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Tuesday, 02 August 2022

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă met with representatives of "A Voice for Education" Alliance

 Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă met, at the Victoria Palace, with the representatives of the "A Voice for Education" Alliance, which brings together the associative and business milieus. Attending were Minister of Education Sorin Cîmpeanu and the Honorary Advisor to the Prime Minister of Romania, Marilen Pirtea alongside the representatives of this coalition which includes 30 NGOs and companies from education, UNICEF representatives, 20 chambers of commerce and business groups from the Coalition for Romania's Development, as well as 100 leaders who run top companies in our country.

On this occasion, several topics related to the package of education laws were addressed, including education finance, the development of vocational, technical and dual education and digitalization.

"Such consultations are welcome to correlate the need for modernization with the ability of the educational system to cope with future challenges. The "Educated Romania" programme benefitting from an effervescent atmosphere, can be found in the vision of the Education Laws and needs a solid normative foundation to support future progress", stated Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă.

Regarding the new pre-university education law, the participants emphasized the importance of ensuring the necessary finance to implement reforms, manage the challenges of school dropout and functional illiteracy, and the solutions to boost the attractiveness of vocational and dual education, in line with the requirements of economic operators.

The Romanian Prime Minister gave assurances that next year's budget will be able to support the new legal provisions on education, and the 15 percent target for education from the consolidated budget represents a commitment that will be gradually met, until 2027.

The Minister of Education specified that the funding package worth one billion lei to combat school dropouts will first be implemented in over 1400 vulnerable schools, while the budget allocated for student scholarships will increase tenfold (from 270 million lei in 2020 to 2.7 billion lei in 2023). Together with national programs regarding hot meals or healthy meals in schools, the measures to boost the teaching career attractiveness, the funding of professional and technical education, and equipping vocational high schools, all these initiatives will contribute to reducing the school dropout rate.

From the perspective of dual education, a series of measures necessary for its revitalization were highlighted, such as investments in infrastructure, endowment with new technologies, extensive internships, training of teaching staff and correlation of the curriculum with developments in the industry.

"The future professionals in our country must find in dual education the chance to capitalize on their talent, skills, and vocation, in well-equipped educational institutions, with specialists capable of using technologies and creating a close connection with future employers. Romania feels the need to develop this educational system, which highlights the practical side, to provide our society with professionals to ensure the functionality, modernization and development of the economy", stated Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă.

At the same time, digitalization has been highlighted as a key element of support for education, from the perspective of the need to use the newest teaching methods, in this respect, additional efforts are required to endow schools and train teaching staff.

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