05 March 2008 Bucharest _ All but one of Romania's parties in parliament reached a political agreement on reforming the education system.
President Traian Basescu spoke last week to every political group, in a bid to make sure for the agreement will be signed by all the parties, and the law will definitely get the thumbs-up from Parliament.
Romania ranks close to the bottom of European countries in terms of the quality of its education service, and restructuring of the sector is needed to ensure the country stays competitive in economic spheres, politicians claim.
One of the opposition parties argued that religion should be compulsory in secondary schools. After discussions between the Education Ministry and the Romanian Orthodox Church, it was agreed that religion will exist in school timetables, but only if the parents ask for it.
Those who refuse religious education will take cultural lessons instead.
The education strategy includes equipping students with skills for the world of work as well as easing the bureaucracy in Romania’s schools.
The document earmarks the education system to receive about 6% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product between 2008–2013 and 1% for research.