Chapters from the 425 years history of the Tamási Áron High School

The Lutheran ideas of the reformation appeared in Transylvania very early, in the period 1522 – 1526.

By the end of the 16th century the supporters of the reformation became the majority in Odorheiu Secuiesc. The St. Nicholas parish church became the property of the calvinists, the catholic priest was expelled from the town. Under the reign of István Báthory and Zsigmond Báthory the Jesuits established grammar schools in Cluj-Napoca, Alba Iulia and Odorheiu Secuiesc. In our town (just like in other parts of Transylvania) the Protestant population did not welcome the monks as they supported the counter-reformation. In 1593 the Jesuit father Gergely Vásárhelyi founded a four-grade small grammar school, where after just a short while 100 students received high-quality education.

After the expulsion of the Jesuits, grammar school level education ceased in Odorheiu Secuiesc. The Jesuits finally returned in the 1640’s, but only as secular priests. The prominent personality of this period was Mátyás Sámbár, who is considered to be the second founder of the Jesuit grammar school. Sámbár laid the foundations of the first school building, he transformed the old parish building and started to extend the St. Nicholas Church.

In 1736, by introducing poetics and rhetoric classes the latter successfully turned the school into a grand grammar school. From 1773, following the dissolution of the Jesuit order, the school was managed by the parish. The last half of the century was hallmarked by the name of Ferenc Török from Cădișeni, who was the leader of the institution for three decades. The 19th century brought significant changes to the Grammar School as well. In the 1860’s the Austrian education reform unified the high school education, it introduced the 8-grade grammar school system and provided public insight into ecclesiastical schools. Another important change was the introduction of graduation exams.

From 1866 the Transylvanian Catholic Status took over the management of the school’s financial affairs, and after the Compromise of 1867 the Ministry of Religion and Public Education determined the number of learning hours per subject and the compulsory subjects. The period of dualism brought development and flourishing for the Grammar School, both financial and intellectual development.

In the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century lived many prominent teachers who, besides their pedagogical career also performed belletristic, scientific and research activities. The brightest period of the school was during the last years of this era when - after the demolition of the convictus - the beautiful Art Nouveau building was erected according to the plans of Sándor Pápai.

The change of imperium following the First World War created a major crisis for the Hungarian education in Transylvania. In the case of public schools the Hungarian language became more and more ousted, so the denominational institutions were revalued. After the Vienna decision (1940) the Grammar School could work in a more relaxed atmosphere. Unfortunately the war and the communist power led to the end of this blooming period. The 1943/44 school year was interrupted because the school was turned into a military hospital.

At the beginning of 1948 the school was not allowed to use the name Baróti Szabó Dávid, it was renamed to Theoretical High School with instruction in Hungarian language. The education reform in 1948 closed the ecclesiastical schools and introduced a unified, socialist public educational system with a new curriculum and new textbooks created according to the „spirit of the age”. In 1958 the name of the school was changed again. The Grammar School, under the pressure of the central powers, was forced to bear the name Dr. Petru Groza.

The change after the events of the revolution in 1989 made it possible for the school to return to its traditions attacked and overshadowed during the communist era. In the spring of 1990, after a school referendum the institution was named after its former famous student, Áron Tamási. The naming ceremony took place on October 27, 1990.