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Premier Victor Ponta disagrees with education minister’s decision, saying he wants the first primary grade, or preparatory grade to still be attended in kindergarten, and not in school, this year.
After a three-week holiday, pupils went back to school yesterday. The second semester will end on June 21 for all of the students, except for 12th graders. Education Minister Remus Pricopie availed himself of the opportunity to tour several schools in Bucharest, accompanied by Education Ministry General Director Liliana Preoteasa and Bucharest School Inspector Constantin Traistaru. Asked by journalists whether he reached a decision on the prep grade, the education minister said a relevant assessment will have been completed by the end of this month, when its conclusions, too, will be drawn. Pricopie pointed out that the prep grade will be maintained, with registrations to be a great deal more relaxed and in accordance with the general criteria set by the Education Ministry and the particular ones required by school units. “I would like to specify, yet again and again from the moment I was invested as education minister that, as we speak, there is no decision on the preparatory grade other than the legal one, namely that it will operate. This year will be an easier one since we are talking a single generation, namely those who get into the preparatory grade, and not as it was the case last year when we had two generations, those in the preparatory grade and the first grade respectively. Also, I also go back to the information conveyed as early as last December with respect to registration, which will be much more relaxed , according to the general criteria set by the MECTS particular ones, by the education units,” Remus Pricopie stated.The minister also said that the 9th grade, too, remains part of senior high school. Referring to the baccalaureate examination, Remus Pricopie recommended that the pupils going to take it should prepare for the current examination formula. “Legally speaking, there is no such thing as a technical baccalaureate. The professional baccalaureate is but a proposal. (…) We have made public a baccalaureate methodology and examination procedure similar to last year’s and only if Parliament votes for it and the president signs the professional baccalaureate bill into law, it will become an option, a complement from 2013 or 2014 onward. I make 12th grade pupils the following recommendation: learn and get prepared for the current baccalaureate formula,” the minister said.In national press interviews in the past couple of days, Minister Pricopie explained that you can’t make major educational changes in the middle of the school year. Premier Victor Ponta however yesterday voiced an opinion at odds with the education minister’s, saying that, in his view, the prep grade should go back to being part of the kindergarten structure. Ponta indicated that he has so far only talked to the minister on the phone, but will discuss with him directly to see how the measure could be implemented as of this year.