A Sneak Peak into Fresh Minds:

What would youngsters change about Romania's high school education

November 06, 2014  |  By Alexandra Banica, Romania

A Sneak Peak into Fresh Minds:

Photo : Andrei Saguna, one of the best high schools in Brasov, Romania / Edi Weissmann - WikiCommons

Once upon a time, located in Europe, was a country named Romania. Romania always wants to keep up with the other European countries and brings in measures and techniques that look good on paper, but they do not apply to its biggest needs or to its systems. In the constant chase for improvement, Romania has turned it-self into the 'younger brother' who wants to be like his 'older brother' , but never stops to carefully consider every change he makes.

Because we live in Romania and we are all effected one way or another by the educational system in our country, we decided to ask some people that are struggling with this everyday because they are still in school. Teenagers have the very best view upon the system because they are living it and they deal with changes in the educational system during their school years. They offer an inside perspective - the point of view of the 'lab rats' - of all of these changes that are being commanded by the government.

We decided to be blunt and ask teenagers to answer as honestly as possible. We decided to start with a question that required their imagination : 'What changes would you like to see in your high school education?'. We bumped into some really interesting answers from some smart teenagers that knew what they wanted to change in the educational system and had an overview of the situation.

'Personally I wouldn't actually change something in my professors, as I would change the whole educational system. It is old-fashioned, outdated. The system emphasizes the theoretical part of learning and not the practical one which, for me is very important. People expect us to know everything in life, , but we only know the theory of life, not how to really deal with it. I would also change the system of finance for education. The schools have initiative, have ideas, but they don't get enough money to do it all, so they concentrate on the most important things in their view and put aside the others. For example, the high schools with a technological profile, such as Mircea Cristea or Scoala profesionala Kronstadt have a more modern look and are financed by big companies that want to financially support them and maybe even hire some of the alumni, whereas the national high schools that have better rankings are more outdated, have less space and less equipment. We need proper text books, more classrooms, well equipped laboratories, maybe a canteen and even some lockers to help us store our textbooks as well', said Anda, 9th grader at Colegiul National 'Andrei Saguna', Brasov.

After hearing Anda's point of view and like her were many others, we decided to come up with another question that made them analyze their day-to-day interaction with their teachers and answer this question: 'Do you think your professors offer you the best education?'. As we expected, students have a favorite teacher that they think very highly of, but they also know what there is to be improved in the other teachers.

'I personally have some teachers that I believe really try to get us out of the routine by having interactive lessons such as talking about our next steps in life and giving us advice. The one I like the most understands us, communicates well with us, makes the classes interesting by bringing handouts and presentations and explains the lesson very well. She really makes you want to be active in her class and makes sure that everyone understand. We don't feel that certain holdback in class and she knows how to interact with us and at the same time she knows how to impose herself when needed. Besides her, I also have professors that are not so open-minded and don't know how to grab our attention. I feel that, even though the world in constantly changing, we maintain our old beliefs and outdated teaching methods. The professors are another reason why students come to school half-heatedly and that needs to change. We need to create a bond with all of our teachers, to respect them, but at the same time, they need to encourage, guide and motivate us", added Andreea, 11th grader at Colegiul National 'Dr. Ioan Mesota' in Brasov.

In conclusion, we have some improvements to do in our high schools and in our professors, we are aware of them, but we also know how to make the best of our education. Of course, if the system was perfect, we would come to school with more pleasure, but we need to understand that these changes happen in time and we don't have enough time on our hands to just complain about it. Our country can become better and we could be proud of it with our visions and our help. We are a part of Romania, we can change it and transform it into our dream country. What you really have to think about is what is your input on this matter and what can you contribute to the solution?

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