Access to education

Romania

Country Report: Access to education Last updated: 30/04/21

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, the 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 weeks. By the time the inspectorate sends its answer, the asylum procedure is usually completed, and the persons have left the country, or the parents did not take the children to the school. In 2020, neither of the children went to school or kindergarten or attended courses online.

In Rădăuţi, no problems were reported with the enrolment procedure. This is ensured by Save the Children and the integration officer. Children attended the courses online, using the tablets provided by Save the Children. The classes were held in January-February 2020 and September–October. As of November the courses were held online.

 

Şomcuta Mare, only 4 asylum seeking children enrolled in 2019were attending classes. It was reported by JRS that 2 families with children who arrived before the summer break were informed by the Romanian teacher that there are no more available places for their children. In 2020 no children were enrolled at school. This was echoed by ASSOC, who reported that in 2020, they submitted 40 requests to enrol asylum seeking children and beneficiaries of international protection, but none of the children were enrolled. In 2020, Ioan Buteanu High School in Şomcuta Mare operated in a hybrid scenario and decided not to enrol asylum seeking children or beneficiaries of international protection, preferring to bring them materials to the centre. ISJ was notified about this situation, but no solution was provided, stating that this is a matter that should be solved by the school. Because children were not issued with enrolment certificates, NGOs could not provide them school supplies. The ASSOC representative further mentioned that only 2 children from Baia Mare attended school in 2020.

In Giurgiu, the majority of schooling and kindergarten activities were carried out online. Children were enrolled at school by JRS jointly with IGI-DAI. Children’s attendance at classes was more challenging during 2020, due to the lack of electronic devices. However, NGOs offered support in this sense; children were attending classes on the NGOs device or on the ones provided by the school.

Bucharest: the enrolment request for kindergarten and school is drafted by NGOs. At school, they are enrolled as students only after completing the Romanian language course and passing the exam. In 2019, the school no longer accepted to enrol children as observers, because children have to complete the preparatory classes and pass the exam first. 10 children accommodated in the Regional Centre Vasile Stolnicu were enrolled at school and attend classes. At kindergarten, children are enrolled upon availability. It was also reported that enrolment of children during the school year is almost impossible.

As of 2020 children are enrolled at a different school, the “25 School”. In 2020 according to the director of Stolnicu 378 children were enrolled, out of which 80% were beneficiaries of international protection. According to the JRS representative children received tablets from Save the Children. However, only a few attended the courses.

Children accommodated at the DGASPC centre of Timişoara are enrolled at school. Save the Children offered tablets to unaccompanied children at DGASPC and families who are living outside the regional centre. All the children who received tablets were enrolled at school. The newly arrived children were transferred to other centres. The director also reported that unaccompanied children are transferred or leave the centre.

Preparatory classes

 

Following the 2015 reform, the Asylum Act foresees a free intensive preparatory course for asylum-seeking children in view of easing their access to education before 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.

As of 2019, the preparatory courses were provided in most of the regional centres, except Timișoara and Galaţi.

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 2 hours. Children learn Romanian language but also mathematics. In 2020 these courses were not held, neither face-to-face nor online.

In Rădăuţi, as of October 2019, the preparatory classes are held for the asylum seeking children and beneficiaries of international protection. Two age groups were formed, one for 6 to10 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 2020, the preparatory classes were held in January-February and September and October, as of November 2020 the classes are held online; as of the rest of the year these classes were not taking place.

In Şomcuta Mare,a representative of ISJ is teaching Romanian language to asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, adults and children. According to JRS representative, courses were held twice a week, but mostly the teacher was teaching the beneficiaries of international protection.

In Bucharest, preparatory courses are held only for beneficiaries of international protection, according to JRS representative. During the preparatory classes, children learn Romanian language. According to the director of Stolnicu Regional Centre there are 3 professors from the “25 School” teaching Romanian; beneficiaries are grouped on the basis of their age; the classes are held online; beneficiaries are using their own devices or the tablets provided by Save the Children.

Asylum-seeking children with special needs enjoy the same alternative arrangements as those provided for Romanian children. Throughout 2020, 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