This is my second post on chicken in Romania. The first was the politician who bribed people with tons of chicken, and it highlighted the sad corruption that exists even in the poorest parts of Romania. At first, that story seemed kind of funny, but the more you thought about it, the sadder it was – people were so in need of food that they accepted chicken as a bribe. Not Romania’s best moment.
This story, however, I think is positive.
The gist is that KFC will give you free internet if you can answer a question from the baccalaureate test correctly.
In Romania, students who are about to graduate take the baccalaureate test. It’s similar to the graduation tests we have in America. Basically, it’s meant to show your cumulative knowledge that you (hopefully) learned in your years in Romanian schools. It is also how you gain entrance to some universities.
Now, I know that there are some problems with the current education system in Romania. I don’t fully understand the problems, but I have heard stories of teachers beating students or verbally abusing them, and I know that the salary of a teacher is not very high. Hmm…that sounds familiar, doesn’t it, America?
Horrible teachers aside, the fact is that last year 44% of all students taking the graduation test failed – a percentage never before seen. It was shocking to the general population.
KFC, one of the few American fast food places I’ve seen (besides McDonald’s), is trying to ameliorate the problem by making those who want access to their WiFi answer a question from the baccalaureate test. It’s meant to force people into practicing, and I think it’s an interesting idea.
I guess the problem I have is from my American perspective on the relationship between fast food and the general population. This is a very bright idea, and one I hope others perpetrate, but fast food has no business marketing to minors. Fast food is not a saviour. It’s what got us in trouble in America with the obesity crisis. Fast food is part of our cultural identity. Most of us have grown up with it (happy meals, y’all), and now it’s ingrained into our subconscious and our daily routines. I just don’t want to see this happen to Romania, a country that has such a rich cultural background, especially with food.
Should students be practicing and studying more for this extremely important test?
Yes, of course. But should a fast food “restaurant” be leading this fight?
In my opinion: hell, no.
News article in Romanian: