary? Lowering the school-leaving age in Hungary had an impact on young pregnant women. Those under 20 years old were nearly 35 times more likely to face challenges compared to those over 20. Some young women might consider quitting school but struggle to find jobs, which can lead them toward early motherhood. This can have long-term negative effects on how women fit into work and society.
Did lowering the school-leaving age in Hungary encourage higher birth rates? While it is uncertain whether the correlation was intentional, there is a possibility that Hungary's decision to lower the school-leaving age in 2012 was implemented with the broader goal of encouraging higher birth rates. However, it is important to note that the lowering of the school-leaving age correlated with an increase in births and abortions among 16 to 18-year-olds, especially for children of parents with lower education.
What other government initiatives are there in Hungary to encourage higher birth rates and support families? In addition to lowering the school-leaving age, the Hungarian government has implemented initiatives like CSOK and CSOK Plus (Family Housing Support Program) to encourage families to have more children by providing financial support. These programs aim to address declining birth rates and support families in Hungary.