CET meeting 05-06. 02. 2000. Budapest
Internet: Past, present, future

Hungary, the Schoolnet

The ‘Sulinet’ (Schoolnet) Program was launched on September 1, 1996, at the opening ceremony of the academic year. The speaker of the event, Minister of Culture and Education Bálint Magyar announced that by September 1, 1998 every Hungarian secondary school will have direct access to the Internet – the deadline for providing the same facilities for all primary schools is the year 2002. IT has become a priority area of further education for teachers. What is more, support from the central budget will also be available for a program under which assets of the Hungarian cultural heritage and accomplishments of various domestic disciplines will be recorded on electronic data carriers (e.g. CD-ROMs).

The overall goal of the Ministry is to make the Internet accessible to, and to provide technical and professional support for, all institutions of public education and culture, and public collections; to create a means for ethnic Hungarians abroad to keep in touch with culture in Hungary; and to produce public education databases accessible to everyone.

Stage One of the program is an investment in infrastructure to establish a nationwide Internet service in at least 1200 institutions.
Stage Two of the program guarantees a studio of 6 to 16 computers per school (depending on the size of the school) connected to a local network and supplied with an on-line connection to the Internet. The costs of computers, too, are covered by the budget – better off schools may buy more workstations from their own resources.
Making use of the Internet requires special skills from teachers conducting computer courses but certain computer skills are also required from teachers of other disciplines so that they know, and are able, to exploit the possibilities offered by the Internet. ‘Sulinet’ grants HUF 3.4 billion to train teachers (1 billion of which covers the teaching of special computer skills). Teacher training to use computers will lay the foundations of ‘human infrastructure’ supporting the ‘Sulinet’ program.