The Romanian Home Schooling Association (RHSA) recently participated in a public debate in Constanta, Eastern Romania, about the necessity to include home schooling in the educational law. The debate was organized by the Romanian Agency for Ensuring Quality in K–12 Education (Agentia Romana Pentru Asigurarea Calitatii in Invatamantul Preuniversitar—ARACIP). The agency is a governmental one. They are the advisers of the Ministry of Education. They organized the debate in order to see how home schooling can be implemented in the Romanian educational system.
About 35 teachers, 7 students, 7 home school mothers, and one journalist participated in the debate, along with RHSA. RHSA was represented by Ninel Lazar, Cristian Ouatu, and myself. We had already prepared a document before the debate which was sent to the president of the governmental agency. The president, who organized the debate, prepared his presentation based on our document; in fact, he used our document entirely, showing the source.
As the participants read our document, they voted in favor of including home schooling in the educational law, giving liberty for parents to educate their children. There were only two opponents!
All in all, the debate was a successful one, and is one of the most important steps Romanian home schooling has made. The president of the agency assured us that the votes are not in vain, because the agency will be involved in a key advisory role in the legalization of home schooling. Moreover, the debate showed that there is a united home school community in Romania. The presence of home schooling mothers along with the representatives of the RHSA had a great impact.
After the public debate I traveled with Ninel Lazar to the capitol of Bucharest, where we held a home school conference the following day on Saturday, June 13. One of the ways that RHSA serves families is to organize homeschool conferences for Romanian- and Hungarian-speaking families. We started the Bucharest conference at 10 a.m. when Lucian Lita taught about “Why parents must choose home schooling.” Cristian Ouatu completed Lucian’s lecture with practical advice. Then I taught about “Hardship in Home Schooling.” After the break, Ninel Lazar taught about “The relationship between home school families and the local Church.” My second lecture on “The way to universities” was the last session. After the lectures we had two hours of rich discussion!
Our last conference prior to the Bucharest one in June was on 21 March 2015 in Odorheiu Secuiesc, central Romania, for Hungarian-speaking families. Hungarians are the largest minority in Romania, with 1.7 million people in a country of 20 million. Some Hungarian-speaking families started the home school movement in Romania in 2002 with the desire to promote it among Romanian-speaking families too. Both groups have grown slowly, but the internet era has helped a lot to spread home schooling in the last seven years. Now there are more than 300 home school families among Romanians and nearly 100 among Hungarian natives of Romania. Their number is growing quickly as our recent conference shows.
Almost 60 people participated at the conference organized for Hungarian natives of Transylvania. More than half of the families participated with only one parent, because the other one took care of the children at home. At least 20 other families watched the conference broadcasted live via Ustream. The topics of the conference were:
- Why Home School? –Attila Szász, Teaching elder of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Central Eastern Europe, taught about why home schooling is a necessity.
- Difficulties in Home Schooling – Gabriel Curcubet, President of Romanian Home Schooling Association, taught about how wrong motives or a bad parent-children/parent-parent relationship can undermine home schooling.
- College preparation? How? – Dávid Curcubet, the oldest son of Gabriel and Gabriella Curcubet and first graduate from the Romanian home school movement spoke about how to prepare for college, even to top universities. Dávid was recently admitted to NYU Abu Dhabi.
After the lectures we continued with a large workshop where “older” parents shared their experience with “younger” ones. There were dozens of questions answered by practicing home school parents. Hearing the testimony of the “older” parents, some 12 new families decided to start home school. The participants warmly welcomed Gabriella Curcubet’s new book entitled, “Why Home School?”
A journalist who participated in the Odorheiu Secuiesc conference wrote an outstanding article about what happened. She later wrote me on Facebook: “It was an astonishing conference. If parents will take more responsibility for their children [as in the home school movement], it will be well worth it to write about it. But the conference was more than that. I never saw such love in a community.”
Overall, the conference in Bucharest was one of our best ones, in spite of the moderate attendance (about 50 families were represented). Initially about 110 people registered, but it seems that the unusually warm weather stopped some families from coming, especially those who would travel from a longer distance. Despite the warm weather, some families come from 300–500 kilometers away!
Praise God for His great work!