OECD report criticized by expert Marian Staș: We have framework plans tailored for teachers' salaries, not for children's needs

A harsh OECD report makes a series of recommendations for the recovery of the Romanian education system. Among other things, experts recommend that teachers' salaries be linked to their performance.

Photo: The truth

No less than 18 recommendations and over 70 detailed measures necessary for education reform were made for the Romanian authorities by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at the request of the Ministry of Education.

However, Professor Marian Staș believes that the OECD experts should have been even tougher. “Practically, this document validates, even legitimizes, the Law on pre-university education that entered into force some time ago. Those OECD experts either don't know or don't want to see what problems are, in fact, in the educational system in Romania, problems that need to be solved, effectively. If we talk about the teaching career, then public school principals cannot choose their teaching staff through competition. We are dealing with a centralization of this system, and this brings only mediocrity. Then we talk about the curriculum architecture in the educational system. Concretely, we have framework plans tailored for teachers' salaries and norms, not for the needs of children and society. No one sees that we have legislation and that certain teachers can only be in the department for a part of the normal hours, and the rest can very well be filled with counseling hours dedicated to students for their future careers, but also with mentoring hours for younger teachers. Here we have a didactic norm that has remained communist. In addition, we are talking about an hour of compulsory religion imposed by the majority cult, instead of spiritual education as it should be”explained education expert Marian Staş.

We remind you that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has sent that the salary of teachers, the organization of the school system and the way in which they are evaluated present many disadvantages for the functioning of the system. “At a strategic level, Romania must radically change the way education policies are financed and evaluated. In this sense, planning and budgeting at a strategic level is needed to correlate resources with long-term priorities. Also, much more extensive analytical capacities are needed to monitor and evaluate the implementation and results of public policies, as well as to hold the institutions involved accountable”it is emphasized in the report.

High dropout rates – 18 recommendations

According to the document, a large part of Romanian students do not have basic skills, school dropout rates are high, and the disparities between pre-university education units in the rural environment and those in the urban environment are increasing. “Therefore, the measures introduced by the new law are important to provide quality education to all students and to support and make the country's economic growth more inclusive”, the report also says.

The document makes recommendations to the Ministry of Education regarding the implementation of the reforms adopted last year through the new pre-university education law, which may be important for the elaboration of secondary legislation and which should transform the system into an efficient and fair one.

The OECD's 18 framework recommendations address issues that constantly returned in the debates that preceded the adoption of the Education Laws and continued after them, touching on themes such as establishing links between teachers' pay and their performance, eliminating excesses in checks and focusing support measures from areas with resources to disadvantaged areas with poor schools, elimination of persistent “conflicts of interest”, strengthening system-relevant data collection system.

These recommendations are framed in four large groups, the evaluation and support of educational units, the allocation of resources for education, the teaching career and the data system and their monitoring. Each field is analyzed to provide a plan for implementing the proposed reforms effectively, the Ministry of Education explained.