The budget allocated to research this year is by 33pct bigger and enables the “closing” of all the projects that should have been completed in the National Plan II, Minister of National Education and Scientific Research, Adrian Curaj said on Tuesday.
The National Research-Development and Innovation Plan III was launched for public debate on Tuesday, with the minister having drawn attention to the lack of predictability in the relevant field, given that the project refers to the period 2014 to 2020.
“This year is the first year in the past seven when we have a budget increase and it is significant. We are speaking about not only resources but it is also important to look at the impact expected for this investment, because what is called an expenditure in research and development we understand it as an investment in research and development, an investment that can contribute greatly to the competitiveness of Romania. (…) Again, the budget for the year 2016 is by 33pct bigger, is a budget that enabled us to close all the projects that should have been closed in the National Plan II, which is left are projects are contracted last year and projects whose implementation has just started. We have resources for the National Plan III,” said the official.
According to him, evaluating research projects has been made in the past years with international participation, sometimes with 80pct foreign researchers.
“I want you not to forget that in all these years, even though we had no resources, even though there was less predictability, the evaluation of research projects has been made with international participation, sometimes with 80pct foreign researchers, the minimum was 50pct foreign researchers. Why? Because by participating in teams with foreign researchers we all succeed in making a special selection of these projects,” said the minister.
Curaj tells lawmakers about integrated solutions that would offer stability, predictability and transparency to the Romanian education system
Education Minister Adrian Curaj took part on Monday, at the Liberal Lower Chamber lawmakers’ request, in the debate on the situation of the Romanian education system. The minister proved that he has a good grasp of the problems facing the education system and talked to lawmakers about integrated solutions that would offer stability, predictability and transparency to the Romanian education system.
The Education Minister insisted on the need for systemic approach to existing problems, not case-by-case solutions that would work only on the short term. He explained to lawmakers why the process of modernizing framework-plans, curricula and textbooks has to continue, the ministry’s priority to include as many youngsters as possible in vocational schools and to strengthen the link between schools and the labour market.
Likewise, Adrian Curaj explained the ways and instruments with which the Education Ministry wants to improve the results in national examinations and the Baccalaureate examination. He also insisted on the support that the state has to offer to youngsters that graduated high school but failed to pass the Baccalaureate examination. The official asked lawmakers to hike, during the next budget amendment, the RON 55 sum offered to each pupil for textbooks:
“This year our budget had RON 55 per person and we are trying and I sincerely hope we will be able to have your support to hike that sum during the budget amendment. This is all we can do this year and I told you that we will soon, rapidly announce the tender for textbooks (…) but we cannot do it sooner than 8 months, based on our whole experience with tenders for textbooks, [we should make sure that] 11th and 12th graders should have them on their desks. We are sure they will have them in the next school year. I’m sorry,” Adrian Curaj stated within the Lower Chamber.
In what concerns the need for hot meals and afterschool programmes, Curaj stated that these measures “are essential.”
“The hot meal is essential for rural areas too, to keep the child enrolled as long as possible, this is what I promised and let’s look at structural funds, because from now on only from there they can have resources,” the minister emphasised.
At the start of the debate, Adrian Curaj also talked about the stage of health permits, stating that this year there are “financial resources of RON 800 M available from commitment appropriations,” funds with which the ministry will try to solve the problems of as many schools of possible from among the 2,850 schools registered.