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In Romania, the new education bills are to be discussed this week within ministries
Submitted for public review a few days ago, the new legislative package on education includes the under-graduate education bill and the higher education bill, both officially endorsed by the government. The main declared goals are to improve the quality of public education and reduce functional illiteracy.
The under-graduate education bill provides for compulsory nation-wide evaluations in language and communication and in maths and science at the end of the second, fourth and sixth grade. High schools will be able to organise admission tests for maximum 60% of the number of places available, after students have graduated the compulsory national evaluation.
As for the high school graduation exam, for humanities students it will include a written test in maths, physics, chemistry or biology, while science students will also have to prove that they have acquired basic skills in psychology, sociology, logics, economics or philosophy.
The higher education bill increases the Ph.D. studies period from three to four years, with post-grad students allowed to conduct paid teaching activities.
The line minister, Ligia Deca, told Radio Romania about the most important changes:
Ligia Deca: "In principle, there are reforms aimed at improving the quality of public education and at reducing functional illiteracy. This includes increasing the performance of teaching staff and improving the outlook on and support for the teaching career, with a substantial increase of salaries and more respect for teachers in society. Basically, the entire salary scheme in public education will start from the average national wage level, so any entry-level teacher will have this perspective of a decent salary. We will also improve the quality of teachers' training, by introducing a teaching MA programme, 80% of which will consist of practical activities under the guidance of a mentor, at various education levels and in various environments, so that we may have entry-level teachers who are well trained and prepared for the challenges they will be facing in the classroom. There will be an entire series of national programmes, one of which will seek to reduce drop-out rates, by means of providing school supplies, covering commuting costs, healthy meals for over one million children. Support will also be given in the form of remedial classes, in order to cover the schooling gaps that unfortunately the pandemic years left among our children."
As Ligia Deca also said, a national programme to reduce functional illiteracy will also be in place. By means of the educational portfolio and annual testing, this programme seeks to ensure that children no longer leave school with inadequate literacy skill levels at the PISA test taken at the age of 15. (AMP)
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