March 29, 2023

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They miss school to work in the fields or take care of younger siblings. School dropout is increasing in Romania

They miss school to work in the fields, chop wood or look after their younger siblings. In this way, the absences keep piling up and eventually turn into dropping out.

It is true that, even for their parents, education was not a priority and the social scholarships, promised by the state, do not arrive on time either.

On Monday, PRO TV news launches the “FAILED ROMANIA” campaign, which talks about leaving the Romanian school early. Because of this, we are at the bottom of the European ranking. And students who drop out of classes are future adults, considered a loss and even a burden to society.

The case of a family from Şipote commune, Iasi county

Şipote commune, from Iași county, close to lunchtime. On the sidewalk across the street from the school, a mother and three children walk slowly. She also has an infant and a slightly older boy, but also a husband whom she says can no longer work, is disabled after a car accident. They stop at a bench and one of the girls gives her mother a list of books and textbooks she will need for elementary school.

It’s just that, at 32 years old, the parent has a great difficulty. He can only read the letters and he doesn’t know them very well either. With four classes, he is one of Romania’s 250,000 illiterate people, who, put together, would be more than the population of cities such as Ploiesti, Bacău, Pitesti, Oradea and twice, or even three times more than they have other municipalities from us.

People who are both a loss and a burden for Romanian society, just like the 45,000 children who leave school every year become, systematically.

Romania has the highest percentage of early school leaving in the EU

We are far from being an educated country. Romania has the highest percentage of early school leaving in the European Union. We have a dropout rate of 15%, the European average is half that, and modern states have less than 3%. Six out of 10 children from our rural areas have difficulties in reading and writing.

They are future adults who can’t read a label at the grocery store, who can’t understand a prescription when they go to the doctor, and who, when they go to the polls, can’t make out the ballots and only they know how to stamp the vote. Romanians who all their lives are put in front of papers full of strange signs and shapes, of which they no longer understand anything. This is what the vulnerable future of Romanian children looks like, who at some point lose contact with school.

Education must also reach here! Officials announce that almost a quarter of a generation is lost in eight years of schooling in rural areas, practically one in four drop out.

School dropout is on the rise

Dropout rates are increasing at all levels of education, from primary school to university. The highest rate is at the beginning and end of the education cycles, that is, in the preparatory, fifth and eighth grades.

Theoretically, the governors put on paper a national program, the already famous “Educated Romania” and assumed that they would access European funds, through the PNRR, so that 2,500 highly vulnerable educational units would benefit from grants.

Sorin Ion, Secretary of State, Ministry of Education: “To make the school more attractive for… the problem is not only in the school yard, so to speak.”

The worst thing is that smart children with great potential are lost along the way. A teacher cries when she mentions such cases.

Cătălina Ciobanu, teacher at Šipote: “He was a brilliant child, in two weeks he knew how to write and read, he had the highest score in a competition…”

A 21-year-old woman explains why she only took two classes

Several siblings are in the care of the older sister. At 21, she too has two children and just as many classes. I live with my mother, who is away working in the village during the day.

Reporter: “Why did you only take two classes?”

Face: “I didn’t want to go to school…”

Reporter: “How?”

Face: “I didn’t want to go to school, my mother sent me, I didn’t go…”

Reporter: “Why weren’t you going?”

Face: “I was leaving, but I took care of my brothers, I raised them, since they were small. She went to work, I took care of them.”

Anca Popa, education specialist: “It takes a whole village to raise a child…”

Gelu Duminića, sociologist: “I called these schools educational graveyards.”

The child is absent a lot, stops studying material, loses contact, so he no longer passes in one or more subjects.

There are many factors behind it, from the precarious material situation at home and the emotional state of the child with separated parents or working abroad, to the chaos in the school environment.

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