Liceul Tehnologic Hirlau

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Hîrlău is a town in the Iași County, Moldova, România. Outside the main town, the settlement also includes Pârcovaci neighborhood. The town is located in the north-west, on the banks of Bahlui River. According to the 2011 census the town population rises to 10905 residents. Most of the inhabitants are Romanian (85,98%) and the confessional majority is Christian-Orthodox (91,04%). The first documentary attestation dates back to 1384. There are three monuments of historical and national interest at Hîrlău: whole royal medieval court of Stephen the Great and two churches: Saint George and Saint Dumitru. The town’s economy is characterized by textile industry, wood processing industry and food industry. The town has hotels, banks, hospitals (a state hospital and a medical clinic), schools (two elementary, two high schools), pharmacies and supermarkets. In the south of Hîrlău there is the famous vineyard named Cotnari. The most important occupation of the inhabitants is agriculture: harvesting and animal breeding. They also do gardening and fruit growing. The Technological HighSchool Hîrlău (Liceul Tehnologic Hîrlău) responds to the requirements of the community, of the social and professional development of the young people from Hîrlău by offering quality training in various fields: mechanics, textile and leather industry, civil constructions, wood processing, food industry, tourism and catering. The aim is to ensure real chances/opportunities of socio-professional integration. The Technological HighSchool Hîrlău has 830 students, 60 teachers, and two head teachers. It has 4 buildings: 3 are used for classes and one contains laboratories. The domains are: mechanics, textile and leather industry, civil constructions, wood processing, food industry, tourism and catering. The school has suitable facilities and material resources, twelve regular classrooms, one specific classroom for TP (Therapy Pedagogy), specific rooms for Technology, Music and Arts, a library, two laboratories (Biology and P&C) and departments for the different subjects. In Romania, including ours, a major problem is the left-alone children/students, with parents who left to work abroad. The origin of this problem is poverty. Willing to offer a better material situation, the parents are going abroad to work and send money to their children. They are left with grandparents or they are living with only one parent and some of the duties of the gone parent are falling on their shoulders. We have a lot of similar cases in our school. Unfortunately, in many cases they are left alone at home for 6 months/ 1 year. The parents are coming home only in vacations. The connection is maintained only by phone. They have to take care of themselves and also to learn for school. Some of them are already working . We have also students with only one parent, one of them is dead. They are suffering and they find it hard to be happy, to play, to sing, to dance and to learn as their colleagues do. Most of the families in our school are characterized by: living in marginalisation, having few economic resources, having a high rate of unemployment, precarious or low-qualification employment, having a low learning level, showing poor involvement in their children learning process, living with violence within the family context. The parents are not really involved in their children’s lives and sometimes the teachers know the children better than their parents: their personality, their tastes, their preferences, their aptitudes, their talents, their feelings. Statistics in our school are saying that the parents are interested in their children’s evolution in school and in society at the beginning of high-school (9th grade): at the meetings that are organized by the class masters/tutor teachers are coming 40% of them in the first year. As the children grow up, their interest is getting lower and lower: -9th grade: 40% of them -10th grade: 33% -11th grade: 24% -12th grade: only 15% Also we have observed that only 18% of parents are helping their children in solving the tasks that they have to do for school: doing projects, learning, doing homework etc. We are trying to increase the parent involvement by group counseling, individual counseling, individual and collective discussions, by including the students and their parents in national programs like Saturday School (Saturday School for both parents and children: they are supported by a group of teachers and national coordinators with group educational activities, financial support and free meals ). Obviously this is not enough.