The Romanian educational system has several serious challenges, proved by the low results of students in literacy, mathematics and sciences, as well as the significant social-economical discrepancies between rural and urban schools.
In Romania, tens of thousands of children experience exclusion from school since they have never been included in the education system, or are absent during longer periods, frequently change schools or completely drop out of school. The children who face the biggest risk of exclusion are the ones from disadvantaged communities, children with parents who have left the country to find work abroad, children with disabilities as well as children with families that do not have a stable home and need to move frequently.
Encouraging local authorities to take action
Together with Save the Children we made sure vulnerable children in Romania had better access to adequate education. One component within the project was “School after School” activities, focusing on additional learning for the most vulnerable schoolchildren, but also included activities promoting children’s rights, gender equality and literacy. All children participating in the project activities also received school supplies, one meal a day and material support based on the needs, for instance clothing or hygiene items. 85% of the children who participated in “School after School” improved their school results.
Moreover, a baseline study measuring the number of out of school children in targeted locations was created in order for the local authorities to take action to ensure that all children are enrolled and attend school. The study will also be used for the strategic advocacy work to influence the duty bearers to take their responsibility for all children and their parents and grandparents.
The purpose of the collected efforts was to contribute to a culture of inclusion where all children enjoy equal access to education, are welcomed and valued for their diversity and have their needs met in appropriate teaching and learning environments.