President Iohannis: Education Law must cease to be an ever-shifting puzzle

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President Klaus Iohannis stated on Monday that the Education Law should cease to be a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces are constantly changing, adding that the start of the new school year takes "some" by surprise.

"There are, unfortunately, many pupils in Romania who start the school year without textbooks or in buildings that do not comply with the minimum standards. It seems that every time the new school year takes some people take by surprise. Each government shrugs off, pointing the finger at the previous government. However, this is not how things get better. In 2017's Romania — the saving solution has come to be the reintroduction and return to old methods, such as the sole manual or the recent recentralization, in Bucharest, of all things that have encountered difficulties at the local level. This is not the right approach. And these are not the only problems. Parents and students are subject to major changes in the education system once in a few years or, more recently, more often, which significantly limits their ability to plan their educational path. Only this summer I have sent back to Parliament for review not one, not two, but three legislative initiatives that change, for I do not know which time in a row, the current framework that is already confusing and cumbersome. The Education Law must cease to be a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces change continuously, thus losing the unitary image," Iohannis said at the opening of the school year at the "Gheorghe Sincai" National College.

The President stressed that one of his priorities is the construction of an educated Romania in which the education system is seated on a predictable track that has the student in the center.

According to him, it is clear that, no matter how Romania will look like, how the economy will develop and how the National Education Strategy will be built, a number of urgent challenges are to be answered.

Even if we like to believe that we have checked the 'fulfilled mission' on literacy, sometime in the 1960s, a large number of pupils finish school as functional illiterates. That is to say, that although they can read, they cannot understand the meaning of a written text and they consequently experience difficulties even in the easiest of situations. Another serious issue is school drop-out, which has, in recent years, reached an alarming rate, one of the highest in the European Union. We do not afford such a thing as a society. It does not help to shift the blame from the central authorities to the local authorities, from one government to another or from school to family. The success of the education system is the only way for a strong Romania to survive and its failure condemns us to involution," the president reflected.

Klaus Iohannis urged parents to encourage their children, to be by their side and to help them become responsible and involved adults, because our country's chance for the better lies in their ability to transform the world according to their own ideal.

He also had a message for the pupils. "Dear pupils, there is a full year ahead of you, a year in which you will take a further step towards adulthood. However, beyond the school curriculum, develop on as many plans as possible, do not hesitate to expand your horizons, connect what you learn at school with your interests and hobbies. Be tolerant, open to the new, creative and autonomous in learning, be aware of the importance of your rights as well as your obligations as citizens. It is your world and it is high time you started to discover it and understand it by building your own personality and your own system of values, the future is in your hands and I invite you to step forward to embrace it. I wish you all a good new school year with achievements and may you have at the end the same beautiful impressions of the school year that has passed. In life, we often remember with the greatest pleasure of bygone things and that we cannot have back anymore," the head of state said.AGERPRES(ARO—author: Catalina Matei, editor: Georgiana Tanasescu; EN — author: Simona Iacob, editor: Maria Voican; online editor: Maria Voican)

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