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Large differences between rural and urban in the National Assessment. “In mathematics, over 36% of children in villages took less than 5, compared to 14% in the city”

156,000 students from all over the country took the National Assessment this year and 82 %% of them took a passing grade, ie over 5. The pass rate increased by almost 6%, compared to last year. But “this difference does not tell us anything”, specify the specialists in education, for Libertatea. One problem that remains is the difference between rural and urban, unchanged for many years.

82% of the 8th grade graduates enrolled in the National Assessment took over 5 in the exam, compared to 76.8% last year. Cristian Hatu, founding member and president of the Center for Educational Evaluation and Analysis, says that although this year we have the highest rate of promotion to the National Evaluation in the last decade, the growth is not relevant. This is because in Romania there is still no objective evaluation, he explains, an important point for a high-performance education system.

“We saw that there is a difference of 5.5% compared to last year’s percentage. Nothing tells us this difference. The percentage is higher because the subjects were light, part of the matter was not evaluated, being a pandemic. It is not possible to compare the level of this year’s students and last year’s students, because we do not have objective evaluations. If this happens, the level of difficulty of the National Assessment exams should be the same every year “, explains Hatu.

The PISA test, for example, is objective, he adds, because it compares whether or not there has been progress compared to the previous assessment.

Report: Only 34% of teenagers in the village have someone at home to help them with their lessons

Although the subjects “were easy”, the students from the village did not reach their classmates from the city. Sorin Cîmpeanu, the Minister of Education, announced at the press conference held today, before displaying the results of the National Assessment, that in rural areas there were three times more averages below 5 than in urban areas.

“It is not a surprise, the result from the National Evaluation is, unfortunately, aligned with the results we have had so far”, says for Libertatea, Mihaela Nabăr, executive director of the World Vision Romania Foundation, which recently published the report Child welfare in rural areas 2022, which describes the situation of children in villages.

It states that four times more children drop out of school in rural areas than in urban areas.

According to the percentages held by the organization, adds Mihaela Nabăr, “30% of rural children did not get averages above 5 in the National Assessment, compared to urban areas, where only 10% took below 5. Unfortunately, the trend continues compared to previous years. The biggest differences can be seen in mathematics: over 36% of the children from the villages took less than 5, compared to the urban environment, where 14% have grades below this threshold ”.

In the pandemic, in the online school, almost half of the students from the village had limited access to technology, shows a study by World Vision Romania

The director of the NGO also points out that at the Romanian language test almost one in four rural students completed the 8th grade exam with an average below 5. “These painful figures are the consequence of the lack of support for children in the educational process,” she said. our data from the latest Child Welfare report: only 34% of the teenagers in our programs have someone at home to help them with their lessons, the most help they would need is math. At the same time, only 35% of teenagers can afford to buy the necessary supplies to continue their education “, says Mihaela Nabăr.

Moreover, during the pandemic, during online school, almost half of the students in the village had very limited access to education, because they lacked technology or internet connection.

Teachers and students without motivation

Mihaela Nabăr reminds that, regarding the 2022 exam, “there is an improvement compared to last year in terms of general averages over 5, at national level”. An increase of about 6%. The result, however, would not be related to an improvement in the quality of education, but to changes in the subject: the fact that some of the lessons were dropped, including from the last semester of the eighth grade.

“The poor quality of education in rural areas is confirmed”, Minister Cîmpeanu also declared today, regarding the grades taken by the students from the country, unlike their colleagues from the city.

The director of World Vision explains what is happening with rural education. “We do not have qualified teachers who teach in rural areas, those who are feel demotivated, either because they do not receive support, or because there are many changes in education, that salaries are unattractive. This demotivation determines a lower quality “, she says.

In the case of students from villages, the lack of motivation is as high as that of teachers. This is because, in addition to technical problems such as access to technology, they lack basic things such as food and clothing. As long as they are not insured, children cannot concentrate on learning.

Sorin Cimpeanu, Minister of Education. | Photo: ANDREEA ALEXANDRU / MEDIAFAX PHOTO

Teachers with specializations such as history or English come to teach physics and chemistry “

Cristian Hatu confirms the context of teachers in rural areas: “It is difficult to find teachers with specialized studies in the village, they are often substitutes, especially in physics, chemistry. Teachers with other specializations such as history or English come to teach these subjects in the classroom “, he says.

“It’s a huge problem with the teaching staff. No new teachers enter the system. School inspectors told us that for ten years, for example, no teacher had come to take the final exam. Retired professors still work for three years, because they have no one to occupy the departments. ”

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Source From: Libertatea

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