Access to education

Romania

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

Author

Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

The Asylum Act prescribes for the right of minor asylum seekers to have access to before pre-school (0-3 years), pre-school (3-6 years) and compulsory education (6-18 years) under the same conditions as minor Romanian citizens, as long as no measure is taken to remove them or their parents from Romania.[1] Access to education is therefore free and unconditional.[2]

Compulsory general education consists of 10 grades and includes primary and lower secondary education. Compulsory education ends at the age of 18.[3]

Education is provided in regular schools. In general, children are enrolled at local schools whose territorial jurisdiction covers the respective Regional Centres. Asylum-seeking children are enrolled in normal classes together with Romanian children as observers for the first year. Being an observer means that the child is not listed in the class book and he or she does not receive grades.

In Bucharest, Giurgiu and Şomcuta Mare, the NGO representatives together with IGI-DAI draft the enrolment request.

In Galaţi, enrolment requests are made by NGO representatives and lodged by IGI-DAI, in order for IGI-DAI to notify the County School Inspectorate (Inspectoratul Școlar Județean, ISJ) The enrolment procedure may take up to 2-3 weeks. In some cases, the answer was provided swiftly and in others not. By the time the inspectorate sends its answer, the asylum procedure is usually completed, or the persons have left the country, or the parents did not take the children to the school. In 2021, there were children who attended school classes and kindergarden. Several schools are appointed for asylum seekers. The case of two brothers, who were enrolled in different schools that were far apart, was reported as being difficult for the parents to take them to school in the morning. The JRS representative also mentioned that asylum seekeing children are not enrolled in the Integrated Information System of Education in Romania (SIIR), which means that schools do not receive funds and other educational materials for these children.

In Rădăuţi, no problems were reported with the enrolment procedure. This is ensured by the integration officer. Children attended the courses online, using tablets provided by Save the Children.  In 2021 there were more asylum-seeking children enrolled at school, who also attended the classes. No problems were reported as regards their enrolment.

Şomcuta Mare: Compared to 2020 when no children were enrolled at school, in 2021 enrolment requests were lodged and children attended the classes. However, the JRS representative was not aware of how many asylum-seeking children were enrolled.

In Giurgiu according to the director of the centre, the legal representative of DGASPC Giurgiu drafts the enrolment requests for the asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors.  It was also reported that at the time of enrollment children have already left the centre and have not returned. If their enrollment has been successful none of the asylum seekers attended the course.

Bucharest: the JRS representative reported that there were no requests for enrolment in 2021, because the children accommodated here were of young age. On the other hand, the director of the Vasile Stolnicu centre stated that soon after their arrival necessary steps are taken for their enrolment at school.

As of 2020 children are enrolled at a different school, the “25 School”.

None of the children accommodated in the regional centre Timisoara were enrolled at school because they left the centre, according to the director of the centre. As for the children accommodated at the DGASPC centre of Timişoara the director was not aware of their situation.

Preparatory classes

Following the 2015 reform, the Asylum Act foresees a free intensive preparatory course for asylum-seeking children in view of easingtheir access to educationbefore the enrolment at the national education system.[4]The training course is organised by the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, in collaboration with IGI-DAI.Children should be enrolled at the preparatory course within 3 months from the date their asylum application was made. At the same time, the child may be enrolled as an observer in the relevant year of study.

At the end of the preparatory course, an Evaluation Commission, whose composition and functioning are established by order of the Minister of National Education and Scientific Research assesses the level of knowledge of the Romanian language and establishes the registration of asylum seekers in the corresponding year of study.

In 2021 preparatory courses were provided in most of the regional centres, except Timișoara.

Giurgiu: The director of the centre reported that the preparatory course for learning Romanian was held twice a week for two hours, at the Tudor Vianu Theoretical High School in Giurgiu. The staff of the Ministry of Education comes to the regional centre.

In Galaţi, according to JRS, an ISJ professor offers courses for child asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection. The course for asylum-seeking children takes place twice a week and lasts two hours. Children learn Romanian language but also mathematics. In 2021 these courses were held, which is an improvement compared to 2020 when they were neither face-to-face nor online. However, it was reported that there were situations where the course was not held because the teacher was absent.

In Rădăuţi, as of October 2019, preparatory classes are held for asylum-seeking and beneficiaries of international protection children and adults, three times per week. The courses target adult beneficiaries of international protection, but the teacher also welcomes asylum seekers. Two age groups were formed, one for 6 to 10 years of age and the other from 10 to 18 years of age. The classes are held separately by a professor from ISJ twice a week for each group of children. Children learn Romanian language, colour and play.

In Şomcuta Mare, a representative of ISJ is teaching Romanian language to asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, adults and children. According to a JRS representative, courses were held two or three times a week, with the teacher mostly teaching the beneficiaries of international protection. Before September 2021 there was no teacher, but since September classes have been held regularly.

In Bucharest, preparatory courses are held only for beneficiaries of international protection, according to the JRS representative. During the preparatory classes, children learn Romanian language. The director of the Stolnicu Regional Centre said he is not aware if these courses were held in 2021, because of the pandemic.

Asylum-seeking children with special needs enjoy the same alternative arrangements as those provided for Romanian children. Throughout 2021, there were no children with special needs in the Regional Centres of Timișoara, Galaţi, Rădăuţi, Giurgiu, Şomcuta Mare and Bucharest.

[1] Article 17(1)(p) Asylum Act.

[2] Article 6(1) Asylum Decree.

[3] Article 16(1) and (2) Public Education Act.

[4] Article 18(1)-(4) Asylum Act.

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