Lifelong Learning Programme

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Success Stories

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The Hero Next Door
High Secondary School
Identification of students’ at risk, Students with learning difficulties, School bullying
Main actors involved
The main roles in this life story are ascribed to Mugurel Romaniuc, currently an eighteen-year student in grade 12th F, and Bordeianu Elena, his class teacher. There are other characters among them, such as their family members, classmates and other teachers.

When, where and how the story took place
The story started a long time ago when Mugurel was only 8 years old and lived in Saveni, a small town from Botosani county. At this very stage, he got a hard blow when he lost both parents in one year, leaving four children orphan - three boys and one girl. Their old and sick grandparents strived to take care of them and not to leave them alone, trying as hard as they could, to provide all the basic things of utmost importance to them. Their grandparents’ main income was from agriculture and sheep breeding, that is why their earnings were average. One by one, Mugurel’s older brothers left school at 14-15 years old in order to work where they could so that they could manage by themselves (their grandparents got older and older and couldn’t help them as much as in the past).Time passed and Mugurel, being an ambitious, intelligent and hardworking pupil, graduated from elementary school and entered high school. At the same time, he didn’t give up working at his grandparents’ farm and sooner than expected, he managed to have his own flock of sheep, which gave him financial power and independence ;As he was not a selfish person, Mugurel even helped his younger sister financially and at school. Obviously, tiredness overcame him and Mugurel decided to abandon school in the eleventh grade. His classteacher and classmates were surprised by his decision, consequently, they asked and begged him to return to school and try ‘to survive” one year more with their support so as he could take his general certificate of education .
Today, Mugurel is almost near the end of the 12th grade and he wants to follow some qualification courses related to animal breeding because this is what he likes and wants to do in the near future. Moreover, he is grateful to his classteacher and colleagues’ determination to make him change his mind about leaving school because nowadays, he notices how hard his older brothers strive to earn their livings as they have no work qualification. Mugurel continues to help his little sister with school and he’s satisfied by her proneness to school and thinks this is the best way to succeed in life. He told us his life story with a certain embarrassment but in the end, he smiled and said ” I hope my parents are happy because we support each other and............” .

The reasons why the story can be considered successful
Mugurel really represents a typical example of success in life because he proved to be brave enough to defy his fate; he listened wisely and followed the others’ advice. Now, he is on the point of graduating from high school but he learnt a very important lesson from life - to follow his inner self and be more determined and self-confident in his fruitful future plans.

The starting point of student so that it can be understood clearly the measure of success
Mugurel practically started to build everything he has from nothing. Without his parents’ advice and with some grandparents that paid little attention to school, being deprived by all the things that make a child’s life rich and beautiful, he couldn’t rely on anyone else but himself and built a life only through his own efforts. At the second turning point of his life( the first being the death of his parents), he knew to listen and accept the help from other people: his classteacher and colleagues, basically some strangers to him, whom he could not take into account, but he showed a mature attitude and proved not to be like all the other spoilt teenagers.
Social and Economic Background of the family involved
In Mugurel’s story, we should take into consideration other aspects such as the mentality, social and economical contexts.The northern part of Romania is mostly agricultural, underdeveloped and characterized by a high rate of unemployment, which does not offer too many opportunities to young people.
In general, in this part of our country, school means high expenses to most parents, that is why they can’t afford to pay their children’s commuting costs to school or faculty. Most of them get to live as their parents do- by working hard and earning little money. For example, Mugurel’s grandparents who worked the land all their life as their ancestors, didn’t understand his huge chance of learning at school and also, the belief that you can and must strive to overpass your social condition, that you can practise agriculture wisely and effortlessly at the same time.
Give evidence of the possible explanation of the success
The factors that drew this boy’s life to a happy ending are, firstly, his strong character and obstination but also his desire to learn and overcome his modest family condition; without any complexes, simply because he felt he deserved much more; not victimizing himself as an orphan, he didn’t ask anyone’s help but acted by himself, being self-confident in his powers and open to the opportunities life brought to him. Moreover, a very important role was played by his classteacher, who supported him all this time and brought the appropriate arguments for convincing him not to leave school but to find the strength to split himself up between school and farm work, knowing that he really wants the same thing, too. Mugurel’s colleagues were next to him when he needed help and teachers looked for making him learn and finish school through the school grant he got so that he could feel less financially stressed. In this respect, we can say that the programme through which the Romanian government helps students with poor incomes, by giving a monthly subvention called “Money for High School”, was of great help to Mugurel.
But he chose not to be a victim but a conqueror. His story may be an example of how we can pass over the obstacles life puts in front of us, of how we can surpass our social status with school and people’s help.
For a teacher, Mugurel’s story is a signal: teachers should be careful at what is visible or invisible in a child’s life, not to blame but to try to help him with gentleness and patience. It is for sure, an experience that deserves to be known and especially, its life lessons must become famous among teenagers who often find excuses for not going higher or forward.
Finally, we can say that all things told here show a life story in which the hero chose his destiny and not vice versa!

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.