Romania’s High-School Graduation Exam To Be Attended By 77% Of Teachers – Education Min

Romania’s Education Minister Daniel Funeriu said Thursday that the written foreign language high-school graduation exam, scheduled to take place between May 31 and June 4 will go ahead as planned, since 77% of teachers will not go on strike.

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Romania’s High-School Graduation Exam To Be Attended By 77% Of Teachers – Education Min

Funeriu said that students assigned to examination centers where the teachers have decided to strike will sit the exam at other schools. He added that the majority of the teachers set to go on strike are exam supervisors, while 80% of exam assessors have announced they will take part in the exam. Supervisors will be replaced with auxiliary teaching staff, such as school librarians or kindergarten teachers. Assessors will be replaced by teachers of the same subjects, who have declined to go on strike, said Funeriu. The minister added that the replacement procedure will be regulated through a minister's order, which will amend the currently enforced exam methodology.

Union federation leader Gheorghe Isvoranu said Funeriu's 77% estimate is fabricated, although he admitted that there might be schools where teachers will choose to take part in the exam.

"Even if as little as 5% of teachers don't show up, the exam will be called off", said Isvoranu. The union leader added that education unionists are still determined to freeze the school year.

Representatives of Romania's four education unions said Thursday that it is illegal to replace exam assessors who are on strike with other teachers, and that they will file criminal charges against authority representatives who decide to do so.

According to Funeriu, exam assessors will receive between 275 lei (EUR1=RON4.1532) and RON600.

Funeriu held talks with education union representatives Tuesday. The minister called for negotiations in order to avoid a full-blown strike on May 31 and to dissuade unionists from freezing the current school year.

Education unionists are set to go on a full-blown strike on May 31, the day of the written foreign language high-school graduation exam. The teachers' first form of protest was to stop entering marks in the register on May 13.

Funeriu told MEDIAFAX last week that he would draw up a set of measures meant to avoid a school year freeze by May 30.

The four education union federations decided to go on strike in protest of the new education law and of the public sector wage cuts, set to come into force on June 1.

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