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May 24, 2022

Only 60 pc of high-school graduates are fluent in Romanian

The oral test in Romanian language at the baccalaureate consisted of a commentary of a literary or non-literary text at first sight, an usual practice 30 years ago when the pupils were not learning mechanically, but the examination from the past three days showed that after 12 years of school only 60 per cent of the high-school pupils can argue a paragraph.

The partial result at the test for evaluation of the oral communication skills in the Romanian language and literature shows that after 12, or 13, years of school, as the case may be, almost 60 per cent of the youth, meaning 123,683, obtained the maximum result and the certificate of skilled user. They have the capacity to read correctly and fluently, in awareness and expressively, a text at first sight. They can also synthesize the global message of such a text and can explain its implicit aspects. Moreover, the youth show that they can argue a point of view, can build a speech and can adapt it to their interlocutors and to the goal of the communication, using adequate communication means. In other words, almost 124,000 youth use correctly and adequately the literary language.

The texts at first sight were literary and non-literary. Through this type of evaluation, the Education Ministry wants to make sure that, after 12 years of school, the youth can speak correctly, clearly and coherently in the Romanian language that they have the ability to understand and even build oral and written messages in various situations of communication. And this, especially that the youth cannot go to university without being able to communicate in Romanian.

The initiative of the ministry and the sudden change of approach of the baccalaureate rely on European considerations. The new type of baccalaureate brings as a novelty the evaluation of the digital skills, meaning those which refer to the use of the computer, and reduces the number of written tests from five to three, the other tests being similar to those from the previous years.

“The purpose of the oral baccalaureate is the evaluation of the linguistic communication skills in the native and modern Romanian language. Therefore, the exam subject includes both literary and non-literary texts. For the first time, the pupils do not need to learn something by heart. Not even the poems or the fiction of the classics. Nothing. In these circumstances, the pupils could have come any time for the oral test, in January or in December. The linguistic communication skill is a usual demand in the European Union countries, and PISA test includes such an evaluation, the authorities explain.

The teachers remember that 30-40 years ago any new lesson taught in the classroom was an occasion to discuss it with the pupils. Maria Negrea, a retired teacher, says that for a teacher from the ‘60s – ‘70s and for the pupils of that time, this type of evaluation appears like a joke, at that time it was a daily exercise. “Any new lesson taught in the classroom was discussed with the pupils, regardless of the domain. Obviously, not the newspaper articles, because many were included in the textbooks, and maybe not the legal texts. But, the pupils used to read daily, in turn, texts at first sight in the classroom, since the first cycle. Then, the children explained what they understood, subject to their training level,” Maria Negrea recalls.

But, a usual practice in the past is turning now into an examination subject and this happens because in the past 20 years the Romanian education has steadily declined, it is a continuous experiment.

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