Massive campaign for right to education kicks off

Newsroom 22/06/2009 | 17:17

The campaign is a collaboration between public figures, ad agencies, media networks and Romania's leading production companies. TV adverts with hosts Andreea Marin, Cabral, musicians Damian Draghici, and Dan Bittman and the public broadcaster's first channel TVR director Dana Deac started airing on June 6 on the major TV channels. Award-winning filmmakers Cristian Mungiu and Radu Muntean directed the ads.
The campaign offers citizens and parents a way to request information and report problems they face in sending their children to school through the child helpline 116 111. Data collected through the child helpline 116 111, may also be used to influence public policy to make it easier for poor children to graduate from school.
As school drop-out rates continue to rise, the campaign aims to spread the message that all children in Romania have the right to education, and that all parents have the obligation to keep their children in school for at least 10 years of study.
Between 2001 and 2008 the school abandonment rate almost tripled for primary school, and quadrupled for grades five to eight. This alarming trend is not well known by the general public and has been getting little attention in the press. The main reasons for school drop-outs are severe poverty, parents' low levels of schooling, lack of information regarding their legal rights and obligations, and lack of teacher training.
This campaign was conceived as the beginning of a long-term initiative to draw the attention of both the public and the government to the increasing education gap between the ultra-poor and the middle class – and to provide assistance to poor people for whom the school system often presents daunting financial and social challenges.

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