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Report on education (II): preschool education, primary and secondary education

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Following the increasing birth rate in recent years 2002-2009 (from 9.7 ‰ to 10.4 ‰), the number of children enrolled in the preschool education invariably increased in recent years, reaching 666.1 thousand in the school year 2009-2010, by 13.3 thousand children more than in the previous school year.

The trend in recent years regarding the balancing by residence areas and genders remained the same in the school/academic year 2009-2010, too, the difference consisting in 6 percentage points in favor of the urban area and 2.4 percentage points in favor of the boys.

Even though the private preschool education is permanently expanding, in terms of number of units, in 2009-2010 the number of teaching staff slightly decreased and the number of enrolled children (fewer by 95 compared with the previous year), most children were enrolled in the kindergartens in the public sector (98.2%).
Of the total of the preschool population, 68.9% children were enrolled in the kindergartens with normal schedule, 30.2% in the kindergartens with extended hours schedule and only 0.6% of the children were enrolled in the kindergartens with a weekly schedule.

Of the total of children enrolled in kindergartens, 265.8 thousand were included in the upper preschool group, and 134.3 thousand of them were included in the preparatory groups for the Ist grade. The age-distribution of the children enrolled in preschool education reveals a lower share of the children aged 3 (20.7%). In the school year 2009-2010, the age structure of the children enrolled in preschool education was the following: 25.7% - 4 years, 27.3% - 5 years and the children aged 6 and older represented 26.3 %.

Even though in 2009 the density and birth rate in the North-East and Bucharest - Ilfov regions were higher compared with the other regions, the number of enrolled children reached the highest level in the North-East region (19.0%), while in the Bucharest – Ilfov region the lowest level was recorded (8.1%). In the school year 2009-2010, most children were enrolled in kindergartens where the subjects were taught in Romanian (92.8%), 6.3% in Hungarian, 0.8 % in German and 0.1% other languages of the minorities (Serbian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech, Croatian, Bulgarian, Romani). Of the total of the children enrolled in preschool education, 13.4% studied a modern language, most preferring English (96.0%).

In the school year 2009-2010, of the total of the preschool children who learned this language, 96.5% studied it in the kindergartens in the urban areas and 3.5% in those in the rural areas. Of the total of the children who in the school year 2009-2010 studied a modern language, 8.9% were enrolled in the kindergartens in the private sector and 91.1% in those in the public sector. The kindergartens where modern languages are studied are usually those with extended hours schedule (61.1%) and those with normal schedule (38.0%).

In terms of ethic groups, the situation of the children in preschool education was the following: 89.5% of the children were Romanian, 6.5% were Hungarian, 3.2% were Romani and the remaining 0.8% were of other ethnic groups (German, Ukrainian, Serbian, Turkish, Tatar, and so on). In the preschool education in Romania, 398 children from other countries were included, by 40 children more than in the previous school year. The countries from which most of the children came are as follows: Italy (86 children), Spain (39 children), Hungary (32 children), USA (22 children), Germany (21 children), China and Turkey (20 children of each country), France (16 children), Republic of Moldova (14 children), Greece and the Netherlands (11 children of each country).

Primary and secondary education

1719,7 thousand school students (48.3% girls) were enrolled in the school year 2009-2010 in primary and lower secondary education (gymnasium), fewer by 1.9% compared with the previous school year. Of the total of school students included in the primary and secondary education, 49.2% attended the courses of primary education and 50.8% of secondary education.

Most students in primary and secondary education (99.7%) were enrolled in public schools. Even though the private sector is still insignificantly represented in this educational level, compared with the other educational levels, the number of students is slightly increasing (by 4.7% compared with the previous school year). Of the 4.4 thousand students enrolled in the private schools in primary and secondary education, 94.8% studied in the urban areas. Most of the students in primary and secondary education attended the day courses (99.5%). Of the total of the students enrolled in primary and secondary education, 50.4% of the students studied in the urban areas.  
In terms of regions, the distribution of the students enrolled in primary and secondary education was the following: 20.1%-North-East region, 15.3%-South Wallachia region, 13.0%-South East region, 12.9%-North West region, 11.6%-Central region, 10.5%-South-West Oltenia region, 8.6%- West region and 8.0% - Bucharest-Ilfov region.

Romanian is the official teaching language in the national education system, 94.1% of the students enrolled in primary and secondary education studying this language. In our country, especially in the Harghita and Covasna counties, the population of the Hungarian ethnic group has an important share, which determines a significant share of the school population studying in Hungarian (5.3%). Other teaching languages in primary and secondary education are: German, Serbian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech, Croatian and Romani. In the school year 2009-2010, in the hierarchy of the modern languages studied by students in primary and secondary education - as the first modern language – English occupied the first position in primary education, representing 72.2%  of the total of the school population of this educational level and 64.9% in secondary education, followed by French (25.3% in primary education and 32.4% in secondary education). 2.1% of the students in primary education and 2.4% students in secondary education studied German. In the school year 2009-2010, the situation of the students who studied a second modern language, included as a subject, usually starting with the Vth grade, is the following: 34.4% of the students in primary education and 34.5% of the students in secondary education studied English. Important shares were recorded by the options for French (51.7% in primary education and 56.9% in secondary education) and for German (12.3% in primary education and 7.6% in secondary education).

The number of students from other countries who studied in our country in primary and secondary education was of 1072 students, of which 550 students were in primary education and 522 students in secondary education. Most of these students came from Italy (168 students), Spain (131 students), Germany (123 students), Republic of Moldova (115 students), Turkey (107 students).

The educational system in Romania also includes the special education, organized for students with disabilities (psychical, physical, sensory, movement, language, social-emotional and behavioral or related disabilities) for training and education, rehabilitation and their social integration. The special education has curricula, syllabuses, textbooks and teaching methodologies elaborated depending on the type and degree of disability. It should be noted that the number of students enrolled in special education in the school year 2009-2010 increased by 260 students compared with the previous school year.

11.01.2012

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