“I will change the current structure quite a bit.”

“The examination of the Romanian language and literature should remain a serious and separate test for everyone. It is a great crisis, in whatever field you are active in this country, at any level, from the maximum level to the minimum level, the way of expression and the absence of culture, mean minimal culture, is troubling ’,” says Andrea Bodia, Director of the National College El Caragial of Bucharest.

His view is shared by other principals from the country’s notorious high schools.

“The Romanian language should be an independent subject, and every citizen of this country should have a basis of culture and expression in the Romanian language, and not be mixed with other subjects,” said the director of the Mircea Sel Patran College of Constanta, Vasili Nkoara.

He is a member of the Leadership of the Alliance of Centenary Colleges (ACC), which includes a large portion of the most prestigious high schools in the country, which have more than a century of history.

The coalition is also preparing a set of proposals to improve education laws, and it will also address the baccalaureate topic, says the professor.

What does the new BAC propose?

The new education bill for pre-university education fundamentally changes the way the National Baccalaureate exam is organized.

The new format of BAC will be implemented from 2027, so for the generation starting Grade 9 in the 2023-2024 school year.

Thus, for students studying in Romanian, there will be only one mandatory written test, which will be interdisciplinary.

It will be a “common test for students of all fields, profiles and disciplines (…) that assesses the general skills formed during the high school course in Romanian language, literature, mathematics, science, history and geography in Romania, Europe and social and human sciences”.

If students studying in the language of national minorities will also take a written test in this subject, in the case of those studying in Romanian, the language and literature test will be combined with the rest of the subjects.

The oral exam in the Romanian language is also disappearing. Instead, students will take two tests to assess language skills in two languages ​​of international circulation, compared to only one test – in one foreign language – currently. Digital skills assessment is also maintained.

Students who have obtained at least the sixth grade in Romanian and the mother tongue, where applicable, are declared to have passed at least the independent level in the assessment of digital and language skills.

“Profile must be maintained!”

Another great innovation is that the mandatory profile test and the test of your choice (from the area of ​​specialization) are combined into one test, which, however, becomes optional. Evaluation of this test does not require upgrade.

As in the case of the Romanian language, this proposal raises serious reservations.

Vasili Nikoaro points out that “Proof of the profile must be well standardized”, while other directors are more assertive.

“The mandatory proof of profile should be kept in every profile; perhaps in an industrial high school they ended up not being awarded a bac in the field in which they are preparing,” says National College Director Emil Rakovic of Cluj, Georges Le Bon.

“First of all, the Romanian language and literature should be mandatory for all high school graduates. Then, for a real profile, for example, mathematics should be a mandatory test, but the option you choose is also important.”

“I, for example, would make a very small modification to the existing structure of BAC, perhaps only in industrial high schools, so that the exams better reflect the field of training,” added the principal.

He admits that he is waiting for clarification of the ministerial proposals that almost frightened him of the radical changes that have occurred.

The director of Mircea Sele Patran College says a distinction must be made between the baccalaureate degree from theoretical high schools and those from technological high schools.

“The distinguished baccalaureate is useful, it should work hand in hand with higher education; since there are two different laws, there is a risk of a break between the segments of the education system. It is important to find ways of moving towards different faculties and specializations,” he explained.

Vasile Nicoară also says that there is still an upside to the proposed changes: the fact that history and geography have become somewhat mandatory in skills assessment.

“We ended up not knowing our country anymore, and general culture is measured by many elements related to the social and historical framework, useful and even mandatory for the citizen,” he says.

There are also less conservative voices among managers. Principal of Avram Iancu High School in Cluj, which has also done very well in national examinations, says the introduction of an interdisciplinary exam in BAC is rather promising. Including with regard to pairing the Romanian language with other tests.

“This does not mean that the students will no longer study Romanian, if it is with other subjects. If they want to learn, they will certainly learn in this format as well, if they are interested, responsible and involved,” said the principal.

Tens of thousands of parents wish to maintain the current form of BAC

In a recent online poll by the National Federation of Parents, more than two-thirds of the roughly 65,000 respondents voted to keep the baccalaureate exam in its current format.

Almost 70% of them also stated that they wanted to preserve the differentiation of the samples, according to the profile, according to the current model.

Two-thirds of the more than 60,000 respondents in a survey by the Parents’ Union chose to keep the current BAC format.

Currently, high school graduates are required to take the following exams: an oral exam in the Romanian language and literature and in the mother tongue, written exams in Romanian, the mother tongue, the mandatory profile exam, and the profile and specialty selection exam. They also take tests to assess digital skills and communicate in an international language.

The president of the union, Julian Kristach, told Free Europe that the objections of the parents were justified.

“We don’t understand the role a profile plays anymore, if we gather everyone together and rate them according to the same degree of difficulty. It does not seem natural to me that a student who finished Mate-Info at “Sfântul Sava” has the same subjects as a graduate of a school technological high school, or from a personal profile,” he says.

At the same time, Kristach is upset by the fact that Minister Soren Combino announced, on the one hand, the reintroduction of grammar in high school, and on the other hand, the Romanian language with other tests was included in the new exam. Formula.

He drew attention: “If we still want to emphasize these children’s Romanian skills, all of which are basic, why remove Romanian from BAC and mix it with others, thus reducing its weight in the exam?” he is.

Removing proof of the mandatory profile is equally debatable.

He asked himself, “What would the point of this major be if it was no longer important to the IB, Diploma, and APAs?”

Despite all these objections, Kristach said he is convinced that the ministerial proposals have a basis, and that the union he leads does not have the power to formulate a full set of laws.

However, the union will submit the objections and proposals to the ministry in the middle of the week, hoping that the authorities will allocate at least part of them, and that parents will be an integral part of the education process.

Specialist: “I wonder how long the one-time trial will take? 7-8 hours?”

The introduction of a single, interdisciplinary test at BAC also raises a less-discussed question: the length of time the test will take, draws the attention of Christian Hato, head of the Center for Educational Assessment and Analysis.

This is in circumstances where each test currently lasts for three hours, with many exercises and homework required for a full assessment.

“If there is an exam with questions and exercises from several questions of several topics, then the question arises: how long will the test last? Seven hours and eight hours how much? If he can get at least a break, it seems to me inhuman, ”explained Christian Hato.

He stated that it was difficult for him to understand what the arguments were for the proposed change.

The head of the Center for Educational Assessment and Analysis, Christian Hato, draws attention to the fact that an individual test can reach an unimaginable length.

The head of the Center for Educational Assessment and Analysis, Christian Hato, draws attention to the fact that an individual test can reach an unimaginable length.

“You can tell the student that he has not had a good day, that he is saving himself on another test, another day. And one more thing: why is there a need for a common test, for all profiles, in all streams, while we are still talking about differentiated education? Why? Check me, as a Mate Info graduate, in history, as there is so much to memorize. Or if I finish philology for my math calendar? I don’t even know what math is done there on the 11th and 12th.”

How the Minister of Education is catalysing changes in BAC

Minister Soren Combino, shortly after the publication of drafts of the new education laws in public consultation, announced that the new BAC would emphasize assessment of core skills from the Common Core.

In the individual test, Romanian language, literature and mathematics will have a weight of 40% on the exam, geography and history will be around 20%, and the remaining 40% will consist of physics, chemistry, biology, economics and human social sciences.

“If in the fall of next year we can make new framework plans, where the common basis is 50%, the specialization – 20% and the curriculum in the school decision is extended to 30%, we must judge the baccalaureate from the perspective of the plans – the framework that will be, And not through the lens of those we have today which are 15-20 years old,” said Minister Soren Combino.

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