In a few days, Romania’s public schools will re-open, but it’s winter everywhere, and most jurisdictions have experienced sub-zero temperatures and moderate to heavy snowfall.
Unfortunately for a lot of kids, they’re going to be coming back to antiquated buildings that have no running water or toilets.
Yep, you read that right. Despite the cold, and despite the hygiene risks of not washing their hands, the children of Romania are still forced to endure refugee camp-style conditions.
Just how many schools in Romania are without running water or indoor plumbing for toilets? Well, we now know the official number: 2,355.
Coming on now 30 years since the Revolution and 10 years since joining the EU, thousands of schools in Romania are utterly unsuited to attending the basic needs of the children who attend them.
I was curious just how many schools in total there were in Romania, and the answer is a bit difficult to come up with because there are a lot of private schools in the country.
However, after doing some research, I can estimate that there are approximately 6,170 schools run by the Ministry of Education in Romania.
This is down from 6,200 in 2015 and 6,500 in 2013 (because, of course, the entire country is rapidly emptying out of people). Therefore, if 2,355 schools out of 6,170 in the year 2019 have no running water or toilets, this means that 38% of all public schools in Romania have no indoor plumbing.
Disgusting, in more ways than one.
Mind you, this is after supposedly investing 1.5 billion euros in modernizing the schools.
The highest percentage of schools without running water are in (Romanian) Moldova, including the counties of Vaslui, Iasi, and Botosani.
More Gooder Learnings
I should add that Romania’s educational system has been hampered by idiocy for a long time.
Last year, the government of Romania decided that it would be the sole provider of all textbooks for all public schools. Great idea, until the new textbooks were published and were found to be riddled with errors.
Yep, that’s right. A Romanian book on geography managed to fuck up the name of a location in Romania.
I honestly couldn’t make up crazier stuff if I tried.
Stealing Their Futures, Too
Desperate for liquidity, Romania’s government is looking to the country’s children for a new source of finance.
As of January 1, all Romanian children under the age of 18 have been offered a savings account at the state treasury, with the government promising annual interest of three per cent as well as a 600 lei bonus for children (or their parents) who deposit more than 1200 lei per year.
There is a catch, however.
With very few exceptions (mainly for the payment of medical treatment) no money can be withdrawn until the child reaches their 18th birthday. The 600 lei annual bonus will also not be paid until the child reaches 18. The country’s opposition has called the savings plan a pyramid scheme.
As I have noted multiple times, Romania has a huge budgetary shortfall to make up this year, primarily due to outstanding debt that needs to be repaid to foreign creditors.
Of course, that’s nothing new for Romania, and we all remember how well that turned out for Ceausescu after a couple of cold and hungry winters.