This profile was prepared when Gabor Fekete was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Gabor introduced a curriculum of life management tools into Hungary's public education system, enabling young people to explore a range of nonacademic skills in the school setting for the first time. His program fosters self-esteem, self-knowledge, and critical abilities that rest outside the standard course of study. The program provides training that will help both students and teachers overcome social problems especially pressing in transitional societies in central Europe: high unemployment and suicide rates, discrimination, drugs, and lack of identity. Gabor has creatively approached and convinced schools to participate in his program and is now focusing on making the growing program self-sustainable. He has been successful in building his program into the school curriculum and in raising his subject to a status equal to academic subjects.