Iohannis: The lack of quality education becomes a threat to long-term development

President Klaus Iohannis has said, on Wednesday, at the conference "Educated Romania - public policies and coordination of funding sources", that the lack of quality education, accessible to all, is threatening Romania's long-term development.

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Imaginea articolului Iohannis: The lack of quality education becomes a threat to long-term development

Iohannis: The lack of quality education becomes a threat to long-term development

"The four fields covered in these documents, namely the teaching career, school management, equity and early education, are crucial for the successful transformation of education in Romania. The PISA results, published less than two months ago, are one of the indisputable arguments for the urgency of rapid and solid solutions. The lack of quality education, accessible to all the children in our country, becomes a threat to Romania's long-term development", said Klaus Iohannis, at Cotroceni Palace.

He has drawn attention to the danger that society would no longer exist in its current form if it did not develop in a sustainable way.

"In order to ensure for our citizens the standard of living they want, the road we must undertake in the next decades is that of a knowledge-based economy. In these conditions, we cannot, in the age of artificial intelligence, have an endemic problem of functional illiteracy among our population. Nor can we, in the context of a population aging already strong, leave hundreds of thousands of young people unprepared for the rigors of a globalized and constantly changing economy, but also of a society, which, if not developed sustainably, will simply cease to exist in its current form", the president added.

The head of state has also said that a reduction of inequity from the first years spent by children in kindergartens and schools in Romania is essential.

"At the same time, we must accept that we do not have unlimited financial resources. We cannot solve all the problems of education overnight, no matter how much we want it. Our efforts to improve the quality of education will have to be oriented especially towards sectors that have been neglected in the past or which have the potential to generate indirect benefits in other areas of education as well", underscored Iohannis.

The president referred to vocational education, which "just a decade ago reached the verge of complete abolition".

"Currently, due to the modernization of the Romanian economy and the increased importance of skilled work, vocational education, and especially dual education, represents an important opportunity for thousands of young Romanian people. The efforts to develop quality school management and to train best-educated teachers must also take into account the specific needs of this form of education, often treated as a poor relative of the theoretical field. Another shrortcoming of the Romanian education is the lack of the education sector dedicated to high-skilled jobs. For us, the professional education is still associated with the completion of studies after 11 grades", said Klaus Iohannis.

The president explained that, although there is the legal possibility to have dual-level programs for levels 4 and 5 of qualification, "it has never been transformed into reality, despite the obvious need in the economy".

"The modern economy diversity increasingly requires the extension of this educational alternative, in order to allow the training of highly qualified specialists and technicians. The tertiary level vocational education in the dual regime is absolutely necessary and cannot be supplemented by the theoretical education in the current university programs", said Iohannis.

Klaus Iohannis said that for parents in Romania, returning to work involves additional difficulties in finding a place in a nursery.

"In almost the entire European Union, conditions are created so that parents can return to their professional career, while in Romania often returning to work implies additional difficulties in finding a place in a nursery. Hence, there arise a series of other social problems which have a major impact on the lives of families in our country. Also, in the category of issues that we cannot postpone is the introduction of a distinct specialization regarding the training of teachers, given that Romania is among the few countries that lack such a branch in the education system", the president said.

According to him, "a few hours of methodology and pedagogy and a low level of practice offered to students cannot substitute an education directed strictly to teacher training".

"The teaching profession is not and should not be a secondary alternative for college graduates, but a main choice," said Iohannis.

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