The ability of schools to provide education through online means is a key prerequisite for the future, President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday in a message presented on the occasion of the ‘Teleschool’ Gala.
“In the future, maintaining the connection between students and school remains essential, in spite of the obstacles posed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The summer holiday gives us a good opportunity to prepare for the next school and university year. The ability of schools to provide a complete educational experience with the help of online means of communication will be a key prerequisite in the future, even if it breaks away from the traditions of the Romanian school. Only by ensuring a functional continuity of the educational act can we prevent the negative effects of this pandemic from rippling in the long-term. We don’t have to pay the bill for the effects of this crisis in 2030 or 2040, but we must set ourselves, as a society, on the road to an ample and fast economic, social and civic recovery,” the head of state said in the message delivered by presidential advisor Ligia Deca.
President Iohannis expresses his conviction that the guidance provided by dedicated teachers, such as those who have contributed to the “Teleschool” program and to the organization of online educational activities, can be a starting point for the long-term reform of Romanian education, “one with more flexible ways of communication between students and teachers, that allow online modules to harmoniously complement classroom education.”
The head of state points out that the freshly ended school year has been an “unexpected, difficult and unpredictable challenge” for most of the people involved.
“Starting with March, the educational process in Romanian schools, the way we knew it, has stopped under the imperious need to ensure the safety of students, teachers and their families in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic. Education thus gradually moved to the online environment and adapting to the new paradigm wasn’t easy at all. For students, this has been a complex period, as they have lived different experiences, depending on their technical possibilities, the teachers’ involvement and flexibility, the parents’ support and resources. For the students in final years, who were about to take national exams, there was need for fast and efficient solutions to ensure an as easy as possible access to education. Various methods have been used for going through the subjects, recapping exam contents and maintaining the learning pace,” Iohannis mentions.
He points out that school by television was an emergency solution that used the existing infrastructure of the national television to come to the help of students.
The head of the state congratulates the teachers who have prepared lessons that were broadcast on TV, thus ensuring the access of a large majority of students to the educational process.
“I congratulate you for the creativity and involvement you have shown, becoming beacons for your students and colleagues. In times of crisis, it is important to stand in solidarity and not forget our mission. But I would also like us to see the opportunity that arises from this situation. A large number of dedicated teachers from all over the country have prepared their lessons and held classes online with their students. Many didn’t limit themselves to just sending worksheets or homework, but they held their classes live on various conference platforms. Although they didn’t have any previous training in online teaching, and despite lacking the technical resources to do so, many teachers have gone the extra mile, stepping out of their comfort zone and adjusting to the online environment. Contact between students and their teachers is important not only in terms of knowledge transfer. I think we can all agree that education is not just a process of delivering information, but is represented by the entire school environment in which the student is encouraged to discover the world. I congratulate those teachers who didn’t forget their mission and who were at the side of their students during this period!,” Iohannis concluded in his message.