School dropout prevention Project in Husi and Botosani Romania. Why is this project both necessary and important?
Romania is a country of contrasts: there are many very good students (with very good results in international competitions) and children that do not know to read, or read with difficulty.
The current average EU level for early school dropout is around 15 %. In Romania it is reaching 18 %. Only 1 in 5 students graduate from high school and 53% of students have great difficulty reading. In the last 5 years, in our country, the school dropout rate has tripled. According to Botosani school officials, this year alone, more than 300 children have dropped out of school.
Husi is located in Vaslui County. In this county, during the first 6 months of the year, around 800 children have dropped out of school and more than half of them are students in high school!!
The main causes of school dropout are:
1) The Economic Situation In Romania, according to the official statistics, there are around 400, 000 children that live in poverty!! According to UNICEF study, 10% of the school dropouts are because of the poor economic situation of the families. Many parents withdraw children from the school because they do not have money for food, for clothes, for school supplies, etc. Husi and Botosani are located in the NE region of Romania. This is the poorest region in our country and is the second poorest region in European Union. So affected by poverty, many families decide to go abroad to finding a job and they leave their children with relatives. Very often it is grandparents. Save the Children Romania shows, in their survey, that children with parents abroad are faced with many and specific difficulties: school abandonment, social exclusion, and vulnerability to join inappropriate groups. According to a study made by County Center for Psychological and Pedagogical Assistance Vaslui, more than 45,000 pupils have parents abroad. Half of them are younger than 10 years old and one-third of them exhibit clinical depression. The law requires parents to declare when they go abroad, but only 7% declare their departure abroad. The school abandonment rate doubled for children who were left at home when their parents left the country.
2) Negative role modeling If a child abandons school, his/her future is in danger; as an adult, they will not have the opportunity to find a proper job, to have an income and when he/she will became a parent will not be able to take care of their children. In this way it is a vicious circle.
These are the main reasons for implementing the projects in Botosani and Husi to prevent the school dropout.
To prevent school and family abandonment
• To improve the daily life conditions for children
• To increase the level of parents' involvement in educational process.
• To improve community awareness regarding the risks and effects of school abandonment
• To offer a daily meal for children at Educational center, Husi
• To provide educational assistance to children with their homework. This activity is developed each day at the educational center. Their attendance in these classes is determined by their schedule at school. The children are helped by our 2 community workers.
• To communicate with the educational staff from the schools and kindergartens in order to follow up on the children's performances at school.
• To organize free time activities. Many parents do not spend a lot of time with their own children. Many children do not have toys at home or things to play with. So, the free time activities are very important for them. Every day, when the classes at school are over, each child can decide what he/she will do for the rest of the day at our educational center.
• To organize socialization activities: the children go to the park or down town. We also organize special event on different occasions: birthdays, June the 1st, March the 8th, Christmas and short trips.
• To counsel the parents: the counseling sessions are performed according to a individual rehabilitation plan and are implemented by a psychologist or a social worker
• To sign partnerships with schools and kindergartens
• To send materials to local mass- media
• To organize group support for mothers
• To organize a parental education course.
• To inform the community about the importance of education for all children.