Presidency’s “Educated Romania” project released. War ‘waged’ against dropout, functional illiteracy

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The “Educated Romania” report was published by the Presidential Administration, before the government sitting chaired by President Klaus Iohannis and in which the presidential project will be assumed by the executive.

The project proposes several changes in the education system, among the most important being the possibility for high schools to introduce an entrance exam that will be taken before the National Assessment, a unique Baccalaureate exam based on minimum skills (similar to PISA tests), the possibility for students to passes from a vocational high school to a theoretical or vocational one, based on an exam.

Another change concerns the annual assessments in primary classes, more precisely they are no longer foreseen. Even the unique theses from high school no longer appear in the school curriculum.

According to the “Educated Romania” report, ten goals are set for the education system: Quality education for all; Individualized education – diversity; Autonomy and critical thinking; Responsibility and integrity are key values ​​assumed and exercised; The teacher model in student training is the most powerful pedagogical tool; Sufficient resources are allocated to education in a transparent and efficient manner; Safe and healthy schools; The Romanian education system is attractive and capitalizes on opportunities for international collaboration; Educational management is professional and based on responsibility; Collaboration and stability for a resilient education system.

The document proposes several changes in the education system, the main change concerns high school, where there will be three routes – theoretical, professional and vocational – with the same duration (4 years), their graduates can enter the baccalaureate exam directly, and transfer / transitions possible between them can be done annually, based on an examination. At the level of vocational high schools, the authorities hope for a close collaboration with the private environment, for a better inclusion on the labor market of students finishing a vocational or technological high school.

The horizon for implementing the measures proposed in the “Educated Romania” project is 2030.

Targets from the project

  • Increase funding for education to reach a minimum percentage of public spending, correlated with the average education allowance in EU Member States;
  • Decreasing the early school dropout rate, to a level of no more than 10%;
  • Reducing by at least 50% the present rate of functional illiteracy, so that, by 2030, it will reach a maximum of 20%;
  • By 2030, all teachers should have basic digital skills (including digital literacy) and at least 85% of 8th graders should have basic digital skills;
  • By 2030, at least 40% of young people aged between 30 and 34 will be graduates of higher education;
  • By 2030, 30% of children up to 3 years of age participate in preschool education;
  • By 2030, 2,500 energy-efficient nurseries will be built nationwide;
  • By 2025, a national curriculum will be developed for all levels of early education;
  • By 2030, at most 20% of 15-year-olds will still have low reading, math and science skills according to the PISA test methodology (currently, we have 41% reading, 47% math and 44% science).

President Iohannis: We cannot continue with such high dropout rates and functional illiteracy

Attending the government sitting he chairs on Wednesday, President Klaus Iohannis said that “Educated Romania” is a project with democratic legitimacy, based on the largest national consultation on education in the past 30 years, since the anti-communist Revolution.

“We have all the prerequisites to prioritize investments in education and to create the right framework for the reforms that Romanian education needs so much. The “Educated Romania” project already has significant financial support through PNRR, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, worth 3.6 billion euros.”

 “A fully developed country with a consolidated democracy has an educated and well-informed population. We cannot continue with such high dropout rates, with the functional and scientific illiteracy. In the face of these problems, “Educated Romania” proposes concrete solutions, objectives, measures and ambitious but realistic targets,” President Iohannis added.

The Romanian head of state also pointed out that the “Educated Romania” project is very close to his soul. “I think it is both a historic opportunity and a great responsibility for the current political class to generate long-term change, not just to solve the specific problems of a single electoral cycle.”

In Iohannis’ view, the role of education is mahor within the society.

“The only train to a better future is education. Only in this way can we provide children and young people in Romania with the chance to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by a modern economy and a democratic society.Romania is facing a sharp demographic decline. We do not have time to waste the potential of our young people. We do not allow ourselves to prepare them with tools from the past for the needs of the future. We are not allowed to leave any children behind! We must act now!”

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