MP Florica Chereches of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL), deputy chair of the Chamber of Deputies' Education Committee, said on Friday that three in five Romanian children who started school 12 years ago did not complete their high school education by getting a Baccalaureate diploma."If we relate to the number of first-grade students of 12 years ago, namely 230,000 in 2007, Baccalaureate graduates account for 37.27 percent of that generation of children. In other words, three in five children who started school 12 years ago (62.7 percent) did not complete high school by passing the Baccalaureate exams. This is the sad result of a constantly changing system, unable to adapt to the needs of society, incapable of motivating children , who over the last 12 years has had not less than 17 ministers of education," Chereches told a news conference in Oradea.
She reviewed the situation in the Romanian education system after the National Evaluation and Baccalaureate examinations, revealing that at this year's end 76,154 young people aged 15-19 did not take or did not pass either examination.
"Specifically, 29,282 eighth-grade graduates did not show up for the evaluation; there are almost 30,000 students about whom we know nothing and 46,872 high school graduates who did not take or did not pass the Baccalaureate exam," she said.
The MP underscored that this year's results at both the National Evaluation and the Baccalaureate are the worst in five years.
"Only 89,215 students succeeded in passing the 2019 Baccalaureate, which is 69.1 percent of those who took it. The percentage of those who registered for the exam was 63.78 percent, the lowest percentage in five years. The ministry calculates the success rate by reference to the number of examinees, so it is possible for this percentage to slightly from the official figure," she said.
Chereches mentioned the need for a "real reform in the education system that will bring it in line with the demands of the labour market and bring every child at their best capabilities."
In this respect, the PNL has put forth a series of legislative proposals, including an increase in the number of school counselors for career guidance in secondary school, an adapted school curriculum, entrance to high school only on an average of 5 at the National Evaluation, connecting the Student Registration Number Registry to the Single Student Registration Number Registry and to REVISAL to follow the educational development of young people in order to take measures based on concrete data analysis.
PNL also suggests free accommodation and meals for boarding rural students enrolled in vocational education, intensive promotion of vocational education to increase its reputation, generalising the After-School programme (vouchers worth 400 lei per child) and generalising the "Meal in School" programme, under which each student receives a warm meal or a diversified food package worth 10 lei per day.
PNL also recommends taking measures to introduce master's degrees in teacher education, continuous training of the teaching staff, as well as tax incentives for business operators that are partners in dual education.