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First Session of the Baccalaureate Begins

Almost 190,000 high school graduates in Romania have registered for the first session of the graduation exam, the Baccalaureate.

First Session of the Baccalaureate Begins
First Session of the Baccalaureate Begins

, 10.06.2013, 14:08

In 2011, only one in two students passed the baccalaureate. In several high schools throughout the country, not a single student passed the exam, and in most counties, the percentage of students passing it was lower than in the previous year. In fact, it was the worst graduation exam in 20 years. The situation was the same in 2012. It remains to be seen what happens this year, and everyone is waiting for the final results of the exam for which 190,000 young people have registered.



Oral exams will be held until the 28th June. They are meant to verify the oral communication competence in Romanian for most students, or in their mother tongue, if other than Romanian. They also verify computer skills and competence in speaking an international language. Then follow the written exams, starting the 1st of July. In the Romanian language they check language and literature skills, and the same skills in the native language if other than Romanian, followed by the compulsory subjects and the elective subjects.



This year, depending on the orientation of the high school the students went to, compulsory subjects will differ. Students who have graduated from high schools oriented towards the humanities and pedagogy will take the exam in different topics than those who went to science, technology and vocational schools. In mathematics, subjects will differ for natural science oriented high schools and technology high schools. The grades will be posted on July 12.



As every year, the question on everyone’s mind is: why such dismal results in this exam? Many blame the large-scale fight against corruption. A former minister of education a few years ago said that the nation had to choose between honesty and trickery. In line with that principle, for a few years now the exam has been taken under video surveillance, and there has been a crackdown on currying lenience or favor with the people responsible for administering the exam by gifts of all sorts.



The real answer, though, seems to lie with the lack of interest of teachers and students, as well as the shortcomings of a system that is unable to adjust to the needs of present society. Since 1990, when the regime changed, the public education system has been in a constant state of change and reorganization. This year, some high school students, after seeing the abysmal results at the exam simulation, have given up on it altogether and didn’t register. They took up a trade, convinced that there must be more demand for people who build or fix things. Many parents are supportive of that, believing it a better effort to learn a trade than to fail the baccalaureate with a terrible grade.

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