Love to educate:
Joys and challenges of village education
‘You can’t judge the ability of a fish by telling it to climb a tree.’ This sums up Bucur Georgeta’s view on education. Georgeta is the principal of the primary school in Voslobeni Village, from Harghita county in Romania. Her most precious dream would be for the school to have very special teachers who love getting involved in the community.
Once they finish 8th grade, students have to pass a test and then go to high school. Since there is no high school in the village, students have to go elsewhere to continue their studies. The school mentors are trying to guide their students with no pressure. The main purpose is to find out their abilities. Everyone has their own strength; some of them just need more time to figure out what and who they are.
Mrs. Bucur thinks that the Romanian education system is all about following the rules. In order to improve the current education system, she thinks that people should think outside the box. Learning shouldn’t always stick to the status quo; however, there is not always a balance between education and rules. ‘The community is not helping education.’ said Georgeta. They still need to work on the connections between school and the community.
For the activities in the school, there is a variety of choices. For example, they teach their students how to prevent a fire, which shows that students have a responsibility to protect the environment. Of course, they also provide sports, traditional dancing and singing. These activities are educational and meaningful in students’ lives.
The major concern though is the financial problem. The number of students the school receives has been decreasing year by year. They have had to join two classes together. The amount of funds the school gets from the government depends on the numbers of students they have. While she is glad that children in the village leave to a bigger city for better chances, Georgeta is also sad that the number of children in the school is decreasing.
During the visit of the school, a girl named Alexandra Bucur was also there to greet us. She is the daughter of one of the teachers in the school of Voslobeni. She is also one of the top students in the school with excellent academic results. In addition, she came second in a Romanian National Literature Competition. Alexandra is a very hard working student who spends all her time focused on achieving what she wants. Basically, she uses the whole afternoon to study during weekdays, and during weekends she prepares for local or national competitions. Although this might sound tough for a 14-year-old girl, Alexandra seems to enjoy this kind of lifestyle. The power of achieving her goals is so strong that she doesn’t even feel tired. When asked about her study method, she said ‘Just do a lot of exercises and memorize all those things that the teacher told us to.’ In addition, she never stays up late to study. ‘She loves to sleep’, added her mother. When she was asked what she wants to become when she grows up, Alexandra claimed she doesn’t known yet. However, her mum said that she wanted to be a singer. ‘Yes, a singer, Superstar!’ said Alexandra with a shy smile on her face. ’I am not sure if she is joking or not, but she is already a superstar in my heart. Moreover, she has learnt French for two years and she doesn’t find it difficult. This is not a surprise to me as I can tell that she is such a good ambitious student. It’s such a strong feature that any individual should have. We all have plenty of things to learn from her’, her mother continued.
Before we left, we asked the principal about the teachers and students in the school. She hopes that the teachers can keep a close relationship with the students while discipline is also needed. The advice she would give to the students is to find their own place in society and what fits them. “This is very important since everyone has a purpose in this world. Sometimes, all we need is time to figure that out.”