Access to education


Country Report: Access to education Last updated: 31/05/22


Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

Beneficiaries of international protection have the right to have access to all forms of education, under the same conditions as Romanian citizens.[1] In order to have access to education, children beneficiaries of international protection need to have the minimum age provided by law for all children: 3 to 6 for pre-school education and 6 for primary education.


Enrolment at schools

The legal provisions regarding Romanian language courses for children were detailed by the new amendment of the Integration Ordinance. Therefore, it is stated that, in order to integrate minors beneficiaries of international protection into the Romanian education system, they would benefit from a preparatory course for learning the Romanian language, emphasising that the course is intensive and free of charge during a school year. It was also added that the enrolment is open throughout the calendar year, and the attendance of the course may continue during the following school year, as the case may be.[2]

During the first year, children are enrolled at schools as viewers and listeners; they do not receive grades and are not registered in the class book.[3] At the end of the preparatory course, the level of knowledge of Romanian language is assessed and an evaluation commission determines enrolment at school.[4]

Bucharest (Region 1): In 2021, In Region 1, 55 BPI children were enrolled at school by IOM Romania. Registration can be completed by IGI-DAI integration officers or counsellors from NGOs.[5]

Giurgiu: only 1 child was enrolled and attended online school classes during 2021, according to the JRS representative.

Galaţi: Children are enrolled at school from the moment they become asylum seekers. For the beneficiaries evacuated by the Romanian authorities from Afghanistan, because the asylum procedure was conducted swiftly, the enrolment procedures were done when they were granted refugee status. As for the other beneficiaries it was reported that soon after obtaining the travel documents (1-2 months) they leave the country.

Timișoara: According to the director of the centre 15 children were enrolled at school in 2021. AIDRom reported that they assisted 7 children in the enrollment process in 2021.  AIDRom also mentioned that during 2021 when they tried to enrol a child at kindergarten they were told to wait to see what places are available, as Romanian children have priority. Private kindergartens refused to take beneficiaries because they speak a foreign language or even without providing a reason. Another challenge encountered was children’s ability to read / write in the Latin alphabet. Therefore, even if they had taken several classes in their country of origin, in Romania it was necessary to enroll them in the Second Chance for Literacy program.[6]

Rădăuţi: Children are enrolled at school during the asylum procedure. JRS representative reported that many children were enrolled during the year, some of them attended the classes and some did not because they did not want to or they left the country.

Şomcuta Mare: LADO/ASSOC reported that they enrolled 2 children in 2021.

As regards children with special needs, the conditions for accessing education are the same as for Romanian children. The child should first be issued a degree of disability by the Complex Assessment Service of the Child with Disabilities within the Directorate-General for Social Assistance and Child Protection (DGASPC). This is a particularly complicated and bureaucratic process, which has to be repeated every year.[7]

Based on the evaluation, the Complex Assessment Service of the Child with Disabilities also decides if the child should be enrolled in a school for children with special needs or in a state school, and at what grade.

In Timișoara the same rules apply for beneficiaries of international protection as for Romanian citizens. In the case of a girl with disabilities, the case was referred to other NGOs and public authorities dealing with disabled minors. There were no problems regarding their integration, as the mother of the girl is employed as a personal assistant of the girl, and she is paid according to the law applicable to Romanian citizens. The only difficulties faced by the family are the language barrier and bureaucracy, the mother’s employment and the issue of the disability certificate. Without proper support and assistance in this process, the family of the girl would not have managed. No cases were reported in 2019, 2020 nor in 2021.

Beneficiaries of international protection who have reached the age of 18 encounter the same problems in accessing vocational training or education, regardless of their age, according to the AIDRom representative. The language is an impediment. If they do not have diplomas, they have to be examined for all subjects from the first to twelfth grade, or if they cannot certify the years of study, they have to repeat those school years in Romania following the Romanian curricula. There are very few youngsters that have chosen this path, even though professors were understanding and helpful. Another reported situation is that of youngsters that went to an Arabic school and after one year transferred to public schools. IOM Romania also pointed out the lack of diplomas and language barriers as an obstacle or the fact that certain beneficiaries are illiterate and / or do not have the appropriate level of education (for example for enrolling at certain courses it is necessary to finalise primary education (4 years of schooling). ASSOC, on the other hand, specified that along with the language barrier, in some cases there is also a lack of determination.


Integration courses

The new amendments of the Integration Ordinance stipulate that IGI-DAI, in collaboration with the authorities of the local public administration, organizes sessions of cultural accommodation and counselling activities, aiming to familiarize the adult beneficiaries of international protection with the traditions, customs, legislation and specifics of the Romanian society.[8] The previous provision stipulated that IGI organizes these activities and may collaborate with public authorities and NGOs. IGI and the local public administration authorities may collaborate with other public institutions and non-governmental organizations in order to organize these activities.[9]

Adult beneficiaries of international protection benefit from intensive and free of charge Romanian language courses, organized by the specialized structures of the Ministry of National Education, in collaboration with IGI. Enrolment is made throughout the calendar year, and the attendance of the course may continue throughout the following school year.[10] IGI-DAI, in collaboration with NGOs provides the necessary spaces for organizing the courses.[11] The Ministry of Education appoints a qualified person to teach the Romanian language course for adults and minors and it also ensures adequate training for these teachers.[12] The Ministry of Education establishes the organisation, duration and schedule of these courses.[13]At the end of the preparatory course, a commission issues a certificate that demonstrates the level of knowledge of the Romanian language.[14]

For unaccompanied minors who are beneficiaries of international protection, IGI-DAI collaborates with DGASPC and NGO representatives. They establish the integration plan for the children and implement the activities included in the plan.[15]

In practice, some deficiencies in Romanian courses are reported in Timișoara and Rădăuţi. Participants are not grouped based on their age – children and adults are in the same class – or on their level of education, meaning that illiterate persons and persons with higher education are grouped together. In Timișoara they are grouped in advanced and beginner groups. There is only one teacher in Timișoara for all beneficiaries.

In Timișoara, according to AIDRom the courses are held by a Romanian language teacher from the ISJ, twice a week. They have no knowledge whether there is a division into specific groups in these courses. They are addressed in particular to the beneficiaries in the integration program for whom participation in this course is mandatory for the successful completion of the integration program. It was also reported that the courses were held online, depending on the restrictions in place, and sometimes were also cancelled.[16] AIDRom also organises Romanian language classes in the same way as the ICAR Foundation.

Rădăuţi: As of September 2019, beneficiaries were grouped based on their age, but they were not grouped on their level of education or level of Romanian language knowledge. The classes are held on Monday and Thursday for children and on Wednesday for adults.  During the summer break the Romanian language course was not held. On the other hand, ICAR Foundation is also organising Romanian language courses. These courses are framed on the needs, level of education and knowledge of Romanian language of the beneficiaries. Before starting the course, beneficiaries have to take a test.

Şomcuta Mare: Romanian language courses are held 3 times a week in the Regional Centre with beneficiaries of international protection and asylum seekers, by a teacher from ISJ. They are grouped on the basis of their age and education level. The pandemic had a major impact on the language courses, according to LADO/ASSOC these were held online and children had no laptops or other devices.[17]

AIDRom also organises Romanian language classes in the same way as the ICAR Foundation.

In Galaţi, beneficiaries were not grouped based on their age, due to the high number of beneficiaries. There are 2 teachers, 1 for the children and the other for the adults. The classes are held twice a week for 2 hours. JRS is also organising Romanian language courses every weekday in Constanta and Galaţi.In 2021, the classes were held both online and in person. It was reported that sometimes the classes are not held, without prior notice.

In Giurgiu, according to JRS representatives the Romanian language classes were held by AIDRom for asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection. Around 12 persons participated in the courses in 2021. The director of Giurgiu Regional Centre mentioned that the preparatory course for learning the Romanian language takes place at the Tudor Vianu Theoretical High School in Giurgiu, for one year, twice a week for two hours; a number of 10 minors, beneficiaries of a form of international protection, were enrolled. The enrolment of asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors at the preparatory course was done by the legal representative. Nevertheless, at the time of registration they had already left the centre and none attended the course.

In Bucharest there is only one educational institution (School no. 25) where Romanian language courses are organized for foreign citizens. In 2021 the courses were held twice a week, in person and online format (depending on the restrictions imposed by the authorities due to the Covid pandemic). Participants were divided into age groups, respectively: 6-10 years, 11-14 years, 15-18 years, over 18 years. The main difficulties identified were the distance to school and the lack of electronic devices when the courses were held online.[18]




[1] Article 20(1)(h) Asylum Act.

[2] Article 10(1) Integration Ordinance.

[3] Article 10(2) Integration Ordinance. During the preparatory course children beneficiaries of international protection participate free of charge in pedagogical activities within the school units, without their presence being registered in official documents.

[4] Article 10(3) Integration Ordinance

[5] Information provide by IOM ROMANIA ROMANIA Romania, 19 February 2022.

[6] Information provide by AIDRom, 14 January 2022.

[7] For the highly onerous administrative requirements to be met for this process according to Common Order No 1985/1305/5805/2016, see DGASPC, Necessary documents for the complex assessment of the child’s disability, available in Romanian at:

[8] Article 13(1) Integration Ordinance.

[9] Article 13(2) Integration Ordinance.

[10] Article 14(1) Integration Ordinance.

[11] Article 14(2) Integration Ordinance.

[12] Article 14(3) Integration Ordinance.

[13] Article 14(4) Integration Ordinance.

[14] Article 14(5) Integration Ordinance.

[15] Article 35(3) Integration Ordinance.

[16] Information provided by AIDRom, 14 January 2022.

[17] Information provided by LADO/ASSOC, 3 February 2022.

[18] Information provided by IOM ROMANIA ROMANIA Romania, 19 February 2022.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation