Otetelișanu School, today the "Elena Cuza" National College
Monument / Architectural attraction
The school’s origins go back to 1833, as Lazaro-Otetelisanu's girls' boarding school, a name which it taks from its founders, being the first school for girls in the Romanian Principalities. The establishment of this boarding school is related to the extensive development of national education in the capital of Oltenia following the adoption of the Organic Regulation. It was founded before the other similar institutions in the Romanian Principalities. The initiative of "this school, for a better education of boyar girls", sprang into the "enlightened mind of Overseer Iordache Otetelișanu, great patriot and fond of the national culture". With ”his funds, but also with the material support of the Cupbearer Constantin Lazaro", who donated to the school the houses inherited from his wife, Zoiţa Pârşcoveanca, he founded "Lazaro-Otetelisanu Boarding School for Girls" in 1833.
Students admitted to this school had to know how "to read and write" in a foreign language.
As a matter of fact, since 1860, the girls’ boarding school came under the care of the state and was put under the control and supervision of a committee, a fact that was decided by the Parliament's vote of August 4, 1860. At that time, the school operated with six classes: four lower ones and two upper ones. From a study programme dated 1861, it is found that the following subjects were taught in the school: Romanian language, religion, history, geography, drawing, calligraphy, crafting, physical sciences, natural sciences, cosmography.
The name of the school is changed again in 1883 when it becomes a "Pedagogical Institute for Girls", "because of the goal pursued by the school authority to create graduates who whould become schoolmasters." From 1891, it is added ”to the institute an application school (primary school) which was operating apart from it, on the basis of a special program under the ministerial orders." Since becoming a state school after 1860, the tendency was to develop the secondary education for girls, as well as to prepare valuable elements for primary education.
Starting with 1959, the institution takes the name Middle School no. 3, until 1966, when it became a mixed school, allowing, for the first time, boys in its school rooms. Between 1966-1976, the school was named "Highschool no. 3 "and then, in the period from 1977 to 1989, it was named "High School of Philology-History ". In 1990 the school returned to the traditional name of "Elena Cuza High School" and since 1998 it is named "Elena Cuza National College".
Throughout its existence, the school had as main objective for its students the learning of a foreign language, especially until 1944 and between 1970-1975 when all disciplines were taught in French.
The specificity of the school was preserved even in recent years, with regular classes of philology-bilingual foreign language (French, English, German and Spanish). Also, in recent years, foreign lecturers have taught at those classes, native speakers of that language, who have come following various European programs initiated by the school.