A recent study shows that half of Romanians are discontented with the Romanian system of education, and only 13% say they are satisfied with it. Questioned by Click Magazine for Women, in their October 2009 issue, on the results of the study, students, teachers and parents alike voice their dissatisfaction with the system of education.
“Why would a good student stay in Romania? Why would one attend college? To only get to be hired as a salesman, without being able to use the diploma? Abroad, the qualification “you are good’ is really good for something!” says Maria Paliuc, a student in the 12th grade, who is looking forward to leaving Romania in search for a place where her talents and skills will be recognized and properly used.
What does a new Minister do?
“Changes.” This is the answer of Mihaela Constantin, also a student in the 12th grade. “It bothers me that every minister reserves a right to make changes without taking anyone’s opinion. I think that a national debate should be organized, which would gather together only enlightened minds, and they should make the changes, not a few persons who do not even speak their language correctly.”
A lack of respect for teachers
Laura Horiceanu, a parent, thinks that another cause of the decline in the system of education is that “the teachers are underpaid. Things will start to get better when the pupils will say: “I want to learn well because I want to become a teacher!”
Rules are changed during the game
Simion Luminita, a chemistry teacher, speaks on another matter: “One thing that affects our pupils is that they go through chaotic changes. The moment they step into different levels of schooling (grades 1-4, 5-8, 9-12) they are aware of a certain rule. But by the time they get to the next level, the rules are changed!” The same opinion is shared by the parents: “All the changes are being made by the end of a school cycle. This is happening right now with the VIII and XII grades. The Ministery of Education shouldn’t change anything during a four-year school cycle!” says Adrian Topor, father of a XII grade student.
A revolution in mentality is needed to change the education system
Anca, one of the parents who have expressed their opinion in the study, says: “We would like to see the teachers fulfill their duty in the right way! Which means they should teach in a professional manner and evaluate the pupils in an honest way! We do not want them to continue teaching badly at school and hitting kids with bad marks, only to get them to come to private coachings! This is not fair – neither to the children, nor to their own conscience and profession!”
The Romanian education system, falling lower each year
Romania ranked 47 in 57 participant countries in the 2006 PISA Evaluation. A result for which the system of education has to assume total responsibility. With a school curriculum, school books and teaching methods that are in total disregard of the labor market, of changes in the society, of students’ skills and abilities and their individual development, things will only get worse with each passing year.
Who can change this?
Only those who have the power to make changes happen: the Ministery of Education. They are responsible for the education system, and they are paid to work on making it better, not worse. Until now, they have done a bad job. And sadly, they don’t seem to want to change that. They have a hard time understanding that they are not masters on a domain, but servants in duty, and that their high mission is to build, to improve, to enlighten. To serve the interest of education, not collateral interests of their own. As long as the Ministery of Education will remain a highly bureaucratic structure, targeted only to preserving interests of such structure, in total indifference to the need for reforms in a domain of national importance, Romanian school will continue to go down. And its students will continue to leave Romania, in search for a better place in which they can give their best and receive as much as they deserve.