Reshuffle of funds leaves established educational counselors in desperation

Hungary’s government has decided to reshuffle the funding coming from the European Union earmarked to finance the operation of assisted schooling facilities that are meant to aid the disadvantaged keep up with their peers who are coming from better backgrounds. Several establishments with decades of experience now face bankruptcy, while the money is going to friendly newcomers.

Tanoda, is a kind of tutoring institution to help children with behavioral or learning issues – mainly as a results of their impoverished family backgrounds – keep up with their peers. Tanoda classes are voluntary, take place after regular school hours, and given the groups they are targeted at, employ greatly different teaching methods.

Since they are a supplementary form of education, they were always considered secondary to the actual schools, and as such, tanoda funding was always precarious, often leaving its operators in difficult positions, given they had to provide the service whether they got their approved earmarks or not.

Things took yet another turn recently. Tanoda operators that have been active for the past 10-15 years suddenly saw their applications for funding rejected by the competent Human Resources Ministry. The reasons in the sudden shift in the evaluation criteria are still the matter of speculation.

What is apparent is that the new evaluation criteria are meant to favor established educational agencies, mostly schools operated by the clergy that are set to pick up the extra money for tutoring. More often than not, this leaves existing tanoda facilities without any funding.

Given the evaluation parameters, it is clear that tanoda funding has been reduced to such an extent, that only applicants that have established infrastructure and professionals on the payroll have any hopes of winning money.

It is hardly surprising that newcomers also appeared on the scene only to get license to open a range of new tanoda facilities. The field is littered with curiously themed tanoda operators who are opening new institutions left and right despite having hardly any notable track records.

Original article in Hungarian