World Vision Romania: Rural schools more focused on solving students’ problems than on improving their performance

02/12/2014 1:45

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   Schools in Romania’s rural areas are more oriented towards solving the problems of their students or even families than on improving their school results, shows a World Vision Romania study. The educational environment in villages across Romania is generally perceived as positive but a lack of specialized services leads to the above-mentioned situation.

   The study, titled Dialogue for the quality of education. The school seen through the eyes of students and parents, was performed mainly in schools in rural areas in six counties of Romania. It points to the low level of education in the family, with more than half of parents declaring that they only finished the secondary school cycle.

   At the same time, the study showed that school spaces no longer seem to be a problem, as two thirds of students reported they had their own classroom, and almost a third that they occupy a classroom in two shifts. Curricular auxiliaries are used in most classes at exam disciplines (Romanian language and mathematics) but at a lower rate at geography, sciences, modern languages, history, technological education and the arts. Audio and video support is little used, and less than a third of students report that multimedia is used weekly across all disciplines, while 87 percent say it is used at least once a month. A similar situation can be encountered with respect to the use of the computer in class, as 71 percent of students questioned reported it was used once a month.

   As far as the teaching process is concerned, students believe the school schedule is the appropriate one but less than half think their homework is appropriate. The study also found that the students receive regularly written homework at least three disciplines daily.  Over 80 percent of students said that more than half of regular class time is spent listening to the teacher’s explanations. On the other hand, a little over 50 percent of children say group activities are favored. The teacher is strictly coordinating the learning process and the autonomy level of the students is low.

   The study also showed that around 20 percent of students and 15 percent of parents brought to the school’s attention various negative aspects. Over 64 percent of the students and almost 80 percent of the parents bring to the school’s attention the child’s or the family’s problems. “Besides the positive dimension, which shows the mutual trust in this relationship, the appeal to school can also be due to the absence of key resource people in the community (social assistants etc), the school having to take over the solving of issues that do not necessarily fall under its competence,” the study explains.

   The research also found that, generally, students are much better informed on the school activity than their parents. Thus, the great majority of parents was not able to indicate more than one activity that took place at the school over the past month, while students were able to point out two activities.

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