Our school serves communities in Northern Hungary where the graduation rate is currently below 1%. In the Roma settlements of Sajókaza, Lak, Alsóvadász, gypsy settlements of Homrogd there are thousands of people who are not reached by secondary education. We believe that with the right pedagogical work, as in other population groups in the country, it is possible to give students here a school-leaving certificate and a competitive profession. We teach young people and adults (day and evening) together because if more than one person from the same family is studying, the chances of success are greater.
Our school offers person-centred reform pedagogies, IT, English and modern science. We do this by drawing on the resources of the Hungarian social environment. We mobilise dormant energies to bring high quality secondary school provision to the poorest communities in our country.
Our school’s task is to point the way out of the narrow existence and to make the stimuli from the outside world “enjoyable”. For years before the school was founded, we consciously built personal relationships between our students and students from other schools. Our task is to transmit to students and their families the lifestyle patterns of the more advantaged social strata. This is particularly necessary in the area of health behaviour, since we do not study for years in order to die early like the poor people in the villages.
Our school is set in a segregated environment, yet it is on the path to social inclusion. We are creating a high quality educational service in a community that is completely underserved. We interpret the shortage as a demand and we meet it. The resulting service naturally attracts the non-Gypsy environment and valuable links are built around segregated communities. We believe that villages that are now black holes on the map of the country can become shining stars.
Our school presents the Roma way of life as a value. The people of Alsóvadász, Sajókaza, Lak, Homrogd who have changed their way of life will have many cousins and a great kinship for at least another generation or two. This is of course a value, but its perception is unfortunately far from clear in the public opinion of the county. It is part of the school’s nationality pedagogy to ensure that our pupils have a sound argument for adopting their own way of life.
The core of what our school offers is the baccalaureate. We offer vocational training for those who want to learn a profession together with a school-leaving certificate. Even with primary school drop-outs, we make it clear that the goal is not just eight grades – learning here is about changing the social landscape.