This profile was prepared when Lajos Orosz was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Lajos recognizes that the Hungarian system of placing children perceived to be slow, problematic, or disabled into remedial schools dramatically affects these children's classroom experience, quality of education, and future opportunities. Such decisions can permanently set a child on a track behind his peers. Lajos wants to reverse this trend and sees that involving the community can help to do this. He is building a community-based cooperative education into the curriculum and linking schools in networks both to build on their respective strengths and to work together, leveraging the value and expertise of each school. Specialized services, like advanced information technology, a traveling educational warehouse, and integration summer camps benefit all children in the inclusive system. Lajos is also creating attractive, noncompetitive incentives for teachers to encourage the adoption of his instruction methods. He has created services and resources for teachers that not only help them do a better job but also offer a new level of support.