In the 21st century the ongoing information technology revolution changes the nature of working. Even the specialized workers need increasingly computer skills and the ability to adapt to new technological environments. in the meantime there is a growing gap between the richest and the increasing number of poor people. One of the most important task for a government nowadays is to make education accessible for all, and to provide social support for the people who have no means for pursuing studies. In Hungary, the current processes show unfortunately in the opposite direction. The government lowered the age of compulsory education from 18 years to 16 ys, thus a growing number of young people drop out from the educational system without any qualification and also without the capability to study further at any later time in life. The public work program of the Hungarian government created a catch 22 situation. The payment for it is too small for providing the living, but big enough for the parents in the poor countryside regions that they let their children do it. But it is a dead-end way, statistics show that very small percentage of public workers can move over to the real job market due to the lack of efficient training programs and in most of the cases useless tasks during the public work. it even contributes to the revival of a kind of feudalistic structure where local leaders can abuse the system of public work, and even maintain their political support with threatening of taking away even this “opportunity”. We have to change it. Education, be it public or higher level has to become the focus of a future government. Autonomy should be given back to the public schools, and universities. Without educational freedom and autonomy of academic research there is no long term development.
In order to be able to compete globally, the European Union could set up basic standards of education that the member states should apply. I know that currently education is handled mostly by the member states, but if we can set minimum quality standards for agricultural products, why not to do it in a different field, as well?
If we want a Europe with more cohesion, we have to harmonize our attitudes towards education, and to intensify exchange programs. Europe has a great source of best practices, we should adapt them to allow our continent to become a competent, and also sustainable global actor, and to reach more equality among its citizens.