All Inc’s Hungarian team report on their recent national-level multiplier event — köszönöm csapat!
“A useful and socially important, necessary and valuable project” — this is how our external evaluators assessed the project. This feedback is very important to us in light of the current circumstances. As we have reported many times, this project has had to sail against the wind — the Hungarian legal environment tries to hide the LGBTQI community and exclude the topic from schools.
For our multiplier event, All Inc’s Hungarian participants invited the university’s regular education institution partners and shared the occasion with a network of friends and allies. Unfortunately, we had to be vigilant of the possible attacks on the media; therefore, we couldn’t promote the event to a broader audience. Even so, we were lucky to receive around twenty guests. Some of them were current or former university students, while others worked for different segments of the education system (nursery school and supporting services). We also had former vocational school student activists and some supportive friends. Besides the external guests, we could greet a colleague responsible for the pedagogy and psychology modules of our university’s teacher education program (the largest in Hungary in terms of student enrolment).
At the beginning of the event Zoltán Rónay, the Hungarian team’s leader, introduced the projects (participants, goals, methods, and outcomes). After that, he gave a presentation about the quantitative research findings, which offered an overview of the Hungarian secondary education teachers’, students’, and their parents’ concerns about homosexuality and transgender issues, and also the opinions of teacher education lecturers and students about LGBTQI matters and education. According to the findings, the most controversial results came from the parents’ side. The majority of them were more tolerant of their children’s friends’ homosexuality or transsexuality than they were of their own children’s. Furthermore, among the free text answers, many of them echoed the government propaganda slogans. Overall, the global picture is not bad, but we have much to improve.
The second presentation by Kevin Kormos was about the tools the project has developed for schools. He talked about the relevance of this outcome and its development process. He added to these experiences with the results of testing the tools.
The last presenter, Erzsébet Csereklye, gave her presentation about the national and European-level policy recommendations. She talked about the challenges and our expectations for external interventions because the children’s well-being must be a global task and not only a national matter.
After the presentation, our guests had the opportunity to ask and make comments. Some emphasised that the project should have focused not only on the older students but the youngest as well. We agreed that sexual education is not equal to teaching about sexuality. Therefore, it must be started already in nursery school. Since the project’s final goal was to create a society engaged in diversity, the topic of diversity, inclusion, and equity must also be part of school nursery programs.
The general opinion of the audience was that the fact that the LGBTQI issue has been dealt with over a longer time is positive in itself. On the other hand, it can help to reduce the growing divisions in democracy.
According to the concluding remarks, All Inc! is a useful and socially important (especially in the current social divisions in Hungary), necessary and valuable project. It would be good if it were to continue, despite the brutal opposition it may face in our country.
Photo credit: “2021-06-14 Homofób törvény elleni tüntetés Budapesten”, shared by Pasztilla aka Attila Terbócs on Wikimedia Commons.