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USR's Alexandru: School should be about education not instruction

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Vlad Alexandrescu

School should be about education, not about instruction, USR (Save Romania Union) senator Vlad Alexandrescu said on Tuesday, after the Constitutional Court admitted the notifications of PNL (National Liberal Party), USR (Save Romania Union) and the Ombudsman's regarding the Law on measures for the protection of teachers fulfilling the specific attributions of their job.

"The school must not become a barrack and the teacher must not become a sergeant major! Today, the Constitutional Court, by unanimous vote, admitted the objection of unconstitutionality and found that the Law on measures for the protection of the teaching staff, the management, the guidance and control personnel in pre-university education, in fulfilling the specific attributions of the job is contrary to the Constitution. In motivating its solution, the Court held, in essence, that the law subject to constitutional review was adopted in violation of the principle of bicameralism," the former Minister of Culture said in a post on Facebook.

He said the law was a "legal aberration that would have turned the professor into a gendarme."

"I don't know what kind of school Serban Nicolae, the initiator of the bill, went to, nor the union leaders who backed him, but, at least for now, the Romanian school remains a school. We want the school to educate the children and help them discover their path in life, and not to transform into a police station. (...) We cannot accept that the teacher is a militiaman/woman who forcibly imposes his/her opinion on the pupils. In fact, the educational process involves a lively interaction between the teacher and the student, as it is a partnership that allows a constant exchange of information and empathy on both sides. We cannot turn the pupil into a passive element of the educational process," said Alexandrescu.

According to him, in the spirit of the contested law, "the student or the parent would no longer enjoy the presumption of innocence, but they would have to prove their innocence," which is contrary to the principles of national and European law.

At the beginning of February, the Senate adopted, as a decision-making body, a draft law aimed at investing the teaching staff, the management, the guidance and control staff in pre-university education with the exercise of public authority, during and in connection with the performance of their duties.

The President of the Senate's Legal Committee, the Social Democrat Nicolae Serban, the initiator of this draft law, justified the legislative approach, tacitly adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, by the fact that in the national education system there is a lack of legal protection of teachers against harassment, aggression from students, parents or their legal representatives.


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