Romania’s drama, as mirrored by its school


One of the undisputable truths today is that the vitality of a society, its ascension or decline can be known with anticipation based on the nature of its education system. This truth has become elementary today also because its structure also engenders the path by which progress and ascension can become priorities. This optimal way also results from the stimulatory balance between the two essential components of the education process: instruction and education. The vertiginous pace at which technology develops today, precisely through its substantial and rapid material benefits, also creates an imbalance. The moral behaviour of the contemporary human being risks moving on a secondary plane.

The fascination for modern technology is so strong that, sometimes, it results in ignoring the balanced, common-sense behaviour and the capacity to predict, hence to dominate the increasingly surprising and contradictory social events. Thus, the multilateral and substantial education reflected in the whole life of a person and a nation is one of the fundamental problems of today.
Such a truth is also present in the current condition of Romania, where school and post-school education enjoyed a substantial support from the state over the last century, so the quality of the Romanian education system could rival with any other. Let’s not forget that, ever since 1864, Romania was the second country of Europe that generalised the 4-year primary education, free and mandatory. The progress of the Romanian culture and civilisation began at that moment and its success was due to the fact that the respective school reform was suited to the conditions and necessities specific to our country, without the subsequent intentions of imitation and factual loans. Unfortunately, these “imports” operate because of politicianist reasons, with contempt for our national strategic interest, were present for decades in the 20th Century and we feel their negative effect even more acutely today.
The blatant corruption cases of some teachers who charge fees, to their personal benefit, for promoting pupils, pardoning absences or ignoring the acts of violence committed by pupils, all of these often make headlines today. Also because school inspectorates and even the Ministry of Education are strictly limited in their reparatory interventions. The possible decisions that punish such problems are made by the local councils of the respective education units. Which councils often issue only “written reprimands,” “warnings” and other similar measures. Like in other sectors of social activity, the chaotic decentralisation has descended in the education system to a point when even teachers condemned for sexual abuses against their students can return to the classroom after serving their sentences. What kind of education can someone like this provide?
But such questions are no longer asked today with their past warning. Also because of imports and factual imitations. Compared to instruction, education also implies a nuance of national specificity. Cultivating, through the education system, a form of superior human behaviour must take into consideration the quality and flaws existing in the respective social collectivity. Qualities must be taken as objectives worth cultivating, while flaws and – generally speaking – any problems of behaviour must be countered starting as early as in preschool education. And the decision makers here are the teachers and educators, for whom education and instruction represent correlative elements. Today, however, this organic correlation is absent from the professional training of teachers. Education, as the fundamental objective of the schooling process, is frequently ignored by leaving it to the family or the society as a whole. Instead, school should be the central factor of multilateral education.
This behavioural setback, too, is explained through imports and factual imitations coming from abroad. The structure of the Romanian education system used to completely favour the quality of the training of teachers, back in the time when pedagogic high-schools had cycles of 5 years and the faculties with the same profile 4 years, or even 5 years as well, until year 1970. After the destabilisation provoked by the Soviet influences of the ‘1950s, today the Romanian education system suffers from the unassimilated influences coming from the EU. Why should we fragment the university education into 3 years plus a master’s degree of approximately 1.5 years? Some of those who graduate the 3-year cycle will no longer continue to the 1.5 year segment. And even if they did so, the access to the university disciplines of Pedagogy, History of Pedagogy, Pedagogic Psychology, Method of school disciplines no longer enjoys the same interest as in the past. The borrowing of such fragmented structures has also intensively ignored the fact that in some states of the EU, the respective educational objectives are cultivated also by some structures of the civil society, which are missing in Romania for now.
To say nothing that some sources of the ideas we borrow, such as Germany, Netherlands, Austria etc. today show reluctance for the liberty of hiring average Romanians. Meanwhile they make efforts to attract many Romanian specialists with higher education. Why? Because our specialists can supplant the deficit in numbers and value of their specialists on the labour market. Tuition fees in Romania are incomparably smaller, and so the country is once again put at a disadvantage by this migration of specialists. The massive costs paid by the Romanian state for rendering the education of all degrees accessible to all youths, without discrimination, are fraudulently appropriated by the respective European states that make efforts to attract the Romanian specialists, but selfishly oppose the access of the other Romanians to their markets.
And there are many more examples of such frauds. Such examples should represent arguments for centering the Romanian education system on the specific requirements of the Romanian society, with emphasis on multilateral education. Because, by limiting the access of children to school education, the result is school abandonment, illiteracy, violence and child criminality.

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