Romanian Educational System - Elementary School

Elementary School

Elementary school lasts eight years in Romania. Most elementary schools are public; MEC statistics show less than 2 percent of elementary school students attend private school. Unless parents choose a school earlier, the future student is automatically enrolled in the school nearest to his or her residence. Some schools that have a good reputation are flooded with demands from parents even two or three years in advance. A negative consequence of this is that in many schools classes are held in two shifts lasting from as early as 7 a.m. to as late as 8 p.m. Education is free in public schools (including some books and auxiliary materials), but not entirely (some textbooks, notebooks, pencils and uniforms might be required to be purchased).

School starts in the middle of September and ends in the middle of June the following year. It is divided into two semesters (September to December and January to June). There are four holiday seasons (Christmas — 3 weeks in December-January; Spring (previously Easter) in April - 2 weeks; and Summer, spanning from the middle of June to September 15), with an additional free week in November for students in the first 4 years. Additionally, during the week before the Spring holiday, special activities (e.g. trips; contests) replace classes.

A class (clasă) can have up to 30 students (25 is considered optimum), and there can be as few as one class per grade or as many as twenty classes per grade. Usually each group has its own classroom. Each group has its own designation, usually the grade followed by a letter of the alphabet (for example, VII A means that the student is in the 7th grade in the 'A' class).

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