Solutions from election runners: education system. IPN series. Elections-2014

The education reform aroused dissatisfaction and criticism after a number of schools were closed. IPN News Agency asked the electron runners what measures should be taken for the students to study in decent conditions, not to be absent from classes owing to the long distance they have to cover up to the school or to the unfavorable weather conditions, and for the state budget allocations to be managed correctly and spent efficiency. They were also asked what should be done for the schools to become more attractive for students and how the problem of shortage of teachers in rural schools can be solved.

Pact for Education

The Democratic Party of Moldova said the most competitive and modern countries have appropriate education systems adjusted to the realities on the labor market, friendly with the students and correct towards the teaching staff. The Democratic political forces of Moldova should concertedly undertake a correct education reform strategy that would have the form of a Pact for Education. This way a serious commitment will be made not to impede the positive effects of the initiated changes. Research should be developed so that is fosters sustainable economic development and the improvement of living condition. As to the situation of children who must go to school in another settlement, the number of school buses has been increased the last few months and this is a very encouraging sign for the education system.

The crèches and nursery schools must also be modernized so that the children of preschool age from villages and towns enjoy good conditions. A governmental program will be implemented to outfit the national schools with modern technology and the necessary teaching equipment. Another objective is to create computer classrooms at all the schools and to connect them to the Internet until 2018. The education system of Moldova must become really relevant for the students’ future. They need to get the skills that will help them easily find a job in the appropriate area and with a high salary. Teaching must be modernized by using modern technology in the classroom such as computers, tablets and projectors.

The school programs must focus on basic subjects that will motivate the students to continue their education at universities and to enter directly the labor market. The quality of vocation education in Moldova must be improved so that this type of education trains specialists for areas experiencing a shortage of labor force. A Law on Apprenticeship should be adopted and permanent partnerships should be established between vocational schools and different companies, firms and private workshops. Vocational Baccalaureate exams can be introduced as a method by which the graduates of vocational schools can obtain a useful diploma for employment. The access to international Baccalaureate exams should be facilitated. Teachers’ salaries must be further increased over the next few years, while the teachers from rural areas should also receive a salary bonus, allowances for transport and rent and concessions for purchasing or building homes.

Measures taken by current government must be generally reviewed

The Christian Democratic People’s Party considers the reform in education was imposed from outside and has nothing to do with the national interest. Maia Sandu was parachuted in the seat of minister of education namely in order to give a blow to education in rural areas. The measures taken by current government in education must be generally reviewed. At least secondary schools must exist in the villages where there is a minimum of students. The village without a school dies. Transport and roads of an appropriate quality must be ensured where it is necessary.

The quality of education depends on the quality of teaching staff that must enjoy decent salaries and work conditions. The return of the young specialists to their native place must be stimulated by high salaries and social benefits. The young specialists working in rural areas must be provided with dwellings, but they must also be obliged to work for at least ten years there or should be penalized.

Redirection of 10% of the GDP to education

The Liberal Reformist Party considers that state must ensure each child’s access to education and the optimization of the network of schools must not affect the students. School buses must exist in all the settlements where there is no school. In October, Romania donated 100 school minibuses to Moldova. The current needs must be assessed and funds should be allocated for buying the necessary units of transport.

For the school to become attractive for students, the method of teaching subjects must be changed as the school must be interactive. The old methods do not cope with the current necessities. Information technology should be used in teaching, while the students should be stimulated by financing the studies for special results achieved.

For the villages to be more attractive, infrastructure and all the necessary conditions must be created. Effort should be made to modernize the villages and to attract investments to rural areas. The salaries of teachers working in rural areas must not be neglected. Some 10% of the GDP should be redirected to this sector, where more investments are needed.

Example of Japan

According to the National Liberal Party, the reform of the vocational education is one of the foundation stones of the economic modernization activities. The number of teachers who left the education system has doubled over the past year. The teachers go abroad because of the low salaries and disastrous conditions in which many of them have to work. According to the Education and Science Trade Unions of Moldova, almost 1,500 teachers left their jobs so far this year. The Ministry of Education must implement projects to really keep the young specialists in education. This would be possible by providing advantageous loans and particular benefits to those who return.

Encouraging the human resources is the only way by which a country can maintain a constant growth rate. After 1989, the education system has been in decline following the multitude of reforms tested on the young generation. The rupture between the academic community and the economic sector led to an imbalance on the labor market.

Romania and Moldova have a much more valuable resource that the gold and schist gases – intelligence. They should thus follow the example of Japan, which lays emphasis on the people’s intelligence. Informatization was one of the solutions used to swiftly narrow the gap between Romania and the old EU member states. In Romania there are conditions for developing an IT industry in the best conditions and all the preconditions for putting to good use the Romanian intelligence. This refers to the situation and the IT sector of Moldova as well. Romania is a great supplier of intelligence (Oracle, IBM, Intel, and Amazon).

Nursery and kindergarten in every settlement

The Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova believes that the Education Code must be annulled and the reform in education must be stopped as the schools in villages should not be closed. A nursery and a primary school must exist in every settlement. The Baccalaureate exams must not be mandatory, while the admission to higher education institutions must be exam-based, as earlier.

The status of teacher must be restored as this is one of the most responsible and important professions for society. The teachers must be also freed from the obligation to compile a multitude of reports so that they could concentrate on teaching.

National Program “Pie and Milk”

The People’s Party of the Republic of Moldova said that education in its platform is a priority for developing and modernizing the country. Each village must have by a nursery and a primary school with rich libraries and appropriately equipped gyms. The image and status of the teacher in society must be brought up to a new qualitative level. An educated and healthy society is the basis of a rich state. The party will make effort to create conditions for equipping the national schools and lyceums in accordance with the European standards. The vocational schools and colleges will be developed so that the studies and dorms there are gratis. This will help improve the quality of the education system and will make it more equitable.

A National Program “Pie and Milk” will be launched to daily provide the children from nurseries and schools with a pie and a cup of milk free of charge. This program will also support the national producers. Libraries with textbooks, literature and computers will be set up in every school and nursery.

To motivate the young specialists to work in villages, the villages must be modernized by developing businesses and by decentralizing the local power. This means that 75% of the money collected as taxes from private initials will remain in the local budget and this money could be managed independently, for repairing the local school, nursery, roads and for building homes for young people. The public services will be of a better quality and will cost less. The modernization of the organizations that provide these services and the appropriate salaries will help improve the living conditions of young teachers.

A profound, responsible reform

The Liberal Party considers the improvement of the education polices is a precondition for ensuring social equity and the scientific basis for offering equal chances for children from all the social sections. Therefore, the education system must be subject to a profound, responsible reform so as to cope with the economic development needs as a top priority.

In order to increase attractiveness for students, the teaching methods and techniques must focus on the formation and development of comparative international advantages for the coming generation in parallel with the adjustment of the qualifications of the teaching and academic communities. Excluding any form of assessment is as important as the exams are a remnant of the Soviet education methodology.

The shortage of teachers in rural and urban schools can be dealt with by increasing the economic motivation of teachers and the investments in the efficient areas. The rise in teachers’ incomes must be correlated with the implementation of a state mechanism for recognizing the performance of teachers and the provision of bonuses and merit awards. The investments must be calculated based on the profit rate from investments in education and a thorough analysis of this indicator so as to identify the productive sectors.

Better a good school, than one near home

Independent candidate Oleg Brega said he supports all the actions taken by the current minister of education and agrees with the merger of the inefficient schools and the transportation of children/teachers from small settlements to schools in larger settlements. It’s better to have a good school, than a bad school near the home.

For the schools to become attractive, the school program must be simplified. There must be more useful and practical subjects of one’s choice. The shortage of teachers in rural schools is something normal given the natural tendency of the population to migrate to towns. The students eager to study must also go to urban schools.

Equal salaries for teachers and lawmakers

The Green Ecologist Party said that there is no transparency in education, as in many other areas, while the government does not consider it necessary to inform the population about these reforms. When a school is optimized, the population is not told why this thing is necessary. There is lack of communication that reveals the lack of professionalism and of a strategic view of the ministry managers.

To become more attractive, the schools must be outfitted appropriately, while financial resources should be allocated by all kinds of divisions. The mass media should propagate the necessity of studies and should report cases when the students achieve good results as, in most of the cases, the children want to finish school and to go to Italy to live with the mother or to Russia to live with the father. The salary of lawmakers must be equal to the salary of teachers. An appropriate state program is needed, not as the current one. A teacher sent to work in a settlement must be provided with home not by the state, but by the local public administration.

‘Galloping reform’ must be stopped

The Centrist Union of Moldova considers the education reform should have been the theme of a special, long-term academic study made long before initiating the so-called reform to ‘optimize’ the education system. The ‘galloping reform’ must be stopped as it is implemented irresponsibly. A radical revision of the so-called reform is needed. The closing of schools, including primary schools and nursery schools, will inevitably lead to the disappearance of cultural-educational centers in many settlement and, ultimately, to the disappearance of these settlements.

The education system is the area in which the state must invest considerably, including by implementing a special national program that will envision the creation of attractive conditions for young families and specialists, encouragement of the return of teachers from abroad, increase in salaries of teachers working in rural areas, etc.

Note: IPN News Agency asked all the election runners to state their views on the given issue. The article contains the answers provided by the agreed date. The IPN series of materials produced before the November 30 parliamentary elections will continue with other important issues identified by the public. So far there were addressed such issues as the undeclared economy, the mandatory health insurance funds and social assistance, and road infrastructure and transport. , and unemployment.

Elena Nistor, IPN

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