The Horror

December 18, 1989. In Timisoara more people lose their lives, shot by the repression forces. Thousands others are imprisoned, and in the arrest they are savagely beaten by the militia and securitate forces.

The romanian communist party sends its officials into the factories and workplaces of people, to justify the repression, explaining that Timisoara has been under the attack of hooligans and irredentists, enemies of the glorious socialism that the party is working hard to achieve for the good of the people. Tens of thousands of working people listen to the lies of the dictatorship’s representatives, but in their minds and hearts they all know The Truth. They know that there, in the street, it was their children, their parents, their wives, their husbands, who were beaten, shot, killed, for the only fault of having shouted Freedom! In the Design Office of Timisoara, one man stands up while the director speaks about the hooligans, and, in a gesture that petrifies his colleagues in the audience, he interrupts the director and speaks: “This is not true! It is all a lie!” The director, after a moment of shock, calls him a traitor. And as he says the words, gunfire is heard from outside, and Claudiu Iordache speaks again, pointing to the window: “This is the truth! There in the street there are no hooligans, but Romanians who are asking for freedom! And if the Power had wanted to communicate with them, a way of dialogue might have been found, but its despise for the people has made the Power shoot fire and kill! It is not in hooligans that the repression forces are shooting now, it is in the ordinary people of Timisoara!

On December 18, 1989, Timisoara retreated in shelters to heal her wounds and count her missing and dead. Outside, gunfire was heard, in different areas of the city, all day long. But the worse was yet to come: something that will surpass in horror even the bloody actions of the two past days.

Following the direct order of Elena Ceausescu, at night, officers of the Securitate arrive at the County Hospital in Timisoara, and ask that the bodies of the dead are given to them. The doctors, paralyzed with fear, don’t dare to oppose their request. The Securitate men take 44 bodies, all of the people who had been killed in the past two days, put them in the frigorific truck they had brought, and leave…

44 bodies of the heroes of Timisoara are taken to Bucharest, to the Cenusa Crematory. There they are thrown into fire and burned. The night of December 18 to December 19 the crematory functions without pause. And in the morning of December 19, the ash of the Martyrs is taken to a deserted place near Bucharest, and thrown into a gutter.

It was the supreme proof of the baseness of the two dictators, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu – their criminal order was horrifying, and announced what was to come, if history would follow their command: “Erase Timisoara from the surface of the earth!

Eight of the Martyrs of the Timisoara Revolution. The criminal regime called them “hooligans, foreign agents, irredentists, ennemies of the glorious socialism and of the romanian communist party”. They were shot in the streets, killed in the hospital, burned in the crematory, their ashes thrown into a gutter. The criminals are alive and well. They have never paid for their crimes.

The Repression

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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.