Hungarian kindergarten in Temesvár, nursery school in Lugos await children

According to studies, Hungarians of the diaspora within the large cities of Romania are the most likely to assimilate into Romanian culture, while the children of Romanian-Hungarian mixed families will also more possibly form a majority identity. That is why Hungarian kindergartens and nursery schools are very important so that Hungarian children living in the diaspora or coming from mixed parents can also learn about the Hungarian culture and language and can develop a Hungarian identity. With this goal in mind, two Hungarian pre-school institutes were inaugurated on Wednesday: A kindergarten in Temesvár (Timișoara in Romanian) and a nursery school in Lugos (Lugoj). Both of the projects were financed by the Hungarian Government as part of the Hungarian kindergarten development program, Hungarian news agency MTI reports.

The kindergarten of Temesvár can provide high-quality education for five kindergarten groups or about 110 children. The two-story, multifunctional institute was built in the place of a ruined building. During the project, they also renovated the daycare center in the backyard, and the institute now has a total area of 776 square meters. The construction was carried out with HUF 228 million (EUR 795,000) of financial support from the Hungarian state.

In Lugos, the nursery school of the local Reformed congregation was inaugurated on Wednesday – this was also restored with the financial help of the Hungarian government, amounting to HUF 87 million (EUR 246,000). The 210-square-meter property, part of a monument dating back more than 100 years, provides preschool education for one group of children. Both construction projects were managed by the Hungarian Teacher’s Association of Romania.

István Grezsa, Hungarian Ministerial Commissioner for the Carpathian Basin Kindergarten Development Program, spoke with MTI after the inauguration ceremonies. The ministerial commissioner said that all studies show that people living in the diaspora of large cities in Romania and children of Hungarian-Romanian mixed families are more likely to assimilate into Romanian culture and develop a Romanian identity. Grezsa thinks that these educational institutions offer the possibility for children from mixed parents to get familiar with the Hungarian culture and language as well.

István Grezsa, Hungarian Ministerial Commissioner for the Carpathian Basin Kindergarten Development Program, at the ceremony. Photo: István Grezsa’s Facebook Page

István Grezsa also mentioned that he happily noticed that as the Hungarian kindergarten development program is coming to an end, the Romanian government has started a similar project. The ministerial commissioner said he finds it very likely that the Hungarian program inspired the Romanian one.

The commissioner noted that in large cities, traffic or travel time also influence what kindergarten Hungarian parents choose, and they might easily choose a Romanian kindergarten if the Hungarian ones are too far away. He added that three institutes in Temesvár have benefited from the Hungarian kindergarten development program; they have already inaugurated a Catholic institute, while a Reform one is under construction. This way, they can better cover the many districts of the large city, he told MTI.

Title image: Hungarian children at the inauguration ceremony in Temesvár. Photo: Nyugati Jelen

Author: Orsi Sarány