Back to school in Romania: digital failure

In Romania a traffic light system based on the number of coronavirus infections per region has been set up to regulate children's return to school after the holidays: in the green zone lessons take place as normal. In the yellow zone half of the class has in-person lessons while the other half attends online. In the red zone all lessons are online. Commentators say virtual teaching won't work.

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Deutsche Welle (RO) /

Left behind by events

Online teaching still sounds like a fairy tale to many children, the Romanian service of Deutsche Welle points out:

“These children are barely visible and had the bad luck to be born far away from the big cities and isolated from the 21st century. It would be in vain for their teachers to give a class in front of the blackboard in an empty classroom or with only ten pupils. They won't have Zoom or parents who accompany them to where the valley opens up and tablet or smartphones can establish a data connection. And then there are poorer families who have an internet cable running outside their house but can't afford a tablet, especially if they have several children.”

Blog Republica.ro (RO) /

Teachers don't want to be watched

The teachers are also responsible for the fact that digital lessons are making no headway in Romania, Republica complains:

“Teachers who complain about lacking tablets or laptops should be ashamed. Just like their union, which over the years hasn't called for any such devices. How many general strikes have paralysed the system in the last decades where the teachers were concerned not about their wages but mainly about the lack of equipment? ... Most teachers don't want their lectures recorded or broadcast live online. They want the opaque wall between them and parents to remain in place. A good teacher who has mastered his craft and himself is not afraid to be seen or judged by colleagues and parents. Hiding behind the General Data Protection Regulation is embarrassing.”