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Baccalaureate graduation rate: 55.4 pc

PM Ponta congratulates all those who passed the Baccalaureate exam,
saying that he rejects the generalisations regarding fraud and the opinion that all pupils in Romani are fraudsters.

The graduation rate of the Baccalaureate exam, the June-July 2013 session, is 55.4 pc, according to final results before contestations, announced yesterday by the Minister of Education, Remus Pricopie. According to the same source, 62 pc of 12th grade graduates of class 2012-2013 passed the Baccalaureate, along with 30.6 pc of the graduates of previous years.
Pricopie added that big differences remain in the Baccalaureate graduation rate in urban and rural areas. According to Pricopie, the rate in rural areas is higher than in urban zones and there are still low rates at technological high-schools.
The minister added that there probably exists a statistic increase over last year, on one hand because the subjects were differentiated, and on the other because there were fewer candidates. He explained that only 188,842 candidates took the exam this year, down from 200,187 in 2012.
Pricopie also announced that 15 fraud attempts were discovered during the June-July session of the Baccalaureate and 318 candidates were eliminated from written tests last week.
Also according to the figures made public by the Ministry of Education before contestations, the situation at county level shows that the highest graduation rate is in Braila – 74.2 per cent, Cluj – 71 per cent and the lowest in Ilfov – 27.91 per cent. The graduation rate in Bucharest is 50.5 per cent; 122 candidates passed the exam with the maximum score of 10 points, most of them (12) in Iasi, followed by Buzau (10), while in Bucharest only one candidate obtained the maximum score.
PSD vice-president and former Education Minister Ecaterina Andronescu said yesterday that the graduation rate of the Baccalaureate this year might be lower than last year, given many pupils did not show up for the exam.

Ponta: I really don’t care about the gang of Mr. Basescu that shouts about the Baccalaureate
Premier Victor Ponta said yesterday that he is satisfied with the fact that one did not continue “the demented policy” of these years to show that all pupils are poorly prepared to pass the Baccalaureate, adding that he does not care about “Mr. Basescu’s gang” that “shouts” about this issue. “I wanted it, and I am very pleased to see that we did not continue the absolutely demented policy of these years meant to show that all the children in Romania are poorly prepared and all teachers are bad,” Ponta said in the beginning address of the session of BPN of PSD, which the press had access to.
He added that teachers who work in difficult conditions deserve respect and those who do illegal things must pay. The premier congratulated all those who passed the Baccalaureate, saying that he rejects the generalisations about fraud and the opinion that all pupils in Romania are fraudsters. “I talked earlier with the minister of education. I want to congratulate all those – teachers, pupils, parents – who passed the Baccalaureate. Those who did not pass will be better prepared in the autumn,” Ponta mentioned.
He stated that all those who belong to corruption rings must be punished, but rejected the generalisations that involve all pupils or teachers. “ I do not agree to generalise about the things that happened and are still happening, which must be countered, to consider all pupils in Romania as fraudsters, or accuse all teachers in Romania, and it is our duty to defend all the honest persons that do their duty and learn,” Ponta mentioned.
Police continues hearings in fraud case at Dimitrie Bolintineanu high-school
Bucharest Police resumed yeste4rday the hearings of the pupils from the ‘Dimitrie Bolintineanu high-school, with 46 candidates being expected to come for questioning.
The lawyer of the former principal of the ‘Dimitrie Bolintineanu’ high-school, who attended several such hearings yesterday, said that two of them told prosecutors that they heard rumors about fellow candidates contributing RON 100 each, but they never knew who is involved and who received these sums. “I participated in the questioning of 20 pupils. They said that they gave RON 50 for the last bell, RON 250 for the banquet and RON 150 for robes. Nobody admitted giving money. Two of them however said that they heard about RON 100 being paid as well, but they could not mention where and who received the money,” lawyer George Moloman explained.
Speaking yesterday about the Bolintineanu case, Ponta said that the force of the state must be supported and applied, but in accordance to the law, as prosecutors are not gods and they must bear the consequences if they infringed the law. He added that he totally supports the actions of state institutions aimed at enforcing the law, but he does not want to see dozens, or hundreds of policemen invading schools, because police must fight organised crime or smugglers. Ponta added that, in his opinion, there were some functioning issues and, if these occurred in the activity of prosecutors, the CSM can take measures, and if they were in MAI, he will discuss with the minister. The graduation rate of the Baccalaureate at the aforementioned high-school is approximately 58 per cent.

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