The Romanian context is particularly interesting for someone questioning the role of education nowadays. Traditional institutions are well overwhelmed by contemporary exigencies, grassroots initiatives spring at every pace even though only very few people acknowledge them, there is a desire to align with a dreamed “Western world”, yet at the same time the most extreme – and personal – negations of this state of things, bring about explosions similar to what a century ago would still be labeled avant-garde.
Can we suppose this longing for the West will bring about the same impasses? Shall we be oblivious to more concrete issues such as discrimination in all forms, extreme poverty and illiteracy – and propose innovative programs of education, meant to encourage students to produce meaning? How political can we afford to be? (Always.) Who are we addressing when we propose alternative educational programs?
We had to make a choice, and start with those closer to us.