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Romania:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

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Overview Romania

Contents

Romania:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Romania:Historical Development

Romania:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Romania:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Romania:Political and Economic Situation

Romania:Organisation and Governance

Romania:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Romania:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Romania:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Romania:Organisation of Private Education

Romania:National Qualifications Framework

Romania:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Romania:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Romania:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Romania:Funding in Education

Romania:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Romania:Higher Education Funding

Romania:Adult Education and Training Funding

Romania:Early Childhood Education and Care

Romania:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Romania:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Romania:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Romania:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Romania:Primary Education

Romania:Organisation of Primary Education

Romania:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Romania:Assessment in Primary Education

Romania:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Romania:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Romania:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Romania:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Romania:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Romania:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Romania:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Romania:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Romania:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Romania:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Romania:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Romania:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Romania:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Romania:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Romania:Higher Education

Romania:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Romania:First Cycle Programmes

Romania:Bachelor

Romania:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Romania:Second Cycle Programmes

Romania:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Romania:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Romania:Adult Education and Training

Romania:Distribution of Responsibilities

Romania:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Romania:Main Providers

Romania:Main Types of Provision

Romania:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Romania:Teachers and Education Staff

Romania:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Romania:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Romania:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Romania:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Romania:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Romania:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Romania:Management and Other Education Staff

Romania:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Romania:Management Staff for Higher Education

Romania:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Romania:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Romania:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Romania:Quality Assurance

Romania:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Romania:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Romania:Educational Support and Guidance

Romania:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Romania:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Romania:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Romania:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Romania:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Romania:Mobility and Internationalisation

Romania:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Mobility in Higher Education

Romania:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Romania:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Romania:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Romania:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Romania:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Romania:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Romania:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Romania:National Reforms in School Education

Romania:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Romania:National Reforms in Higher Education

Romania:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Romania:European Perspective

Romania:Legislation

Romania:Institutions

Romania:Bibliography

Romania:Glossary


Lower secondary education is part of the compulsory education and gives all pupils equal opportunities in continuing their education in the subsequent education levels.

Lower secondary education is organised in two successive cycles (both compulsory):

  • Gimnaziu – grades V to VIII for pupils aged 10-14;
  • Liceu – second phase of general or specialised lower secondary level or alternatively, Şcoala de Arte şi Meserii (Arts and Trades School) – grades IX and X for pupils aged 14-16.

In order to continue their education (still within the compulsory sequence), graduates of gimnaziu are distributed among two alternative educational routes – according to their options and a selection and repartition procedure established by the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports. The criterion used so far in this selection and repartition procedure is the admission average mark. The two alternative educational routes available for graduates of gimnaziu (grades V to VIII) to complete their compulsory education are as follows:

  • Liceu – ciclul inferior: lower secondary level, further divided into the following branches of study: theoretical, TVET, and specific education and training;
  • Şcoala de arte şi meserii (Arts and trades school) providing vocational education and training for level 1 of vocational qualification.

Graduates of liceu - lower cycle receive a graduation certificate (Certificat de absolvire) stating that they accomplished compulsory education, a personal portfolio for further education and, upon request, the registration paper (Foaia matricolă) listing all the subjects and marks. Graduates of the arts and trades school receive the same graduation papers and, supplementary, if passing the vocational competences certification exam organised at the end of the studies they receive a level 1 Vocational qualification certificate.

The general legal framework for organising and functioning of pre-university education, including secondary education, is established within the Education Law (Law 84/1995, republished, subsequently modified and completed).

The specific organisational framework for the entire activity of pre-university education institutions is set by the Regulation for Organisation and Functioning of Pre-University Education Institutions (Order of the Minister of Education 4925/2005). Specific Orders of the Minister of Education, Research, Youth and Sports establish the curricula, syllabi and textbooks, the evaluation and assessment system, the structure of the school year, organisation of the second chance education, etc.

Types of Institution

The education in gimnaziu can be organised in various types of educational institutions, but most frequently is organised altogether primary education in schools covering grades I to VIII in General school (şcoala generală). Mostly in urban areas can also be encountered schools offering both primary and all secondary education (grades I to XII/XIII) or only secondary education (grades V to XII/XIII). In most of the counties there is also organised arts and sports education for the pupils with special abilities in these particular fields and usually the programme starts in primary education. The educational institutions which provide this type of education can have supplementary programme or integrated programme, approved by the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports, based on a proposal of the School Inspectorates.

Liceu – lower cycle is the educational institution that offers  to all graduates of gimnaziu with certificate for graduation the possibility to specialise in various domains and to prepare for the labour market and/or to continue their studies in the subsequent education levels. High school education is organised in three branches of study:

  • The General branch of study providing two educational profiles: humanities and sciences;
  • The technological education and training (TVET) branch of study providing three educational profiles: technical, services, and exploitation of the natural resources and protection of the environment;
  • The vocational education providing five educational profiles: military, public security, theological, sports, arts and pedagogical.

The general branch of study is usually organised in theoretical high schools and is mainly meant to ensure preparation for higher education. The TVET branch of study is organised in technological high schools with one or more profiles and several specialisations – offering for the compulsory education graduates the possibility to both attain a 3 level qualification and to prepare for higher or post-secondary education. In most cases, pupils following the specific education and training branch of study (military, public security, theological, sports, arts and pedagogical educational profiles) carry on their studies in the same school, profile and specialisation in order to attain a vocational qualification and to continue their studies in post-secondary education (tertiary and/or non-tertiary). Military and theological education is provided in separate educational institutions – military high schools and theological high schools. Arts and sports specific education and training are usually organised in educational institutions covering both primary and secondary education levels as pre-specialisation within these educational routes begins from primary education or grade V. The pedagogical profile is meant to ensure initial training for pre-primary and primary education teachers as well as training for certain occupations (librarian-documentarist, animator, instructor for after school activities and school pedagogue) and is organised in pedagogical high schools. Pedagogical high schools are usually organised along with primary and lower secondary education levels.

Arts and Trades School (Şcoala de Arte şi Meserii) offers during the 2 years of study education and initial vocational training. The most common type of institutions providing T/VET is cluster schools which organize TVET high schools, VET schools and in some cases post-secondary education institutions.

Geographical Accessibility

In general, the territorial distribution of schools providing education for gimnaziu (Şcoli generale) meets the population needs. In urban areas most residential districts have at least one public school providing education for grades V to VIII, many of them in the neighbourhood of pupils’ homes. In the rural area the schools network is well developed, in all communes and in many villages existing at least one school providing education for grades V to VIII. In some cases, due to the geographical distances between pupils’ houses and the schools are long. The Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports provides transportation means mostly for pupils that are attending gimnaziu in zone-center schools - local public administration authorities (commune) covering for the transportation costs. In addition to the central-level measures, it has been reported that local public administration authorities, in some cases with the support of individuals, NGOs, charity foundations, etc., are currently ensuring in some rural areas school transportation.

The majority of the high schools and cluster schools are located in the urban areas, close to enterprises – except for a small number of TVET high schools and cluster schools that function in rural areas, with classes mostly in the educational profile natural resources exploitation and protection of the environment. Some of the TVET high schools and cluster schools, as well as part of the theoretical and specific education and training high schools are organised as boarding schools – providing meals and accommodation for the pupils.

In order to improve access to education for everyone, the Education Law  stipulates that pupils benefit throughout the entire year of 50% reduction of the cost for internal public transportation (except air-travel). Due to this facility and depending on the concrete local conditions (distance, existing means of transportation, daily timetable, etc.) in a rather important number of cases pupils choose daily commuting between school and their homes instead of boarding.

Regarding VET, a significant number of  Arts and trades schools function in the rural areas – mostly along the zone-center schools.In each development region, the high schools network has developed according to the local (commune, town) requirements of the labour market. The social and economic reform in the development regions led to the necessity of restructuring the high schools/cluster schools network in order to better respond to the requirements of a changing society and economy, as well as to the strategic objectives of the regional development policy. Educational authorities have taken measures both to merge high schools and VET schools with similar profiles and specialisations and to better adapt the educational offer to the local and regional requirements.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

The enrolment quotas for all education levels in public education are established yearly through Government Decision, based on the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports proposition. According to the Education Law (Law 84/1995, republished, subsequently modified and completed), the Ministry’s proposition is preceded by a multi-step fundamentation-consultation-projection process involving: local public authorities, County School Inspectorates, the Local Development Committees for Social Partnership in VET, teachers’ unions, and other players. In each county the exact allocation of placements in public schools is established through Ministerial Order, according to the provisions of the Government Decision which reflects the conclusions of the consultation process.

The admission requirements are established by education level as follows:

  • In Gimnaziu (grades V to VIII; general education) are admitted all pupils that have completed primary education (grades I to IV);
  • In  Şcoala de arte şi meserii (Arts and trades school) (grades IX to X) are admitted graduates of gimnaziu, based on a selection and repartition procedure established by the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports;
  • In Liceu – lower cycle of high school (grades IX to X) are admitted graduates of gimnaziu, based on a selection and repartition procedure established by the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports.

Transition from primary to gimnaziu education is conditioned by the completion of the first four grades only. In some cases, schools include in their profile fifth grade classes with intensive study of a modern language. It happens in these situations that schools organise entrance examinations for the fourth grade graduates, as well as the evaluation of the communication competences in Romanian and in the respective modern language as well as basic competences in mathematics. This situation also occurs in some cases where certain schools – known for high performances – face a higher demand than their actual offer. The enrolment quota approved every year for the fifth grade is overall at least at the level of the number of the fourth grade graduates in each locality or in neighbouring localities in the rural areas.

Graduates of gimnaziu can continue their education for completion of compulsory education in the second phase of lower secondary education according to their options and following a selection and repartition procedure. The selection criterion used for this procedure is the 'admission average mark'. All graduates of gimnaziu expressed their choice of school based on the educational offer provided by the County School Inspectorates. The candidate’s options are expressed through unique registration forms elaborated and provided by the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports. All candidates’ options and all available places were then recorded by the County School Inspectorates in the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports admission database. Candidates are distributed on the available places according to their options and in the descending order of their admission average mark. Graduates of gimnaziu can choose a school between the following two alternative educational routes:

  • Liceu - lower cycle (grades IX and X; first stage of high school education) – organised in three branches of study: theoretical, technological education and training (TVET), and specific education and training (military, public security, theological, sports, arts and pedagogical);
  • Şcoala de arte şi meserii (Arts and trades school) (two years of study leading to a level 1 vocational qualification) – the new type of VET institution replacing the Apprenticeship school and şcoala profesională (Vocational school).

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils

During secondary education a different teacher teaches each subject of the curriculum. According to the principle of continuity, usually the same teacher works with a given class throughout all the grades during which the respective subject is studied within a given education level. Class composition is established by the school’s administration council according to the following general criteria:

  • During gimnaziu (grades V to VIII) class composition is mainly determined by the foreign languages studied by the pupils;
  • During şcoala de arte şi meserii (Arts and trades school), in the lower and upper cycle of Liceu the Completion year and post-secondary non-tertiary education, the class composition depends on the branches of study, educational profile and specialisation, and furthermore on the foreign languages studied.

The classes are in general homogenous regarding the age of the pupils.

The grades structure in secondary education and the indicative age levels are as follows (day classes):

  • Gimnaziu is organised for pupils aged 10-14 and includes grades from V to VIII;
  • Şcoala de arte şi meserii (Arts and trades school), is organised for pupils aged 14-16 and includes grades IX to X;
  • Liceu – lower cycle is organised for pupils aged 14-16 and includes grades IX to X.

The number of pupils per class depends on the education level and is established by the Education Law (Law 84/1995, republished, subsequently modified and completed):

  • Gimnaziu (grades V to VIII) – in average 25 pupils per class, but no less than 10 and no more than 30;
  • Şcoala de arte şi meserii (Arts and trades school), Liceu – lower cycle – in average 25 pupils per class, but no less than 15 and no more than 30.

The Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports can approve classes below the minimum or over the maximum number of pupils per class – according to the specific conditions (isolated areas, classes with tuition in the languages of the national minorities, etc.). Within pre-university education pupils can transfer between different schools and educational profiles, routes etc. according to the specific rules established by the Regulation for Organisation and Functioning of Pre-University Education Institutions (Ministerial Order 4925/2005).

Pupils with exceptional aptitudes and performances can pass 2 grades in one school year, according to a procedure approved by an Order of the Minister.

Mainly after gimnaziu education certain subjects can be taught in smaller groups (usually no less than 10 pupils): foreign languages (intensive study and bilingual classes), ICT practical activities (mathematics-informatics with informatics intensive study), arts and sports (specific educational routes), optional subjects (part of the school-based curriculum), practical training (certain specialisations in T/VET), etc.

Organisation of School Year

Organisation of the school year for secondary education is decided yearly by the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports. The structure of the school year takes several aspects into consideration: a balanced distribution of the school-days and holidays, the specificity of the climate in Romania and the respect for the religious beliefs of the population. The National Curriculum is established by the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports and specifies for each pre-university education level and grade: the total minimum and maximum number of classes per week; the minimum and maximum number of classes per week for each subject within the common core curriculum; the minimum and maximum number of classes per week dedicated to optional subjects/activities.

Within the framework set by the structure of the school year and the National Curriculum, each pre-university education institution has the full responsibility to establish the weekly and daily timetables for each grade.

The school year in Romania for secondary education comprises two semesters, three holidays during the school year and a summer holiday.

According to the Ministerial Order and as provided by the in-force legislation, schools can request County School Inspectorates amendments of the school year calendar due to objective reasons: special weather conditions, specificity of the area (agricultural activities), natural calamities, schools with the majority of the pupils of other beliefs than the Orthodox one, etc. The County School Inspectorates can approve such requests subject to the condition that all pupils attend the total number of school-weeks and corresponding school-days as established by the Ministerial Order.

Organisation of School Day and Week

The weekly (5-day week system) and daily timetables for secondary education are established by the administration council of the schools subsequent consultations with the teachers and the parents/the pupils.

Secondary education is usually organised in the morning, (5-day week system). Lessons are 50 minutes long and are followed by 10 minutes breaks. Most schools organise a 20 minutes break after the third lesson. In schools functioning in double shifts due to insufficient schooling capacity, certain classes start their programme from 12, 1 or 2 pm. Due to the fact that a given class studies either in the morning or in the afternoon, usually there is no lunch break specifically set in the daily timetables of the schools. The only exception to this situation is where schools organise at their own initiative after-school programmes for the pupils.

As a general rule, all compulsory education is organised in day-classes. However, for individuals exceeding with more than 2 years the normal age of the grade, education within the compulsory sequence can be provided in other forms – evening classes, part-time education, distance learning – according to the rules established by the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports.

Evening classes can be organised by the County School Inspectorates for the secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education – according to the existing resources and local demand. In this type of programme the number of classes per week is reduced (24-25) and the number of years of study is increased by one.Schools can organise daily after-school activities for the pupils in cooperation with the parents, the local public administration authorities and other partners. During these activities pupils are supervised by the school’s teachers (usually the same teachers that work with the classes). The after-school activities can include supervised study, preparation of the homework, cultural and leisure activities, sports, etc. The necessary costs are mainly covered by the parents, but financial support can also be provided by local public administration authorities, NGOs, individuals, etc.