Romania - Teaching Profession
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There has been a shortage of teachers at all levels in the Romanian education system. One of the reasons is the purging of educators after the revolution in 1989. However, other reasons are more practical, including the aging of the profession (Romanian Educational System 2000) lower salaries for teachers (Eismon et al. 1999), and the dramatic increase in enrollments (Smith 1995). Eismon and his colleagues (1999) mention that the teaching and medical sectors, which are public employees, are becoming less attractive because of the movement of individuals into business and the social sciences. Smith (1995) reports statistics showing that the number of teaching positions grew by 116 percent from 1989 to 1993.
At the university level, Eismon and his colleagues (1999) write that there have been severe shortages of professors and that the state has undertaken considerable reform efforts to staff higher education. These measures include placing more faculty in position to direct dissertations, a decrease in the research requirements of young faculty, and decreasing the qualifications for teaching from doctorates to masters degrees. In the interim, chronic staff shortages have led to the recruitment of many young faculty without doctorate degrees and these individuals are teaching large numbers of courses with little opportunity to do research. A number of reforms have been instituted that would make teaching at the university level more attractive. These reforms include attaching significance to rank between contract and tenured faculty, designing a credit system to relate rank and salary for staff, and developing a two-track promotion system for those who wish to teach and those who wish to teach and research.
One measure aimed at enhancing access to higher education is the transformation of pedagogical high schools into teacher training university colleges (Romanian Educational System 2000). One hope for this change is to attract more individuals into the teaching profession as well as decreasing the increased enrollment in other institutions. Of the primary education reforms that are often listed by education advocates, "reorganization of teacher training systems" is common (Barrett 1995-96).
Teachers and professor are also in position in the late 1990s to obtain additional training in computers and communication technology. The Ministry of National Education has instituted a number of reforms for this purpose and these include classes and seminars to train teachers in new computing skills and in designing curricula for the integration of computing into the classroom.