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September 12, 2006

Romanian Homeschoolers Move Forward with Help from America

The Romanian Homeschool Association was established a few years ago by a homeschool father and pastor, Gabriel Curcubet. Gabriel is often referred to by those who support the association as “Gabor.”

Gabor has worked tirelessly with Chris Klicka, Senior Counsel of HSLDA, to find a way that homeschoolers in Romania can homeschool legally. Currently, the law does not specifically allow for homeschooling. However, homeschoolers have united with Gabor’s national homeschool association to have a “legal covering.” At this point, the homeschoolers have been left alone since the authorities believe they have accountability with Gabor’s homeschool association. Gabor’s Romanian Homeschool Association functions much like an “umbrella school” or a “satellite school,” as operated in the United States.

To further legitimize this organization, Gabor uses the curriculum supplied by CLASS (Christian Liberty Academy Satellite Schools), out of Arlington Heights, Illinois.

A few years ago, Klicka worked out an arrangement with CLASS to provide curriculum for certain grade levels for the Romanian homeschool children. The curriculum would be provided to the Romanian homeschoolers, many of whom have very little income, for free. CLASS would supply the curriculum at cost and pay half of the expense, while HSLDA, through its Home School Foundation, would pay the other half. This year HSLDA and CLASS have been able to help over 30 homeschool students in Romania receive curriculum.

Romanian homeschoolers begin their school year September 15. The law requires 180 days of schooling, but the homeschoolers are providing 210 days of schooling. The children from fourth grade on also study Romanian history and geography an additional two hours a week. All the children also learn English. The homeschoolers send in weekly reports to Gabor through an online reporting system. They use a free education network system, which is helping communication.

Although the Romanians have found a “back door” to homeschool legally, they are still working towards legalizing homeschooling outright to ensure their freedom. Klicka and Gabor have been working long hours on the language and lobbying tools to see this come to fruition, and have just recently been informed of some good news!

Fortunately, the Minister of Education has sent an official answer to Gabor regarding their request to legalize homeschooling. Gabor was told that homeschooling was included in the educational law’s modification project. The modifications will then be voted on by Parliament. The law is expected to pass and will probably go into effect in the fall of 2007! This change would legalize homeschooling in Romania!

We are excited about the progress of the homeschool movement in Romania.

Anyone interested in supporting homeschooling in Romania can send donations to the Home School Foundation. Be sure to designate your donation for the International Fund so that we can ensure the money is used for homeschoolers in other countries.

You can write or send a donation to the Home School Foundation at P.O. Box 1152, Purcellville, VA, 20134, phone: (540) 338-5600 or fax: (540) 338-2733. Or you can make a donation online.