Types of institution
Generally, upper secondary education in Romania is delivered in a few types of educational establishments:
In every county there are a number of schools which provide education based on a complementary programme or integrated sports or arts education. These schools function based on a specific curriculum which ensures both the attainment of the goals and objectives specific to the educational level and an intensive sport or arts programme. Admission to these schools is conditioned by the results of some aptitude tests depending on the specificity of the programme. Although most of students continue their education with the same kind of programme after leaving lower secondary education, these programmes are considered more a pre-specialisation of students which support their personal development needs and school guidance rather than a strict specialisation.
Most high-schools and school groups are located in urban areas. An exception is represented bya small number of technological high-schools and school groups from rural areas, having classes mostly with the educational profile exploitation of natural resources and environment protection.
Some technological high-schools and school groups, as well as a part of the theoretical and aptitude-based high-schools, are organised as boarding schools.They provide accommodation and meals for their students.
For the purpose of improving access to education for all, the Education Law 1/2011, with its subsequent changes and additions, provides as follows:
Admission requirements and choice of school
The number of places at all levels of public education is determined on an annual basis by a Government Decision, based on the proposals from the Ministry of National Education.
The proposal of the Ministry is preceded by several successive foundation-draft-consultation stages involving:
In each county, the number of places in public schools is decided by an Order of Minister, in compliance with the provisions of the Government Decision which reflects the results of the consultation process.
The admission requirements for high schools are:
Students who finish lower secondary education may express their options for continuing their studies using unique forms for registration developed and made available by the Ministry of National Education. All the options and the available places are registered by the County School Inspectorates in the database of the Ministry of National Education. The applicants are distributed to the existing places in the decreasing order of their average admission mark and taking into account their options.
The students who completed lower secondary education may choose one of the following educational paths:
Students can transfer from a school to another, from a route to another, etc. according to the rules stipulated by the Regulation for the Organisation and Functioning of School Education Establishments (Order of the Education Minister no. 5079/2016, complemented by the Order of the Education Minister no. 3027/2018).
Progression to the upper cycle of high-school (grades 11 – 12/13) depends on the educational path and the competences acquired throughout compulsory education. The access of the students who completed the lower cycle of high-school to different routes, profiles and specialisations provided in the upper cycle of high-school is based on a methodology developed by the Ministry of National Education.
The students who complete the 3 years of vocational education learn all the subjects considered as general knowledge subjects that are taught in grades 9 and 10 of high-school education. Therefore, they may continue their studies in high-school, the technological profile, in grades 11 and 12/13.
Age levels and grouping of pupils/ students
Throughout upper secondary education, each subject of the Framework Curriculum is taught by a different teacher. Based on the principle of continuity, usually, the same teacher works with a particular group of students during all grades in which that subject is taught at a given educational level.
The composition of classes/groups of students is decided by the school board of each school. The composition of classes depends on the path, profile and specialisation, and the modern languages learnt by students.
When students are enrolled in high-school , the continuity of the study of modern languages is, usually, ensured, taking into account the educational provision of the school.
When there are good reasons, at the written request of parents or of major students, the board of the school may decide to reverse the order in which the modern languages are studied or to change them.
Classes are generally homogenous with regard to students’ age. The structure of classes in upper secondary education and the indicative age levels are as follows (full-time education):
The Ministry of National Education, in cooperation with the local public administration authorities, through the School Inspectorates, may organise "second chance" educational programmes. These programmes promote compulsory education for people who are 4 year older than the specific age of a grade and who, due to various reasons, have not completed lower secondary education.
The number of students in a class depends on the educational level and is stipulated by the Education Law 1/2011, with its subsequent changes and completions. In high-school education there are on average 25 students in a class, but not less than 15 and no more than 30.
The Ministry of National Education may approve the functioning of classes with less than the minimum number or more than the maximum number of students taking into account the concrete local conditions. Students with exceptional aptitudes and achievement may complete two grades in a single school year, following a procedure approved by an Order of Minister.
There are some subjects which may be taught to groups of students (usually not less than 10 students), and not to a whole class of students:
Organisation of school year
The organisation of the school year for upper secondary education is decided on an annual basis by an Order of the Education Minister.
The structure of the school year is based on a series of considerations:
The National Curriculum established by the Ministry of National Education specifies:
Within this framework, schools are fully responsible for deciding the daily and weekly schedule for each class of students.
The school year in Romania comprises two semesters, two holidays in the period of classes and a summer holiday.
The exact timetable of the school year is determined annually by an Order of the Education Minister.
Schools may ask the County School Inspectorates to change the timetable of the school year for objective reasons:
The County School Inspectorates may approve such requests provided that the number of school weeks and the corresponding number of school days is that stipulated by the Order of the Education Minister.
Organisation of the school day and week
Students go to school 5 days per week. The weekly and daily schedule f are decided by the school board following a consultation with the teachers and parents. The shedules are based on the following criteria:
Lessons last for 50 minutes and are followed by 10 minute breaks. Most schools have a 20 minute break after the third lesson. In special situations, for a definite period of time, the duration of lessons and breaks may be changed, at the justified proposal of the head teacher, based on a decision of the board of the school, and informing the School Inspectorate.
In schools working in two shifts due to low capacity, some grades start classes at 12:00, 13:00 or 14:00. Because the students have classes either in the morning, or in the afternoon, schools do not provide for a lunch break .
School education may be organised as:
Compulsory education is full-time education.
The obligation to attend compulsory education delivered as full-time education, day classes, ceases at the age of 18. Individuals who have not completed compulsory education by this age and are more than 3 years older than the regular age of a specific grade may continue their studies, upon request, in full-time education– evening classes, or in part time education, according to the methodology developed by the Ministry of National Education.
Evening classes may be organised by the County School Inspectorates for education provided in high-school, depending on the available resources and the local demand. In this type of education, the number of hours per week is reduced (24-25), and the number of years of study is increased by one (high-school ends with grade 13).
Schools may organise activities for students after the end of classes, in cooperation with parents, the local public administration authorities, and other partners. During these activities, students are supervised by teachers (usually the same teachers who teach the students in the classroom). These afterschool programmes may include supervised study, doing homework, cultural and recreational activities, sport activities etc. The necessary costs are mainly covered by contributions from parents, and financial support may also be provided by the local public administration authorities, NGOs, natural or legal persons, etc.
6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education
6.4Organisation of general upper secondary education
Last update: 27 November 2023