The National Council of Pupils (CNE), the National Alliance of Romanian Student Organizations (ANOSR) and the Youth Council of Romania (YCR) urge Romanian pupils, students and young people to remain responsible even in the post-emergency period that was decreed to limit the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
It is necessary, in addition to responsibility, to show solidarity. Thus, we welcome young people and youth organizations who have been involved in the community, to limit the spread and reduce the negative effects caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Actions such as participation in the educational act, involvement in the community through support offered to vulnerable categories and those who fought in the “first line”, compliance with the exhortation “Stay home!” are just some of the ways in which young people have become visible at national level.
CNE, ANOSR and YCR encourage young people to continue to have adequate civic conduct, even if Romania will no longer be in a state of emergency. Thus, the three structures urge young people:
- to strictly follow the rules of personal hygiene and the use of the protective mask;
- to maintain social distance and avoid crowded areas;
- to avoid unjustified travel outside the locality;
- to stay home if they have symptoms of flu or cold (cough, fever, breathing difficulties) and to call their family doctor to ask for advices;
- to continue to get involved in volunteer activities to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 or to support and promote initiatives in their community;
- to allocate sufficient time to the learning process;
- to be informed only from official sources. To avoid news containing: pompous, alarmist expressions, natural, homeopathic or drug treatments against COVID-19;
- to adopt an appropriate civic conduct when carrying out outdoor activities and not to displace in a group of more than 3 people.
Lately, at the level of some local communities, the populist discourse has prevailed at the disadvantage of the citizens. We strongly condemn all the actions of politicians whose purpose was not to guarantee the safety of citizens and their participation in online learning, but to strengthen an image for electoral purposes. In these times of crisis, pupils, students and young people in Romania need a responsible political class, in order to elaborate public policies in the benefit of citizens.
We make an open appeal, in this way, to the Ministry of Education and Research, but also to the Ministry of Health, in order to guarantee the safety of pupils, some of them future students, who will take the national exams in the coming weeks. Central and local public authorities need to coordinate their resources to ensure that examinations are conducted in optimal conditions.
We are also waiting for a more vigorous response from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, through which to provide real support to the youth structures, respectively the informal groups of young people. We appreciate the openness shown in this regard, but we hope to materialize the series of measures to help the non-governmental sector and the groups of volunteers trained and/or dedicated to young people.
Even in these times of crisis, pupils, students and young people must be listened to, and local public authorities must capitalize, through digital resources, on the participation of citizens in the decision-making process. The pandemic caused by Coronavirus is not a reason to deprive pupils, student and young people of the right to participate in their communities. Online audiences, advisory boards on youth issues in the digital environment, organizing public debates through digital resources must become a reality because we need to be listened, not just heard.