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May 12, 2021

Children crippled by school books

The Lower Chamber’s education commission will discuss the ‘deadweight’ from school books, ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ writes. The pupils of the years 2000s – the generation of ‘cool’ kids permanently connected to the internet and always ready to update you with the newest English-derived words accepted by the Romanian Academy – are using school books that lack any connection to the real world.

The parents and teachers consider that being caught between Sadoveanu and Alecsandri and ‘stuffed’ with a grammar that is far too difficult for their age, the children no longer have the pleasure of reading and thus enlarge the already numerous group of ‘those that do not read.’

This is the reason why the content of the Romanian language and literature school books for general schools will be analyzed next Tuesday after the Lower Chamber’s education commission accepted the proposal of Adriana Saftoiu.

‘The school books are a method to dumb down and stultify en masse. One can escape this rigid education system by leaving the country,’ Marina Constantinescu, a philologist, theatre critic and mother of a child mired between the pages of Romanian school books, opines.

The school book is compulsory, being part of the ‘main curricula documents,’ helping both the teachers and the pupils. While prior to 1995 there was a school book for every school discipline, one authored by the Education Ministry, alternative school books were introduced in 1996, meaning several school books for each discipline, with each teacher having to choose the best of them.

In order to select the ‘feasible’ school books the Ministry appoints a commission. Each member of the commission receives text books without covers and author names and chooses from them based on standards of quality and price. Currently the teachers can choose from 13 school books for a discipline.

A theatre critic for the ‘Romania Literara’ magazine and a TV producer, Marina Constantinescu, the mother of a pupil mired between the pages of school books with ‘outdated and imbecile texts,’ believes that today’s school books do nothing apart from ‘putting burdens on the pupils’ shoulders, imposing uniformity and suffocating the flexibility of their thinking with the same type of residual information.’

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