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How many books do Romanian students have at home? One of five students has less than 10 and one in 21, more than 500

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During the PISA evaluations run throughout the last 10 years, a series of data describing the participants in these tests have been gathered. There are data used to compare the participating countries regarding various indicators. One of these indicators is the one regarding the number of books owned by a 15-year old student and Romania ranks pretty poor in this chapter by comparison to other countries. Furthermore, the data show that the situation turned bad instead of good since 2000 to 2009.

Thus, 60.6% of the students owned less than 100 books in 2000, whereas the proportion of the students owning between 250 and 500 books was 11.4%. By comparison, these proportions reached 52.8% and, respectively, 13% in France, 50% and, respectively, 15% in Germany, 43% and, respectively, 16.3% in Bulgaria and 36.7% and, respectively, 20% in Hungary.

In 2006, the proportion of Romanian students owning less than 100 books increased to 68% and to 71.6% in 2009 and Romania currently ranks among the first in the EU with this percentage.

In what the proportion of students owning more than 500 books is concerned, it dropped from 6% in 2006 to 4.7% in 2009 and only Slovakia posted a lower percentage two years ago: 4.6%. The proportion draws near to 10% in Germany, Spain and Estonia, reaches 14.6% in Hungary and surpasses 15% in Luxemburg.

The continuous decrease in the number of books owned by a student during the past few years is not a phenomenon specific to Romania alone, although the decrease is more dramatic with us. For instance, in France, the proportion of students owning less than 100 books increased from 52.8% in 2000 to 61.3% in 2009, from 50% to 54% in Germany and from 36.7% to 48% in Hungary and the list could go on.

Some ideas in the end

1. Tens of millions of books were sold every year in the ’70s and the ‘80s, but the market has dropped constantly since the Revolution and this evolution could not have avoided statistics. An even more disastrous situation is expected to be reported with the next PISA evaluation in 2012.
2. The Internet access determines some of the readers to turn to electronic reading of books, although this experience is not as far as good as holding a book.
3. The interest for culture has been continuously decreasing during the past 20 years and there is not much hope for mending this. Furthermore, there are extremely a lot more alternatives for spending spare time and this time becomes shorter and shorter, thus the students of today, the parents of tomorrow, have less and less reasons to buy books.
4. Of course, there’s one thing to have books in your own home and a totally different one to read them, but the many books that you have, the bigger are the chances to at least thumb through a book.

26.06.2011

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