A draft bill currently under debate in Romania’s parliament aims to extend the compulsory education period from 11 years to 15 years.
Thus, the last two years of pre-school education and the last two years of high school may also become mandatory in Romania, local Digi24 reported. Compulsory education currently starts with the preparatory class, also known as zero grade, around the age of 6, and ends after tenth grade, namely around the age of 16-17.
The number of children attending kindergarten in Romania has dropped significantly in recent years. In 2016, only 500,000 children between 3 and 6 were going to kindergarten, namely about 60% of the total number, according to official statistics. The number of kindergartens in Romania has also dropped dramatically, from over 10,000 in 1990 to just over 1,000 in 2016.
If kindergartens were to become mandatory, then the state would have to cover the costs, including those with meals, which would be a good thing in the rural areas, according to education specialists.
At the other end, the situation is equally worrying, as some 20% of the 120,000 students who finished high-school in 2017 didn’t register for the Baccalaureate exam. The school dropout percentage in Romania is among the highest in the EU.