– Article published on the website tribunainvatamantului.ro –
Author: Sorin Ivan
The Schengen theme remains on the front page of public attention, awakening long-dormant egos and chronic carelessness, arousing firm attitudes towards recovering lost dignity, in the “Wake up, Romanian” paradigm. On the refusal to welcome us, following Austria’s shock vote, opinions are divided, in good local tradition, in a framework where it is very difficult, if not impossible, for people to get along and agree, especially on big issues, strategic objectives and country projects. Some say it is serious that we were not welcomed, that it is an act of defiance and humiliation of us as a people, others, that it would not be so serious, explaining: “What do we need Schengen for? We’ll sit on the border like we do now, with the Greeks or the Hungarians, and go about our business. It is possible without Schengen”. In the same pendulum swing from one attitude to another, some believe that those who rejected us should be boycotted, others that this is not the case, the only way being diplomacy. That’s pretty much how it is with Schengen, plus a lot of unknowns that politicians should explain to the voting public.
Next year’s education budget should be (in fact, should work) differently, given that it is the fate of education, a matter of major importance for every student, for the young generations and, without fancy words, for the future of Romania. But, in reality, they’re pretty much the same. The news of the 2.1% budget (as it was initially reported in the public space) has caused and still causes contradictory reactions: some criticize the situation and accuse the continuous decline of education funding, in an already tradition of Romanian education policy, teachers and non-teaching staff protest, as they regularly do, in front of public institutions, and others think it is good, the real amount being 3.2% of GDP: 2.1% through the Ministry of Education and 1.1% through local authorities, so more money for education than last year and in previous years. The second category includes the Minister, who says that the budget is sufficient and can ensure the smooth running of education.
Even if, mathematically, there will be more money, the funding allocated to education is still insufficient and far from what it should be. A small budget in relation to the provision of the law (6%) and the high objectives to which education is subordinated contradicts the logic of the steps taken in the field of schools and reform, namely laws, projects and programs, all subsumed to the Country Project called Educated Romania. It is yet another mode of snail’s pace progress towards the proposed state-level target, which is in fact high on the horizon of predictions and possibilities. Because educating a society affected by a lack of education – and as a result of totalitarian decades, perpetuated ignorance and retrograde mentalities – transforming a country with educational shortcomings, unequal education, quality and efficiency difficulties into a country educated in all senses is a strategically important objective of great complexity and difficulty. Such a metamorphosis is only possible through quality education. And quality education requires substantial, consistent and long-term funding. With little money, the whole endeavour risks remaining a beautiful utopia…
The full article can be read HERE