From next school year, Romania will apply a law that prohibits teachers from giving private lessons to their own students. So authorities are planning to contain a widespread phenomenon that has only increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu recently announced that the ban will be enforced through a new legislative package to be adopted under the “Educated Romania” program. He added that teachers who do not respect it will be sanctioned.
This law was first enacted as part of the “Code of Ethics for Pre-University Education”, passed in 2018, which also banned favoritism and the receipt of material goods or money for educational services rendered to school. . But the law was never enforced.
One in three children took private lessons during the 2019-2020 school year, according to the 2021 national study “Tutoring in Romania: an alternative or complementary education system?” published by the Romanian Academic Society and the Romanian Institute Evaluation and Strategy (IRES) .
The survey shows that a large proportion of parents believe that enrolling their child in private lessons is necessary for their child to receive a good education – up to 80% of parents said they saw a significant improvement in the ability of their children after private lessons.
Although some free educational programs are offered, most families spent about 300 RON (EUR 60) per month on private lessons during the year analysed.
A more recent study by Save the Children Romania shows that nearly 60% of Romanian students are tutored in at least one subject. A situation undoubtedly created by the educational gaps in Romanian schools during the last two years of the COVID pandemic.
“Tutorials are provided in all European countries and a parent cannot be prohibited from enrolling their child in additional training. However, a common sense condition is that teachers are not allowed to tutor their own students. We want numbers to make sense and we want ethical standards to be adhered to, and when a teacher tutors students in their own classroom, the relevance of numbers suffers,” Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu told HotNews.ro.
In an interview for Digi 24 TV, the minister also said the legislative package will include specifications regarding a teacher’s duty to do everything possible to eliminate the need for additional education. However, the law allows teachers to offer remedial classes to their students, provided these classes take place in a classroom setting and are provided free of charge.
The law also provides for the creation of a National School Inspectorate Commission, whose role is to monitor teachers in schools and ensure that their behavior is in accordance with established rules. The committee will consist of a group of experienced teachers who have “a proven track record of moral and professional integrity”.
ANAF also recently made an announcement about private lessons and published a guide for teachers offering private lessons. According to the guide, tutors are required to register with the Commercial Register and declare this, as well as any other source of additional income, when filing their tax returns.
In addition, teachers are required to purchase cash registers in order to be able to offer their customers receipts for services rendered. It remains to be seen what sanctions will be applied in the case of teachers who tutor their own students or those who fail to declare their sources of additional income.