Hajnalka BALOGH

Hajnalka Balogh is the deputy headmaster of a large school in the Hungarian town of Pécs (János Apáczai Csere Elementary, Secondary and Art School and Dormitory). Before her studies at college, she worked at a kindergarten with socially disadvantaged and handicapped children. Although she wanted to be a physical education teacher, a severe injury made that impossible, so she became a mathematics teacher. She worked in an elementary school for years teaching mathematics and physics and soon became a head teacher. While she stayed at home with her first child she went back to college and got a degree as an IT teacher. When she transferred to work in a secondary school, she had to get a university degree in informatics and she was so successful in the field that she created the whole course material for the brand-new subject of Human Informatics. Her work in the field of digital education has been widely acknowledged and she is keen to learn new education methods and applications that she can teach her colleagues. She uses digital tools to help her students in every way, especially when they cannot attend school and have to work from home. 

As deputy headmaster she knows almost all the students of the secondary school. She often has to deal with problems that go beyond school life and she cooperates with the school psychologist and the head teachers to solve individual problems. As her secondary school is famous for its inclusive practices, there are several students with various inclusive needs: students who do not speak Hungarian well or at all, physically handicapped children (in wheelchairs) and highly talented students. 

She is proud to say that they make every effort necessary to accommodate the students’ needs: providing them with individual curricula, mentor teachers, Hungarian as second language teacher, psychologist, speech therapist, physiotherapist and pedagogical assistants. There are various forms of art education (literary school journal, theatre group, art exhibitions) that help children express themselves. Creating a physically and mentally safe space for all where bullying and discrimination is not tolerated is one of her most important goals. She believes that constant communication with colleagues, students, parents and various experts is the way to reach this goal.

She has mentored children with severe social disadvantages and managed to help most of them graduate from secondary school. She has worked with several students with special needs as a head teacher and she feels that her most important professional success is that despite the difficulties all her students graduated from secondary school. 

She believes that it is very important to teach children compassion and inclusion so she organizes charity events to support socially disadvantaged elementary school children, sport events for physically handicapped children, calligraphy contests for children with special needs. She feels that the Hungarian education trends favour segregation. Elite secondary schools can exclude children with special needs, but she strongly disagrees with this practice. According to the education law, her school could have 25 children with special needs, but they have 42, because they are willing to provide the extra work of mentoring, individual development and pay special attention to the emotional needs of these children.

She supervises teachers in training and is happy to learn new digital tools from young colleagues, because it helps her keep up with the continuous development of her field. When a few years ago she became a certified pedagogical specialist (specialized as leader in a public educational institution), she wrote her thesis paper about the impact of the social environment of the school on the design and organization of the pedagogical work.


Az Európai Bizottság támogatása ezen kiadvány elkészítéséhez nem jelenti a tartalom jóváhagyását, amely kizárólag a szerzők álláspontját tükrözi, valamint a Bizottság nem tehető felelőssé ezen információk bárminemű felhasználásáért.

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