There was even a bust of Sándor Náray-Szabó, one of the most excellent representatives of this field, unveiled in the front garden of the new building.
An academic and practical institution of special needs education in Eastern Hungary was inaugurated in the new building of the Faculty of Education for Children and Special Educational Needs of the University of Debrecen located in Hajdúböszörmény. The Institute of Special Needs Education, which has been designed to meet the requirements and challenges of the 21st century, will function as a center for educating and further training the special needs education majors and the practicing special needs educators.
“During the past couple of years, our faculty has experienced a remarkable process of development. Our BA program in special needs education was launched in 2016, and we have almost five hundred students enrolled currently in the first and second years of the program. However, we expect to double that figure in less than two years. Among other things, this was the reason for expanding our campus, so that we could provide special needs education majors with a state-of-the-art environment for acquiring the skills they need to master for their future profession,” said Dean Péter Bálint on Saturday at the inauguration ceremony of the Institute of Special Needs Education.
In order to contribute to this infrastructural development, the municipal government of Hajdúböszörmény provided the building of a former grade school on Rákóczi Street to the University of Debrecen for 99 years.
“Due to demographic reasons, one of our grade schools was unfortunately left empty last year; however, we were intent on continuing to use the building of that school for educational purposes. Higher education has been present in our city for the past fifty years, and we have excellent relations with the University of Debrecen, so we were glad to offer this empty building to the faculty,” said Mayor Attila Kiss.
The building, which now has 8 classrooms, 2 therapy venues, an IT lab with 40 terminals, and a lecture hall seating 250 students, will be at the disposal of both the students and the teaching faculty as of January 14, catering for the specific requirements of the program and training in special needs education. This investment had a budget over HUF 200 million, which has been provided by the University of Debrecen out of its own resources.
“In the first stage of the alterations, we renovated the corridor and the venues on the first floor, and we also replaced the old doors and windows. The investment project will be continued next year, when we plan to complete the external insulation and painting of the building, the reconstruction of the roof and the upgrading of the entire second floor,” said Vice-Chancellor László Sebő.
At the inauguration event, which was held on Saturday, the bust of Sándor Náray-Szabó, an internationally renowned representative of Hungarian special needs education, was also unveiled in the front garden of the building. The bust had been created by sculptor János Lestyán-Goda on the basis of vintage photographs.