The main causes of failure in the National Assessment. What role does poverty and parental indifference play and what are the effects

The causes of students’ failure in the National Assessment are primarily explained by parents’ disinterest in education and endemic poverty, especially in rural areas. And the effects, experts say, extend to the entire society.

There are also students who left the paper blank at the National Evaluation PHOTO Adevărul

At the national level, 74.5% of the students who graduated from the 8th grade managed to get grades above five, in the National Assessment. Those who obtained high marks in the two assessment tests have a good chance of getting to a good high school and deciding what career they want to follow after completing the 12th grade. However, there is also that percentage of 26%, students who do not they managed to get not even a grade 5 in the National Assessment. Many of them will find places, at best in technological profiles. Those who are passionate about various trades, will learn them and find their way in life.

But there are also those who will stop with the school, at the eight graduated classes. According to employment specialists, they are the most vulnerable segment in the market economy. They find it difficult to find work and when they do they are poorly paid. Some of them join the ranks of social workers or, in the best case, arrive seasonally for agricultural work in Italy, Spain or Germany. One of the counties in Romania that has been facing this dramatic situation for almost two decades is Botoșani. The statistics show a cruel reality, recognized by people in education but also by the villagers. In Botoşani county, there are many children from the countryside, who no longer go to school because they are not supported, even encouraged to take care of cattle, instead of doing their homework. “Unfortunately, it is a cruel reality of our times”, says Carolina Enea, director of the Technological High School in Bucecea, Botoșani county.

Almost 40% of students failed to achieve a 5 in the National Assessment

According to the final results, this year, at the National Assessment, in Botoșani county, 65.6% of the 8th grade graduates registered, managed to obtain marks above five or equal to 5. The rest of 34.4%, i.e. more than 20% of the students in the county have averages of 2, 3 or 4. There are also cases in which the students got a grade one in both tests. That is, they gave the exam paper blank. The worst results were obtained in rural schools. For the heads of the inspectorate, the results are acceptable for now, being years even weaker in terms of results. “We have some acceptable results at the moment, and the aspect in which we carry out our activity must also be taken into account, where a large part of the students are in rural education. “, says Bogdan Suruciuc, general school inspector. There are extreme cases in the county, where most of the students in the school did not manage to get a grade of 5. It is about School number 1 Dimăcheni, where only a little over 5% of the students got grades above 5.

Poverty and parents’ lack of interest in education

It is easy to see that most grades of one, two or three in the National Assessment are obtained in schools belonging to poorer rural communities. These are mainly villages of farmers and animal breeders, some at the limit of subsistence. In many cases children do not have all modern living conditions. “Unfortunately, social conditions are a cause of failure in national assessments. There are children who come from certain backgrounds, they face difficulties”, says Carolina Enea, director of Bucecea Technological High School. “Many times these children from disadvantaged backgrounds, let’s say, were advised, the teachers made efforts. But even so the reality with its conditions, from the Romanian villages, defeats all these efforts. They don’t even manage to get a 5 in the National Evaluation”, confesses Sandu Marinică, director of the Technological High School in Coţuşca.

And poverty is doubled by parents’ lack of interest in school education. It is actually a vicious circle, the low level of education of the parents, the material lacks, ultimately lead to a low interest in the school performance of the children, who have to participate in the household chores, which actually bring the material survival of the family . “Unfortunately, the use of children for field work and household chores is a cruel reality. There are cases of parents who take them away from homework or keep them at home because they need them for seasonal agricultural work. You realize that there can no longer be a question of school results”, says Carolina Enea. The former headmistress of the School in Ungureni recounted a shocking incident that happened during the National Assessment years ago.

More precisely, in 2018, a peasant child fell asleep with his head on the bench during the exam. The reasons for the fatigue were mind-boggling to a schoolboy. “I simply heard a noise. The pen fell from his hand, he fell asleep. I found out that he milked the cows from three in the morning and then came to the exam. He gave an almost blank slate. Parents are disinterested. I use them for field work, for raising animals. In the country, this is how parents think. I say that the student does not need too many books, because he bought a tractor, bought a cow and so on. And automatically he has to work, not sit with his stomach on a book all day. “, said the former director.

No book, no future

Some of those who didn’t get grade 5 in the National Assessment don’t even bother with school anymore. And those who are kept in the household rather than in school, remain with only eight classes. There are also those who come from disorganized or very poor families, from disadvantaged backgrounds. All of them end up not even being able to take qualification courses in a job. They remain the simple day laborers, for little money or effectively swell the ranks of social workers. In Botoșani county, around 70% of the unemployed have only eight grades. Or as another statistic shows, a third of the county’s residents only have eight grades. And for a qualification in a job you need the level of 10 classes. “”The level of qualification is a big problem of the people who currently exist in the records of the AJOFM. We try to guide them to complete basic primary or secondary education, a second chance. And those who have completed the minimum compulsory education, let’s direct them to take professional training courses”, says Anca Apăvăloaie, director of AJOFM Botoșani.