In Participation in physical education is considered to be a fundamental right of pupils all over the world. In Hungary, where the rich elite sports traditions of the country are paralleled by the population’s moderate physical activity, the challenge posed by non-communicable diseases and growing obesity figures among youth was addressed by the introduction of daily P.E. in public education starting in the 2012/13 academic year. The objective of the present paper is to discuss, based on empirical research, the intended and unintended consequences of this measure in an educational and social context using the qualitative analysis of the views of key stakeholders and the quantitative analysis of statistical data on the infrastructural and personal conditions of P.E. The results indicate that neither before nor after the enforcement of the Act on Public Education were the infrastructural and personal conditions of daily P.E. created and, in addition to the intended consequences, a number of unintended consequences have also been encountered by various stakeholders. The study can also be regarded as an attempt to reveal these dysfunctions in order to contribute to positive changes in the area.
In this study, the sporting activity of Hungarian school pupils is investigated with a focus on regional differences. The objective of the paper is to answer the following questions: Are there regional differences in pupils’ sporting activity, and, if yes, what is their relationship with the socio-cultural background of the pupils and the infrastructural and staffing conditions of schools? Has the 2012 introduction of daily physical education had a different effect on pupils’ leisure-time sporting activity in disadvantaged and affluent regions? Can the trends in the sporting activity of pupils be characterized as convergent or divergent since the introduction of daily physical education? The paper is based on an extensive study that relies on the most comprehensive database on physical education in schools, the National Assessment of Basic Competencies (NABC). The present study statistically analyzed eighth-grade pupil and school data from the 2010 and 2014 NABC. The results present the regional differences in pupils’ participation in sporting activity, their recent modification, and the main reasons behind the changes. In conclusion, the authors state that social, economic, and cultural inequalities are not clearly reflected in the sporting activity of students; however, certain data still call attention to the need to examine regional differences.