Romania: New Bill’s Effects on Rural Education

Photo by Flore de Préneuf for World Bank

Photo by Flore de Préneuf for World Bank

Romania has a new National Education Bill and, in terms of development of key competences to children and youth, the bill brought important positive changes (it still has a lot of issues to improve though). Starting from this, SFR wanted to have a clear imagine about the distance between what is communicated in official documents with regard to key competences (not only Romania’s National Education Bill, but other as European Reference Framework of Key Competences) and the reality of the Romanian schools.On 20th of October, Soros Foundation Romania organized the public debate:  “A profile of the extracurricular activities for Romanian rural schools. Possible effects of the new National Education Bill on the education of children from rural areas”. The debate started from the preliminary data from a qualitative research undertook by SFR this year.

Soros Foundation carried out a qualitative research on the extracurricular activities done by schools in rural areas and their influence on the development of abilities in children that are taking part in these activities.

Some of the most important conclusions of the research showed us that:

– the differences between children from rural areas and urban areas are mainly caused by the financial status of the community;

– there is no clear perspective on what are exactly the competences/abilities that are developed in one activity or another, showing that there is a need in structuring more the entire process of what means extracurricular activities;

– all the important actors from the communities (children, parents, teachers, other people from the village) admitted the huge importance of the practical side of these extracurricular activities (for example: to know how to behave in a supermarket, to theater, in an gas station, how to use an ATM);

– parents’ participation to extracurricular activities is still very low;

extracurricular activities are replacing a series of educational and recreative services that exist in urban areas, but are lacking in rural areas.

The research is one of the components of Be Part of the Knowledge Generation Program. The programs is focused on the Soros Foundation Romania’s preoccupation on the relationship between extracurricular activities and the development of key competences in children, especially in disadvantaged groups, like rural areas, Roma communities, children left behind in the work migration process.

This relationship, translated into educational models and activities, can make the difference in terms of access to a better education or access on labor market.

The program is developed in collaboration with Education Support Program.

More details about the program and the research can be found on SFR website.

The English version of the research will be available later in December 2011, but for further information please contact Denisa Ionescu, program coordinator,


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