Romania is a beautiful country – what a pity it’s inhabited…


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.

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Companies in Romania are paying taxes 113 times per year, and our country is in position 181 on this chapter – last place in the world and last place in the European Union.

Romania ranks 47 in the world among the states which offer conditions for business development, behind countries like Botswana or Azerbaidjan, according to a Pricewaterhouse Cooper study. The data analyzed by the consultancy company is based on the report “Doing Business 2009”, elaborated by The World Bank.

The most important weakness is linked to the regulations referring to taxes and income paying.  For the 113 taxes that the Romanian companies have to pay it takes 202 hours, which means eight and a half days of continuously standing in line!

Romania is making remarcable regresses in what concerns the financial thicket, considering the fact that in 2007 a company had to pay only 96 taxes. Also, taxes swallow more money of the companies’ profits, compared to last year: 48% in 2008 compared to 46,9% in 2007. In the same time, Romania is situated among the last places in the European Union on more chapters, respectively infrastructure of all types, and development-research, both Bulgaria and the Baltic States being ahead of Romania.

The Romanian businessmen have been complaining for a long time about the number of taxes they have to pay. A few months ago, a report of the National Council of the Small and Middle Companies revealed that in Romania there are 650 parafiscal taxes, of which, through 200 of them, 3 billion euro are payed for nothing.

The Romanian Athenaeum

I love my country! Because it is where I was born. Because it is where my loved ones have roots. Because it is beautiful – still beautiful, in the parts that have escaped the destructive fury of the majority of its inhabitants. I love my country,  but I don’t think that loving your country means keeping your eyes closed in front of what goes wrong with it. I don’t think that a patriot is a person who eagerly hides the junk in the closet and pretends everything smells roses. I don’t think that claiming the world is pink really makes it better. On the contrary: I think that a lot of the bad in the world thrives on our refusal to name the bad, recognize the harm it does to our lives and fight against it. I feel that if you really love your country, then you owe it honesty. I don’t think hypocrisy, conformism, servility, opportunism, are traits that define a patriot. Whenever I read Emil Cioran’s sad, bitter, painful thoughts about Romania, I realize that you can only write like this if you really feel for your country! If you care for it, if you are affected by seeing it go down, instead of going up. If you understand that your beautiful, rich, deserving country has been devastated, all throughout history, by its people. By a majority of its people. I’d rather read Cioran’s thoughts of Romania, or open my mind to the reality that is all around me, than waste even one minute with the official blah-blah-blah saying everything is great, and only a few cavillers refuse to see it.

Romania is a beautiful country – what a pity it’s inhabited… I don’t know who said this first, but since then it has become a too familiar saying. It makes me sad to hear it, but I can’t pretend it is not true. Pretending is what the large majority of Romanians have kept doing, for too long a time – to nobody’s benefit, not theirs, not their country’s. Why waste the time and energy to hide the reality from your own eyes? No honest person has a reason to do this – as for the ones who do, that is another story.

A real change in Romania will happen only when its people will start to really love their country, to really care for it, to really fight for it. In that moment, they will stop admitting to its devastation, to its destruction, to its going nowhere, to it being transformed into a humble country, by its eternally humble people…

Romania is a beautiful country – what a pity it’s inhabited… I do hope there will come a day when this saying will not describe Romanians anymore…