President sends professional baccalaureate bill back to Parliament

Education minister hits back, accusing former minister Daniel Funeriu of being behind the stand, and Premier Ponta calls MPS to keep supporting the bill.

Traian Basescu on Monday called for a re-examination of the professional baccalaureate draft law, saying that its insufficient regulation would damage the quality of education and the smooth unfolding of next year’s baccalaureate examination. “The coming into force one month after the start of the school year of a law changing the way the baccalaureate examination will be held that school year would generate instability and unpredictability. We consider that pupils need a detailed and in-depth understanding of their options, at the beginning of the school year at the latest. Furthermore, even the law in question stipulates, in paragraph 3, Art. 2, item (5) that the organization, carrying out and content of the baccalaureate examination curriculums  shall be made public before the beginning of the school year,” according to the re-examination request quoted in a Presidency release made public Monday evening. “The introduction of the new type of  professional baccalaureate will depreciate the baccalaureate concept, both domestically and abroad, as it will become a diploma very easy to get and with a scant relevance,” the president maintains, according to whom the new law is untimely, given the provisions of the national education Law no 1/2012 regulating  professional education, since the ill-timed and groundless introduction of a new type of  baccalaureate, the professional one, would damage the cohesion of the education system. Traian Basescu calls for the bill sent for promulgation to be re-examined in the sense of the stipulations being scrapped regulating the professional baccalaureate.The bill’s originator, incumbent Education Minister Ecaterina Andronescu told Mediafax yesterday that President Basescu’s action is “all Funeriu’s doing” and, next week, the normative document “will quickly go through Parliament”. “It’s bad faith on Mr. Funeriu’s behalf <a presidential education advisor>. Once again, he showed he doesn’t care about the youth. When you have responsibilities, you must learn to care,” Andronescu said, who added that the head of state’s re-examination request was made “right on the last day stipulated by law, and not earlier,” which, in her view, led to two weeks being wasted toward the introduction of the professional baccalaureate in 2013. Ecaterina Andronescu also said that the arguments called upon in the re-examination request that the baccalaureate methodology has been drafted and pupils need no special preparation, since no additions have been made to the disciplines for that examination.In his turn, Premier Victor Ponta before the government session yesterday morning, called on the education minister to keep pushing for the passage of the professional baccalaureate bill by Parliament, even if President Traian Basescu “sometimes wishes he were a prime minister”.   For his part, Horea Uioreanu, president of the Cluj organization of the National liberal Party (PNL), said that   Traian Basescu “proves being a genuine whiner” of education reform, his sending the professional baccalaureate bill back to Parliament standing proof to the “hate” felt for his Government preventing him to see things in unbiased fashion.Former education minister and current presidential education advisor Daniel Funeriu told RFI that it’s unacceptable to change the baccalaureate a month after the school began and that  Education Minister Ecaterina Andronescu, must “at long last decide to be contemporary with the year 2012”. The former minister pointed out that all the “pupils who finished high school or vocational high school and don’t have a baccalaureate diploma, have a diploma certifying their professional training”. On Sept 17, the Senate passed 73-1, and one abstention, the draft law on the introduction of the professional baccalaureate, according to which senior high school graduates who take and pass the professional baccalaureate are eligible to access the labor market, yet not to pursue higher education.

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