The first catalog of the Muntenii de Jos School (1869-1870)

Teacher Muștiuc Neculai – Silviu

With the unification of the Romanian Principalities under the ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the pasoptist programs are implemented, one of the directions being the reorganization of the public instruction. The reorganization was made by the Law on the instruction of the United Romanian Principalities promulgated on November 25, 1864 with number 1150 and published in the Official Gazette on December 5, 1864. Provisions are given regarding the primary, secondary, superior and private instruction.

Among the basic principles contained in the law we find the obligation and the gratuitousness of the primary public education. The law fined parents whose children were not enrolled or who did not attend school. Education was free for all children, regardless of the social category they belonged to and for both sexes.

In this context, the first school in Muntenii de Jos commune was established in 1869, the school being one of the first schools to appear in Vaslui County. The establishment of the school also involved the publication of the first catalog. The document has 24 pages and, in addition to school information, gives us data about the school premises, material problems, repairs, etc.

From what the first teacher noted, it results that the school opened on May 1, 1869, and the first name was “Model Primary School from Muntenii de josu commune”. The opening of the school was difficult because, although the Law on Instruction imposed compulsory and free primary education, it did not provide the material resources necessary to achieve these objectives. In this context, a first problem that the first cadres faced was that of the space in which they were to carry out their activity. The lack of space is recorded by the first teacher who noted on page 4 of the catalog that it was not possible to study at the beginning of September: “because no class houses were rented and did not take place until September 17”. The space rented later was a modest one, requiring repairs that required the interruption of courses. The same teacher records in tab 6 “in one in two and three of this month (November) the school was repaired” so that in the next tab to mention “no lecture was given with children on the 27th, 28th and 29th of this month (November ) repairing the school ”.

The catalog is kept on calendar months on the first tab (back) being recorded the absences, and on the next tab (front) being mentioned the school situation.

In the Catalog for students from the school for May and June are also recorded the first students of the school, numbering 15. These are: Albescu Ștefan, Boghian Vasilie, Donose Constantin, Gandu Ioanu, Lungu Ioanu, Lungu Dimitrie (absent both months due to parents as it appears from the section Observations), Chiriac Georgei (absent due to parents and laziness notes the teacher), Morariu Vasilie, Boțu Neculai, Arsene Ioanu, Roman Vasilie, Postu Ioan, Epure Georgeiși Mengliti Dimitrie.

On closer inspection, it can be seen that all students are boys, despite the fact that the Public Instruction Act clearly provided in Article 31: “Elementary education is compulsory for all children of both sexes from eight to two years of age. – ten years of age ”.

Another problem that stands out is that of school absenteeism. Although the Law on Public Instruction provided for fines for those who did not send their children to school (art. 36-39), absenteeism remains a problem, especially among girls. As for the boys, the causes of absenteeism are mentioned by the first teacher: the refusal of parents to send their children to school, laziness and illness. However, the number of students will increase gradually during the school year 1869-1870: 19 students in November, 21 in December, also 21 students are mentioned in the catalog with the situation of the exam at the end of the first semester, 22 students per month February, 23 students in March (student Olariu Ioan was enrolled on March 6, 1870), so that in the catalog for June 25 students will be mentioned.

The disciplines studied at Separation I are Knowledge of Letters, Syllabification and Behavior in the context in which Article 32 of the law should have been studied: “reading and writing, catechism, notions of hygiene, grammar, geography, earth history, law administration of the land, the four works in arithmetic, the legal system of measures and weights ”. however, since December, new disciplines such as Reading, Holy Prayer, Arithmetic and Model Writing have appeared.

Regarding the exams, they were conducted according to article 75 of the law (There will be two exams per year: one at Christmas and another at Easter, when there will be a prize distribution). The catalog with the situation of the exam for the first semester is presented on pages 10-11, so that, on page 18, a Conspect for the exam sem II, 1869-1870 is presented (the exam took place on Palm Sunday).

”From the Alphabet, the knowledge of the letters, the Syllabification and the Reading to page 40 we taught a number of 17 children: And for a number of 6 children the whole Alphabet, Letter Formation, Counting and Holy Prayers were taught

Parting II

From Part I of the Catechism, Man’s Duties to God, Faith, Charity, Hope and the Church. From geography the description of Oceans and continents and the division of geography into 5 continents shown on the map. From Arithmetic Assembly, subtraction and multiplication, writing by model, Dictating and reading ”

The results of the exam are recorded in tab 19. Then follow the catalogs for May and June, and the last tabs (23 and 24) are broken.

Bibliography

Catalog of Munteni de Jos Primary School (1869-1870)

Public Instruction Act of 1864

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