2014 was a hard year for the Romanian homeschool movement. The country became more unstable politically. Our Prime Minister, facing charges of plagiarizing half of his own doctoral thesis, appointed a new minister of education just to build a law which can release him from the consequences of plagiarism. A Saxon (Romanian German) ethnic politician won the presidential elections at the close of 2014. It seemed that he will be more honest than other former politicians, but already promotes his own party—although legally the president must be apolitical—which has been entirely against homeschooling in the past.
Homeschool conferences are going strong
As you see, the future of the legalization of homeschooling in Romania is more uncertain than ever. We have had three ministers of education in the last two years, with two former ministers of education removed from office because of misuse of funds. One of the deputies who promised to submit a homeschool favorable law project to parliament was exposed by his party for fraud.
Looking to the political situation in Romania, is hard to believe that there could be positive change. It is hard to believe that there could be a legislative change in favor of homeschooling. But even though it may be hard to believe, the homeschool movement is growing rapidly in these circumstances. Why?
- The situation in the public schools is so bad that even unbelievers are considering homeschooling.
- The political situation gives a sense of instability and Christian parents are realizing that they cannot expect good from the politicians. Families that have been waiting for a favorable law in order to begin homeschooling now understand that the responsibility for their children’s education cannot be placed on an irresponsible government.
- The instability in education means that officials are not interested in checking to see where parents enroll their homeschooled children outside of Romania. Although it is currently legal to enroll children in schools outside Romania, officials have in the past made trouble for families doing this.
- The various groups of homeschooling parents have begun to help each other, as they see that the State will not help them.
In this environment, the homeschool movement has grown twice its size in the last three years, reaching approximately 300 families. With the assistance of HSLDA and the Home School Foundation, we have developed a great support system to promote homeschooling and help families in need.
Prior to 2010, we had a single conference once a year. Now we have at least two conferences each year for Romanian-speaking parents and two for Hungarian-speaking parents. There is a large Hungarian minority in Romania, with over one million people living in Romania with Hungarian as their primarily language.
In 2014, the Romanian Home Schooling Association (RHSA) organized three conferences, participated at five important TV press events involving nationwide broadcasters at peak airtime, and a one hour-long interview for television with one of our RHSA member families.
We also published two new booklets, written by a home schooling mom, we are planning to repair our webpage this year and give it a new design.
We have scheduled four nationwide conferences for 2015—in Brasov, Timisoara, and two in Odorheiu Secuiesc.
Please pray for the legalization process. Romanian parents who don’t speak English needs homeschooling to be legalized so they can choose this form of education. Currently, parents must enroll their children in an international school which typically requires knowledge of English. Please also continue your prayers for our conferences, which help parents to start homeschooling and to continue it well. Please pray for our students enrolled in American umbrella schools and for them to be able to continue their studies at the university level. And please pray for wisdom for us, to see where and how we can help parents in Romania.
Gabriel Curcubet is the President of the Romanian Home Schooling Association.