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Report on education (I): between 2000 and 2009, the number of school-age children dropped by 1.3 million, and the school-age population by 0.4 million

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"The decreasing trend of school-age population recorded in recent years in almost all educational levels was mainly determined by the demographic decline, especially by the diminution of birth rates and the growing of external migration" shows a report recently published by the National Institute of Statistics.

Thus, the school-age population dropped from 6.6 million in 2000 to 5.3 million in 2009, while the school-age population recorded in all levels of education dropped from 4.6 million to 4.2 million, the lower decrease of the school-age population indicating the fact that the enrollment level has increased significantly.

In the school/academic year 2009-2010, compared to 2000-2001, in terms of the distribution by age groups of the school-age population (3-23 years), the lowest share was recorded in the group 3-6 years, its value being less over half the share of the age group 7-14 years. 

Compared with the school year 2000, the structure by age groups of the school-age population has changed in 2009, especially for the group 7-14 years (decreasing by 4.4 percentage points) and for the group 19-23 years (growing by 3.3 percentage points). No major differences by gender are recorded in the school-age population (48.8% girls and 51.2% boys), the female population recording lower values than the male population for all age groups.

In 2009, 52% of the total of the school-age population is found in the urban area, and 48% in rural area. In close correlation with the evolution of school-age population (3-23 years), the school population has the same decreasing trend - in 2009-2010, the school population was less numerous (by 388.4 thousand people, namely 8.5%) compared with the school year 2000-2001, the most significant decreases in school population being recorded in the vocational educational system (by 51.8%) and the primary and secondary educational system (28.7%), and the largest increases were recorded in the higher educational system (45.4%).

In the school/academic year 2009-2010, 4,176.9 thousand children, school and university students were enrolled in the national educational system (representing over three-quarters of the school-age population 78.7%), the structure by gender being almost balanced (50.1% female and 49.9% male). Of the total of the school population included in the educational system, 70.2% studied in the urban area.

At the upper secondary level (high school and vocational education), post-secondary non-tertiary (secondary) and tertiary (academic) low shares of school and university students in the rural area are recorded, because the school population is recorded taking into account the headquarters of the teaching institution. A similar situation is also found in the higher educational system, where the share of students is recorded mostly in the urban area.

The educational system in Romania provides the training of people on different types of education: day classes, evening classes, part time classes and open distance education. In the school/academic year 2009-2010, most school and university students attended the day classes (93.5% - the pre-university education, 72.5% - tertiary education).

One of the most recent types of education in the national educational system – the open distance education – becomes a type of education increasingly attractive, in the higher educational system; the number of students enrolled in the distance education grew in 2009 -2010 of 7.9 times, compared to the year when it was first introduced (1999-2000).

The school enrollment degree for all levels of education was in the school year 2009-2010 of 78.7%, with different values on genders (76.7% for males and 80.7% for females). Of the distribution by age groups it is noticed that the school students in the age group 7-10 years recorded the highest level of school enrollment – of 94.9% - compared with the other age groups.

In the academic year 2009-2010, the school enrollment level for the age group 19-23 years and over was of 59.3%, higher by 26 percentage points compared with the school year 2000-2001 (32.9%). In the school year 2009-2010, the gross school enrollment rate in the primary educational system was of 97.6%, and in the secondary educational system was of 98.9%.

In the upper secondary education (high school and vocational education) studied 96.7% of the total of the school-age population of those levels, 3.6% in the post-secondary non-tertiary education (secondary), and in the higher education system the gross enrollment rate was of 45.0%.

The net enrollment rate in all levels of education was of 64.8%, the situation by levels of education being as follows: 77.0% for the preschool education, 88.5% for the primary and secondary education (88.8% for the primary education, namely 88.2% for the secondary education), 72.5% for the upper secondary education (high-school and vocational education) and 30.3% for the post-secondary and higher education.


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