In the middle of the summer vacation, the Ministry of Education…

There could be no worse time to discuss the future of education. Just when teachers, pupils and students are on summer vacation, and parents don’t even want to hear about the school anymore, the Ministry of Education has submitted for consultation two draft standard laws that should replace the current 11-year-old National Education Law.

Behor It presents the two laws, the novelties they propose and the controversies they have raised.

fix delayed

The project that President Klaus Iohannis promised in 2016, “Educating Romania”, is only now being implemented. On July 14, the Ministry of Education published two draft laws, one for pre-university education and the other for university education, to replace the current National Education Law 1/2011.

Minister Soren Combino stated: “The whole structure of the system will be changed. These laws do not make the system cosmetic, but in fact they are reform.” (Photo). After public consultation, the laws will be adopted by the government, and in the fall they will be discussed in Parliament. Therefore, they will apply from the next academic and academic year as soon as possible, and some provisions even later.

Students who have bags

Spread over 150 pages, the Pre-University Education Act expects changes at all levels. Small group kindergarten (children aged 3 years old) will be part of compulsory education, but only from 2030.

The new law emphasizes the development of children and stipulates that students have a personal educational portfolio, which will include not only the electronic catalog, but also the assessments made by the teaching staff, from the middle group in kindergarten, and then at the end of the preparatory class and first grade (when the teacher prepares A report on the physical, social, emotional, cognitive development, etc., of each student).

Then, students will take written assessments at the end of second, fourth, and sixth grade, which will track their progress. Also, at the end of the eighth grade, the principals and the school counselor will have to issue a recommendation, to each student, based on at least one specific assessment, regarding which studies to pursue.

The law provides more elective hours for students: 2-4 hours per week in elementary school, 3-5 in the gymnasium and 6-8 in high school (currently their number has been halved).

Regarding students with disabilities, the new law states that their education will be based on the severity of the conditions. There will be 5 levels of special education, and depending on the place, the child will be able to learn on his own in regular schools, with the help of specialists or exclusively in private schools. The law also established a “hospital school”, a program that ensured students were educated in a hospital for more than 4 weeks.

Read the Pre-University Education Bill below:

elective exams

Averages from middle school years for high school admissions will not be counted. Alternatively, schools with National College status will be able to organize their own admission competitions, in at most 90% of available places (teams must be left available for computerized distribution). This ruling was criticized by the former Minister of Education, Myron Miklia, who said that the college examination would encourage meditation exclusively with their teachers and would result in students not even participating in the national assessment (with that possibility), with the result that they would not know the level of training of their generation.

The baccalaureate exam will also be configured differently: high school graduates will take a written exam for general culture, in which their knowledge of Romanian, mathematics, science, history, geography of Romania, social sciences and humanities, and two foreign oral language exams will be tested. Languages, digital skills assessment test, a written test in the mother tongue (only for those who have studied in minority language classes) and a profile-specific written test. However, the latter would be optional, and young people would take the bac without it, so it seems hard to believe they would flock to support it.

New specialties

The new law maintains the remedial programs established during the pandemic and introduces two new topics: “Education for Life” (which will be taught in all courses and will include elements of legal, environmental and financial education) and “Jewish history. The Holocaust” (a high school discipline).

The project states that framework plans (“architecture” for the subjects of each academic year) will be drawn up later, by order of the Minister, but will necessarily have to provide students with 8 competencies: Literacy, Multilingualism, Mathematics, Science, Technology and Engineering, Digital Skills, Social Skills and Learning Learning, awareness and civic, entrepreneurial and cultural expression.

Vocational schools will not escape reform: they will become vocational high schools, which will have exclusively these disciplines, not vocational or technology. Due to the reduced interest of young people in professions, it is possible that many dual or vocational classes, which exist today in secondary schools or technical colleges, may disappear.

For teachers, the new law mandates the obligation to follow digital literacy programs and provides for a one-year training, at the end of which they will undergo a licensing exam in the teaching profession and only then a term exam. The bravery of a young college graduate…

The law also stipulates that school inspectorates would become district directorates, and that children’s palaces would be subordinate to local authorities, with staff who would be civil servants, not faculty.

Death of CNATDCU

The law on university education foresees, among the novelties, the re-establishment of short-term higher education (the student receives a diploma of graduation, but also credits that he can later equate to college) and the emergence of dual education (a form of higher education that includes a partnership between the university and the economic environment, but It does not produce “graduates”, but rather superior craftsmen than graduates of vocational high schools).

What has already generated much controversy is the annihilation of the National Council for the Certification of Undergraduate Titles, Diplomas, and Certificates (CNATDCU), the forum that checks for doctoral plagiarism reports. The project states that all diplomas will be issued by universities and will also be responsible for withdrawing titles (by opening lawsuits in courts). Decisions they make can be appealed to the newly established National Ethics Committee for University Degrees (CNETU).

Some CNATDCU members have accused that the cancellation of this forum will hinder the investigation into Prime Minister Nikolai Seiuchi’s theft, but the law states that referrals already analyzed by the CNATDCU are on track. In any case, the theft of the Prime Minister was actually prevented by a Bucharest Court of Appeal judge, Marius Joseph, who canceled the referrals and then requested his immediate retirement.

However, the project contains another controversial provision, from an academic integrity perspective: it enshrines the holder’s right to relinquish the title of Doctor! At the request of the doctor, the university will be asked to open the address cancellation process. Therefore, any crook who is caught at a certain moment with a fly on his hat will be able to save himself!

Read the university education bill below:

Trade in letters and misdemeanours

The law also states that no matter how undergraduate courses are held, exams will take place face to face, doctoral studies span 3 to 4 years and each university has the opportunity to decide for itself how many states your rector can have, noting that these cannot be “un limited”. Meanwhile, the term of office will increase from 4 to 5 years.

Another novelty for students is that they will be able to obtain a double major after one study program, and universities have the possibility to organize such programs. All students must take ethics courses, and for the first time there is an article in law related to trade in scientific works, which will be punished with fines of 5,000 to 50,000 lei.

Both projects can be read on the website www.edu.roAnd the In the section “Education in Romania”, category “Public counseling”, proposals can be sent until August 24 to the email address Consultare.legieducatie@edu.gov.ro. It is difficult to determine whether it will be taken into account …


With your mind on vacation

Discussion without an audience

Konstantin Bongo, Dean of Oradea UniversityA week after publication, the two draft laws had not been consulted by local education authorities. When asked what he thought of it, Horia Abrudan, chief of the Bihor County School Inspectorate, admitted that he had not yet read the entire document, and promised that he would soon.

Dean of Oradea University, Konstantin Bongo (Photo), he also admitted that he had not read the drafts, but only the summary of the news sent by Minister Cîmpeanu and the press articles. “There are elements that give universities greater autonomy and flexibility, bringing them to the level of 2022.” The Rector especially appreciates the fact that universities will be able to issue diplomas and regulations regarding dual majors and those related to dual higher education.

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