Education is the foundation of any democratic society which contributes to the multilateral training of the citizens in order to be able to integrate into society, both professionally and civic. Ensuring access to quality education for all citizens, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sex or religious confession, is a fundamental right of everyone.
The educational system must meet the needs of economic development, enhancing the quality and relevance of studies. Lifelong learning is to provide support for professional growth and affirmation assurance.
A major problem faced today by the Republic of Moldova and other countries in Europe is the large number of people excluded from the economic, social, political and cultural life of the community. Of course, such a society can not be safe and effective, and education, in this context, can provide the key to the exit from the impasse, the key to improving personal skills, widening the field of options to take full advantage of the freedoms that gives meaning and value to the existence.
For this reason, education must be human-centered and provide a positive horizon in order to be able to build a prosperous future. Thus, fundamental liberal values such as individual freedom, private property, individual responsibility, and equality before the law can only be ensured within a well-educated society.
That is why, I see the two following strategic directions as a matter of priority: modernize the vocational education and training (VET) so that education responses to the needs of society and labor market requirements; orient the research to universities in order to provide students with the opportunity to research at the universities they are learning.
Achieving these strategic objectives requires a comprehensive and objective analysis of the education system. According to the statistical data and the results of several sociological studies, the education as a whole does not fully correspond to the expectations of the graduates of the educational institutions, nor to the needs of the labor market. The lack of qualified teaching and managerial staff, the lack of adequate technical and material resources, the lack of involvement of parents in school life and the disproportionality of the network of educational institutions are some of the most important problems of the educational system in Moldova.
- However, there are some recent achievements in at least one of the above-mentioned direction. For almost 3 years, the Ministry of Education with European Union’s support is undertaking a major reform of Vocational Education Sector. The reform is in line with the VET Strategy for 2014-2020 having the vision to transform and to modernize this educational sector according to labor market needs and European standards. Therefore, first steps was to restructure the network of VET institutions and to create Centers of Excellence in the main fields of national economy. A new curriculum is under development with a focus on practical and relevant competencies of students. A new financing mechanism has been implemented and is expected to ensure a more efficient investment of resources. The dialogue between schools and economical agents has been established through the creation of Sector Committees, which role is to furnish the educational sector with information about labor market needs. The dual education system, which ensures the practical training of students, is also under development with at least ten companies and VET schools practicing this form of education.
- The reform is expected to further continue with refurbishment of VET institutions and endowment with equipment, so that to ensure a fully modernized VET. As a result, it is foreseen an increase of interest in VET among young people, who are encouraged to choose VET as qualitative education option for their future career. In order to consolidate the above mentioned results and ensure the attractiveness of VET among young people and their parents, more actions are needed toward that.
Strengthening the network of general education institutions, extending the autonomy and accountability of educational institutions, implementing performance-based funding mechanisms, curriculum modernization, institutionalizing external evaluations, renewing the initial and in-service training for teachers and managerial staff remain actual as recommendations to the Government.
The education in the Republic of Moldova is facing objectives that are not easy at all, and the Government from Chisinau must stop the populist approach and get involved fully in their realization. All of us, teachers, parents, students, the whole society depends on how we will overcome the obstacles in our path to change.
By Sergiu Boghean.