Romanian minister: pupils can keep their smartphones in schools, but use them right
Education minister Ecaterina Andronescu said on Tuesday, February 5, that she disagrees with the ban on mobile phones in schools, specifying that pupils should use them as a learning instrument.
"No (we should not ban mobile phones in schools). We should find a way to use the phone as an instrument in the educational process, not to forbid it," Andronescu said, according to local Mediafax.
She added that the responsibility to check what children do online stands with their families and with the school.
"First of all, this responsibility stands with the family and the parent who has to correct [the child]. (...) Many children write to me on Facebook, sometimes using a language not exactly appropriate for their age. I answer them and correct them," she explained.
The education minister also wants smart blackboards in all classrooms beginning next year, as well as tablets for all pupils. The projects would require EUR 400 million and the minister hopes to cover the investment with EU money.
“We wrote the files on the projects and now we’ll see how they are approved. We’re talking about a very big project, we have to get the European Commission’s approval. It will probably take some time until we start the project. From the information I have we’re talking about at least two to three months,” the minister said.
However, she hopes the project will be implemented starting next year.
Andronescu also announced her plans to change the way teachers are evaluated. In an interview with local Evz.ro, she said that the future Education Law prepared at the Romanian Ministry of Education would also include some provisions found in the Japanese legislation. For example, the entire teaching staff will be evaluated once every ten years.
“I recently looked at the Japanese education system. Two things drew my attention: the fact that teachers change schools once every three years. They send their best teachers to schools that need them the most. I believe that we can’t apply such a measure because it would disturb the system. But I found something in the Japanese law that we will also apply. Every ten years, the entire teaching staff is subject to an evaluation. […] We also want to introduce this evaluation in the future Education Law,” Andronescu said.
In January, the education minister announced several changes for the education system, including a shorter winter vacation, fewer school hours, and new dates for the national exams.
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