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August 4, 2021
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High-School ex-headmistress arrested

‘Either we drop education mercantilism or we will have sacrificed generations’, President Basescu said

The dismissed headmistress of the Dimitrie Bolintineanu High-School in Bucharest, Costica Varzaru, currently under investigation for baccalaureate fraud, was remanded in custody for a period of 29 days by the Bucharest Court on Tuesday. The decision is not final and can be appealed against before the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
The Bucharest Court Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday ordered the detention for 24 hours of the former headmistress of the Dimitrie Bolintineanu High-School, Costica Varzaru, investigated for influence peddling. Also on Tuesday, the Prosecution asked the Court of Bucharest to remand Varzaru in custody awaiting trial.
The prosecutors determined that, in the period between May and June this year, the headmistress of the Dimitrie Bolintineanu Theoretical High-School, Costica Varzaru, claimed and received various sums from the candidates in the June-July 2013 baccalaureate session, promising, in return, to use her influence with the members of the examining Board from the Examination Centre set up at the school she was heading so that ‘they would not appropriately fulfil their work duties during the examination’.
‘Afterwards, the defendant actually acted in that respect, trying to obtain the appointment of selected permissive invigilators as well as a Board the members of which she thought she could influence into committing fraud during the organisation of the exam,’ a press release of the Bucharest Court states.
Over RON 800 baccalaureate bribe found in teacher’s bra
Over RON 800 received as bribe during the baccalaureate at the Dimitrie Bolintineanu High-School in Bucharest was found hidden in a teacher’s bra. In another classroom RON 410 was found in the teacher’s desk drawer and another RON 440 was found hidden in a paper tissue pack with one of the invigilators, according to investigators.
In the exam room number 1, RON 820 was found hidden in the brassiere of Elena Macasoi Berbec, RON 410 in the teacher’s desk drawer in room number 2 and RON 440 in a paper tissue pack found on the invigilator in exam room number 6.
The prosecutors further note that, of the total of RON 12,900 raised from all candidates, the exam Board chairman was going to get RON 5,000, the deputy chairman – RON 3,000 and each of the Board members RON 1,000.
During the search organised at the Dimitrie Bolintineanu High-School, a person who was not a school employee and who was not authorised to be there was also identified. The person admitted to the fact that papers containing the answers to the exam questions had been photocopied.
The teacher of Religion at the Bolintineanu High-School and various senior class coaching teachers raised EUR 500 from the students each, representing the cost of the graduation party as well as baccalaureate ‘expenses’, according to the report accompanying the prosecutor’s request for the arrest of the former headmistress of the school. The Religion teacher at the Dimitrie Bolintineanu High-School, Leonard Petre, suspected of having raised money from the pupils to use it as bribe for the graduation exams is a District 5 local councilor in Bucharest.
Basescu foresees generations sacrificed because of education
President Traian Basescu said, yesterday, that Romania has the obligation to drop mercantilism in education and pointed out that the interest of the ‘MPs – academics’ is to do away with the vocational education so that ‘invented’ universities had enough ‘paying raw material’ available.
‘What I was actually saying a few years ago is that we did not have professionals, be they mechanics, automotive mechanics, tinners, waiters. Maybe it was not the most fortunate way of saying it, but it’s clear that, for some young people, vocational education is a chance. It is the chance of finding a job when they graduate from the vocational school where they study for two years,’ Basescu said.
The president insisted on the need to renounce the current mercantile approach to Romanian education. ‘Either we understand that we have an obligation to enounce mercantilism in education and give children a chance, or, if not, generations will be sacrificed. I will continue to be a big supporter of the consolidation of vocational education in Romania,’ Basescu further said.

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