In 2017 we continued the campaign for funding the “School-after-School” program from the state budget. Given that June is the month of children we decided to organize a performance in front of the Parliament Palace, along with volunteer students, asking the governors to fund the School-after-School program. In addition to these actions, we launched the campaign “The situation is not pink at all” through which we want to show the disparities between urban and rural areas in terms of education. These projects are key initiatives for us and through them we want to increase the interest for a fair and inclusive education system which stands against school drop-out and systemic differences in education.
One of our most dear chapters during 2017 was the continuation of the project “Building the community of young activists” in Pietrișu (county of Giurgiu) and Bucharest. The aim of this project is to encourage young people to actively engage in their community and thus to realize the importance of civism. After the Pietrișu activism camp, we had meetings where we focused on teamwork, increasing the self-confidence of young volunteers, knowledge and diversifying their skills.
As we realize that technology is increasingly important in terms of education, along with friends from VR Voyagers we organized a virtual reality day at the Găujani school in Giurgiu and we received a small scholarship in the “Meet and Code Week” where young volunteers introduced 30 students from Pietrișu and Ferentari in coding and other IT stories.
Here some are some facts about the current situation in Romania that guides our activity on a daily basis:
- over 25,000 children abandon their school yearly, the main cause being poverty
- 1 out of 2 rural children live in poverty whereas 17% of children are affected by poverty in an urban area
- 74% of poor children live in the countryside
- 40% of rural children work for at least two hours a day in the household
- 81.1% of “School after School” cost money
- 42% of 15-year-olds are functionally illiterate
- over 85,000 children in Romania have one or both parents working abroad
- the share of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion is 51% in Romania, compared to countries like Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Spain and Latvia where the percentage is around 35%
- in 2016 there were 1,000 schools in which no 8th grade graduate was able to score the passing grade at the National Evaluation (data processed by us from the SIIIR database)
More clips can be accessed here.
Aditionally we launched a petition signed by 4,000 citizens requesting the following:
- Liviu Pop’s resignation (former Minister of Education) for false statements and his decisions, taken without any consultation with the main actors in education: parents, teachers, pupils, civil society
- The spending the public money in good faith (from the budget of the Ministry of Education) after consulting the main stakeholder
- a real and genuine public consultation on the rectification of the budget of the Ministry of Education
- prioritizing the needs of the educational system and allocating the budget to the Ministry according to the priorities identified by an authentic public consultation
- funding the “School after School” program
The full report can be read below and the one in 2016 can be found here:
Thank you for helping us fight for better education!
For more information about our work or a simple discussion about how you can support us, write a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Facebook page.
If you want to make a donation in lei, here’s all you need to know: ASSOCIATION FOR EDUCATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE HUMAN CATALYST, CUI 33656932, IBAN RO86CECEB00130RON3865301, opened at CEC Bank.You can also redirect 20% of corporate tax or 2% of income tax (for individuals – the online form can be filled in here) for one of our projects. Contact us and we can provide you with more information.