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Kindergarten in Romania
While the Romanian educational system shares some similarities with educational systems throughout the rest of the world, education within Romania is also quite unique. As a whole, the Romanian educational system is organized by the Ministry of Education and Research. The ministry governs education within Romania entirely, though each grade level may be treated separately.
Optional kindergarten is the first stage of Romanian education. Parents can enroll a child in kindergarten at the age of three, though all children leave kindergarten at the age of six. Since this portion of the educational system is not mandatory, this phase of the educational system is relatively short. Most kindergartens are split into three or four different groups depending on a child’s age.
Children who attend kindergarten in Romanian are often taught foreign languages, physical fitness, and some computer skills. Unlike kindergartens in North America, Romanian children are served a hot meal each day that is usually cooked inside of the kindergarten itself. Children are also served snacks in addition to a daily meal.
Since it is often difficult for parents to bring their children to kindergarten with good preschool lesson plans, many different kindergarten programs are offered to appease busy adults. Some children may attend a short kindergarten session, which only lasts until 1pm, while others may attend a longer session, which may last until 6pm. Those children who attend longer sessions are provided with naps, snacks, and three meals.
Even though there are some public kindergartens in Romania, the majority of these schools are privately run. Parents who cannot afford the 100-400 Euro private tuition fee do not send children to school until the age of six or seven (when the public sector takes over). Many rural areas do not have public kindergartens, which is why children who come from farming families may not take part in the educational system until they are six or seven years of age.
In addition to the fact that most kindergartens are privately run, all kindergartens are generally full to capacity on a regular basis. Parents who wish to enroll their children in kindergarten are often forced to place children on waiting lists. Due to increasing kindergarten demands, private schools have begun building more facilities, though finding a public school with availability is still quite rare.
Following kindergarten, children are automatically enrolled in elementary school. Those children who did not attend kindergarten begin their educations in elementary school, which is often a tough transition. As with kindergartens, there are plenty of private elementary schools in Romania as well. Kindergarten is seen as an important part of the educational system, though many Romanian children are forced to wait until elementary school in order to begin learning.