Romania's Agency for the Funding of Rural Investment (AFIR) has announced it is financing 322 projects for the establishment, modernisation and extension of different types of educational institutions in rural areas, under sub-measure 7.2 "Investment in establishing and upgrading small scale basic infrastructure" in the National Rural Development Programme 2014 - 2020 (PNDR 2020), according to an AFIR press statement.
Of these, 259 projects aim to establish and modernise kindergartens in rural areas - only those outside the premises of rural schools. Their contracted public value is 93 million euros. AFIR says 26 projects have already been conducted of a public value of 7.5 million euros. In the ITI Delta Danube area, 6 projects are being implemented of a public value of 1.6 million euros.
For the establishment and modernisation of nurseries as well as after-school infrastructure (only those outside the premises of rural schools) AFIR has concluded funding contracts for 41 projects of a public value of 15.5 million euros. Three of them, amounting to 1.3 million euros, are already conducted. In the ITI Delta Danube area, two projects are being implemented, for which the beneficiaries have requested non-reimbursable European funds of 639 thousand euros.
For the expansion and modernisation of secondary educational institutions (technological education, natural resources and environmental protection profile, and vocational schools in the agricultural field), AFIR has contracted non-reimbursable European funds worth 9.9 million euros for 22 projects. Two of them, worth 978 thousand euros are already completed. In the ITI Danube Delta area, a project worth 495 thousand euros is being implemented.
Although this type of investment is billed small-scale basic infrastructure, the impact it has on the community is significant. From the point of view of the long-term result of the funding offered by PNDR 2020, the implementation of these types of projects is part of the actions to promote socio-cultural activities, while increasing the prestige of rural localities, according to AFIR.