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Cronicile

“At a distance from books”: 85,000 teachers (one third of educational staff) are graduates of distance learning

de Mariana Bechir , 3.6.2019

Approximately 85,000 teachers are graduates of distance learning (ID) programs, Education Minister Ecaterina Andronescu said at a meeting with school inspectors from Caras-Severin County.

The share represents over one-third of the total number of educational staff, according to official data.

The information has been disclosed as part of an argument supporting the need for vocational training of those working in the education sector, especially those who have completed such distance learning programs. “When you use distance learning, you learn somehow by keeping a distance from books. As a result, we need to bring them into a professional training program. All of these things are extremely important,” the minister said.

Each teacher has to attend vocational training programs at least once every 10 years and the urgency is for ID graduates, Ecaterina Andronescu added.

Teachers must regularly go back to a university for these training sessions, both to refresh their knowledge in the field they teach, but also to keep up to date with modern, digitized teaching methods.

She explained that renewing school and teaching methods is all the more necessary in the current context, as it is about an adaptation to the reality in which children live today, to today’s school children:

We have in our schools a generation that is radically different from the generation 15 years or 20 years ago. They have other expectations; they have other acquisitions before they get to school because most of them grew with their fingers on the tablet.

For those who are closer to the psychological components – the visual memory component is much more developed and through the visual memory they acquired knowledge before starting the school and now we bring them back to the pencil and chalk; that cannot be done.”

We must try to modernize ourselves. How? That’s why we have money to buy smart boards in every class, but that’s why we need to help teachers work with them.

Minister Andronescu revealed that in 2001, at the moment when the school digitalisation program has been introduced, only 8% of teachers had ever opened a computer.

Romania has the largest number of unskilled teachers in the EU, in recent years Romanian school children registered disastrous results in PISA international tests (almost 40% are functionally illiterate); accreditation exams for teachers show that the teacher’s level of training is not very high either, school drop-out rate fluctuates from year to year between ranking second and third largest in the EU, less than 50% of high school graduates complete their studies and obtain the baccalaureate diploma in due course.

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