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Home » 2020, Vol. I, No. 1 » Popa Andrei
Mirela Popa Andrei
PhD, Scientific Researcher II, "George Barițiu" Institute of History, Cluj-Napoca
The Girls’ Preparandia of Gherla. The first years (1915-1919)

Abstract: The Great War affected all areas of social life, including the education process organized by the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The lack of teaching staff in the Romanian denominational schools of Transylvania determined the bishops to send numerous requests to the Ministry of Cults and Public Instruction, with the purpose of obtaining exemption from military service for the teaching staff, a procedure which rarely received a favorable answer. This was the context in which the ecclesiastical and political authorities raised the possibility of a considerable substitution of the male with female teaching staff. The Girls’ School of Gherla opened on September 5, 1915, and it was the second Greek-Catholic preparandia for girls. As in the case of the Institute of Lugoj (opened in 1914), the one in Gherla was dedicated to Romanian girls regardless of their confessions. It is important to note that after investigating the context and causes that led to the opening of the first pedagogical confessional schools for girls (normal schools/teaching institutes) in Romanian Transylvanian society, we can conclude that the First World War has, indeed, triggered fundamental change in gender relationships, including in education. For the Romanian girls of Transylvania, this opened the perspective of their professional training for becoming elementary school teachers. This was accomplished after setting up specialized institutions in this field, and the Girls’ Preparandia of Gherla is one of them.

Keywords: Great War, Transylvania, Gherla, preparandia for girls, gender relationships, emancipation.

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