Early childhood education and care for the Hungarian national minority in Vojvodina, Serbia

Eva Mikuska, Judit Raffai*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Vojvodina is one of the most ethnically diverse regions in Europe where, according to the latest census in 2011, Hungarians are the largest non-Serb national minority group. In recent decades, this northern province of Serbia has faced continuous depopulation, forcing schools and nurseries to face an uncertain future. We argue that despite the decreasing population in general, the nature of Serbia’s minority rights regime currently produces social inequality, as policies that seek harmony by accepting ethnic separation may give rise to future conflict. In these challenging times, we focus on the political culture that is currently functioning in Serbia, in which the Hungarian national minority is (re)positioning itself to secure its own identity. In this paper, we will cover the history and function of the nurseries (bölcsőde) and kindergartens (óvoda) of the Hungarian national minority in Serbia. We will cover the early years curriculum and qualification requirements of the early childhood workforce. Furthermore, we will explain the influence of educational and cultural traditions and values through early childhood education and care (ECEC), giving specific attention to the usage of the native language that is fundamental to cultural identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-395
Number of pages18
JournalEarly Years: An International Research Journal
Volume38
Issue number4
Early online date4 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Hungarian national minority
  • childhood
  • (de)population

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