Over 42% of Romanian pupils are hard up against functional literacy

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Over 42% of the Romanian children aged 15 face difficulties on functional literacy, according to statistics released during conference in Cluj organized by the Presidential Administration in partnership with the Political Sciences Faculty within the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj.

The “Educated Romania” conference reveals that the first EU High Level Group of Experts on Literacy has been released in September 2012, comprising five chapters on the functional literacy level in Europe and recommendations to curb it.

The report, along with the current European statistics say that the Romanian education system has serious problems on the functional and multiple literacy, with the Romanian pupils ranking 49th out in 65 on PISA test in 2009, at reading and understanding sections. Romania ranked 47th on mathematics and sciences. Only Albania is behind Romania in Europe.

The Academic Group report shows that 40.4% of the Romanian pupils are below level 2 (adequate to PISA evaluation), which practically means they are not capable of understanding the easiest tasks at the national exams. Therefore, these youngsters will be able to accede only jobs that ask for a minimum level of education. The Education and Research Department of the Presidential Administration informed that over 42% of them was reported in 2016.

Literacy comprises a set of skills (usually listed as phonics, decoding, fluency, vocabulary knowledge, and comprehension) and a set of practices (employing all of these skills to accomplish tasks with text).

A person is functional literate if he/she is able to read a text, to understand it, to make connections with what he/she knew before reading the text, to make a stance on what he/she has read, to express his/her point of view verbally or in writing and to apply the information in real life. Studies have shown that a low level of these skills leads to a poor economic growth.

The EU member states set as target to cut the number of the 15-year-old pupils facing difficulties on functional literacy to less than 15% by 2020. At present, the European average is 20 %.

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