The Romanian Province of Congregatio Jesu runs a primary school in the city of Braila located in Muntenia, eastern Romania, a port on the Danube and the capital of Braila County. According to the 2011 Romanian census there were 180,302 people living within the city of Braila, making it the 11th most populous city in Romania. The ethnic makeup was as follows: Romanians: 97.21%, Lipovans: 1.14%, Roma: 0.97%, Greeks: 0.1%, Other: 0.3%.
Our school is located in the centre of the city, on Golesti Street, no.40.
Web site: www.scoala-sfmaria.ro
Here are some photos from the interior of the school. The first picture – the chapel of the school and it also serves for our communitarian prayer.
We have been working in Braila since 1885 when a small group of sisters comes from Bucharest and opens a primary school. In 1948 the communist party forces the religious community to close the school and to leave the city. Some of the sisters were German and they had to leave the country. The school archive was destroyed and nobody was allowed to mention something about the nuns or their school. Due to some ex-students’ testimony and personal photos we are able to present you a part of what was “Saint Mary School “and maintain alive the school archive.
After the falling of the communism we return to the city of Braila in 1995 with a specific mission which was to educate the humble poor children. Seeing the reality of the city, we realized that a new building was necessary. We started rising founds and building the new school which was completed in 2006.Nowadays the school is a mixed educational boarding primary school with kindergarten included. We attend students between 2 and 12.Kindergarten attends 40 pupils divided into 2 groups by their age. At the age of 7 the pupils begin the first of the four primary school years.
Let us have a look inside our classrooms
The admitting process consists in fill in some documents. It is impossible to receive only the catholic children because they are very few. As an educational institution openness is one of our significant features. We integrate students from different social classes, all religions or economic levels. We create a neutral atmosphere so that everybody feel comfortable. Our aim is to encourage acceptance and to determine in our students the development of a feeling of freedom, transparency and tolerance.
Why did we choose ‘tolerance’ as an aim in our educational process?
From the very first day when the pupils come to our school it is very obvious that they are spoiled children, selfish and tetchy. That happens because they come from a one child family which often has a lot of problems (separation, alcohol and drugs consume, abuse).It is a challenge for us to receive all these children, to try to get the best from them, to educate the and temperate them. It would be much easier to receive only those few practicing catolicts, from good and united families, but: is this our mission?
The process of teaching implies not only the intellectual capacity but the emotional one, too.It happens to spend more time dealing with behavioural problems and emotional disorders than professional issues.
Our school offers a special counselling schedule for parents and it is quite impressive the number of those who are willing to talk to a sister. They are not interested only in their child’s intellectual development, but also are eager to talk about their struggles and doubts. That’s how they start opening their heart, naming their frustration, lack of comprehension and tolerance which their children inherited. Along with their children, the parents also learn what is to be sincere, just, to accept your neighbour, not to judge from appearances or label people.
Our motto is: we can never take back words that were said in anger. That is how we try to get everybody to the inner freedom. We are very cautious when mentioning the name of GOD or CHURCH because they might get the wrong idea thinking that we try to convert them to Catholicism (the great majority of the parents are Orthodox, Muslims or atheist).
This is one of our strategies of integrating all pupils irrespective of where they are coming from. They will live in a very cosmopolite society, mixed cultures, religions and mentalities and they have to be prepared, educated, tolerant and just citizens.