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March 6, 2021
EDUCATION Social SOCIAL & HEALTH

UNICEF’s Afshan Khan: Hopefully future Action Plan is useful for new education law in Romania

UNICEF is ready to work with the Government, the Presidency, the Parliament and other partners in order to transpose into action the outcome of the Survey upon the Romanian education system and hopes that the recommendations of the said document will help the authorities’ approach to elaborate a new education law, UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States Afshan Khan said on Wednesday at the Victoria governmental Palace.

Afshan Khan attended the launch of the volume “Evaluations and tests in Romania’s education system” accomplished by the Government of Romania, UNICEF and the Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development (OECD).

The UNICEF regional director said that the education systems in central and eastern Europe are characterised by a poor level of school results. In this respect, added she, UNICEF aims to include all the children in a quality tuition process, noting that Romania’s outcome at the latest PISA tests have improved.

She added that the analysis launched on Wednesday could offer the means to the authorities to develop the education system, since Romania is ready to draft a new education law. Hopefully, she said, the recommendations in this survey and the future Action Plan will support this approach.

In his turn, Andreas Schleicher, director with the OECD’s Education and Skills Directorate, talked about the the economic costs of the educational gaps, and the methods which the system could evolve through.

He talked about the evolution of the Romanian education system, and the education’s gaps, saying that Romania is one of the few examples in Europe that has proven improvement.

Denis Crowley, Head of Unit – Country Analysis with the European Commission, talked about the shortages in the Romanian education system, stressing that as seen from Brussels, as compared to other member states, Romania is a country that is confronted with significant challenges and one of these is the GDP allocation to the Education budget – the smallest in the European Union. He added that Romania has a high early school dropout rate, weak results at the PISA tests and inequity – inequity between the rural and the urban, between the poor and the wealthy, between Roma and non-Roma communities.

However, Crowley talked about Romania’s progress in education, too, noting in this respect the effort of restructuring the education system.

 

PM Grindeanu: Romania can advance if all children get an education, complete at least mandatory formal education

 

Romania can only progress if all its children have access to education and completes at least mandatory formal education, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said Wednesday in a message to a ceremony releasing a report on assessments and examinations in Romania’s education system.

Reading out the message at the event hosted by the Government House in Bucharest was Education Minister Pavel Nastase.

“As a country, we can only make headways when all children have access to quality education and complete at least mandatory formal education, so that we may have well-educated young people possessing skills that will meet the market demands and more. (…) Besides the exceptional pupils and students, we must provide all children – particularly those in the countryside and marginalised communities, of Romany families and children with disabilities – a chance to complete at least the mandatory formal education years so that they may develop their basic skills to become independent adults,” Grindeanu said in his message.

In order to achieve this goal, said Grindeanu, motivated, well-trained teaching staff are needed to put into practice new teaching, learning and assessment methods.

He also said that over the past decades, the Romanian education system has reported significant progress, consolidating its organisations and improving student results.

“But, in the public space, we are talking exclusively about the exceptional results of Olympiad students or the poor results of national examinations or tenure examinations for the teaching staff,” said Grindeanu.

He also said that everybody is worried about assessment. “I am hailing from a family of professors, and I have taught myself. From my experience I can say that when it comes to assessing everybody, students and parents, teaching staff and directors alike are worried,” added Grindeanu.

According to him, the report on assessments and examinations in Romania’s education system sets to change the paradigm.

“It takes the efforts of each of us and the entire society to improve the assessment of students, teachers, schools and the education system, so that all of Romania’s children may get inclusive, quality formal education and may enjoy a wonderful life while Romania is progressing,” Grindeanu said in his message.

He added that the report includes recommendations based on which the Education Ministry may develop a national action plan.

“We need a long-term educational strategy, concrete and quantifiable objectives, monitoring and assessment mechanisms so that we may adjust our public policies to the benefit of all students, and particularly of the most vulnerable of them,” said Grindeanu.

The report was released by the Education Ministry in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UNICEF.

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