It is a well-known fact that the state and quality of native language teaching is of determining importance from the aspect of the Hungarian minority’s present and future in Slovakia. Not dealing with the problems can be traced back to the lack of long-term development conception of education of Hungarians living in Slovakia, of which drafting could be realised only with the co-operation of professional organisations and politics, as well. Although, the experience of the past show the lack of such discussions.
History teaching at Hungarian schools in Slovakia bears all the illnesses of the domestic education. The crisis of history teaching in Slovakia (in Slovak and Hungarian language) started before the system changes. During the socialism this subject was to become the services of the system. The system changes that took place in (Czecho)slovakia from 1989 put history teaching to an entirely new situation. Renewal of history teaching in Slovakia from contextual point of view went relatively fast and smoothly. The country’s interest on history teaching remained, since the new political leadership wanted to use it for its own legitimization again. Although, the ideological content was changed to international goals.
The study introduces the results of a survey based on questionnaires executed in autumn of 2003. It states that history teaching in Hungarian language schools in Slovakia fights with serious problems. Most of the respondents mentioned as problem the lack of suitable textbooks. This answer alternative was marked by more than two-third of the respondents. The second most frequent marked problem was the lack of qualification of history teachers with Hungarian spirit that was marked by more than half of the respondents. More than half of the pedagogues marked the lack of suitable teaching tools and qualified pedagogues, the rest of the pedagogues thought that the curricula were one of the reasons of the problems. From the given alternatives the less respondents answered the lack of a suitable further education system.
Summarizing the issue of textbooks the most important seems to be the creation of opportunities for choosing textbooks. It should be achieved that the pedagogue and the school through a pedagogical program would choose the textbooks to be used and of course that there would be an opportunity to choose. Besides the liberalization of the textbook market its professional control is also very important, to enable our children to get to books that reflect the acceptance and the valuation of tolerance, all kind of difference (national, religious, etc.).
At our schools teach history pedagogues over and under forty years of age in the same extent. Although, our schools are lacking in qualified young people. In the group of teachers younger than 40 the rate of unqualified people is low. And this again stems from the low financial and moral valuation of teachers – the unsolved problem of teacher education. In Bratislava and Nitra more than a dozen history teachers accomplish their studies. Although many of them does not work in this field.