Politicians, at beginning of the pre-university school year

Interim Minister of Education Valer-Daniel Breaz, on Monday, responded to the criticisms regarding the Order that pupils who took the average below 5 at the National Assessment will go to vocational schools, saying that no student will be denied access to education. "It is a decision adopted by a ministerial order following discussions with those in the Social Dialogue Group at the level of the Ministry of National Education. I want to tell you that most of them agreed with this decision, to put this threshold of grade 5 (...) I have imposed this threshold, but the students who will go to the vocational school - because the business environment also calls on us for craftsmen, they say why we no longer have craftsmen, vocational schools - they will go, they will learn a craft for three years. After three years, they can take the courses of a high school, they can pass the baccalaureate, they can take the courses of a college, etc. They practically and educationally can fulfill themselves, the respective students," said Breaz, present at the opening ceremony of the new school year at secondary school no. 79 in Bucharest. Valer-Daniel Breaz also said on Monday that religious services performed at the opening ceremonies of the new school year are not compulsory, remaining at the discretion of the educational units whether or not to invite a priest for this. * * * The Minister of Labor and Social Justice, Marius Budai, who attended the opening of the school year at Grigore Antipa School 6 in NE Botosani, stressed the need to correlate the education plan with the Romanian labor market. He also stated that the schools are under the administration of the town halls, and in places where the mayors are ''hard working", concerned about the infrastructure problem in education, all the problems have been solved, but he admitted that there are still places where there is still work to be done. * * * Deputy Prime Minister Daniel Suciu, Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration, said Monday in NE Bistrita, on the occasion of the opening of the new school year, that through the National Program for Local Development (PNDL) investments were started at approximately 5,000 educational units in the country. * * * Acting Interior Minister Mihai Fifor gives students who are getting ready for school 10 tips to get grade 10 in the "safety lesson". He tells the children to pay attention to the group of friends and say "no" if the latter urge them to do things that can negatively affect them. * * * Theodor Paleologu, the People Movement's Party (PMP) presidential candidate, said on Monday at the German Goethe College, where he attended the opening of the school year, that the Romanian education is "wrongly laid down on the tracks" and that it does not sufficiently encourage the students' intellectual autonomy. "It is important to teach young people to think by themselves, to speak up, to argue, that matters a lot and this will accompany them throughout their lives and it is also extremely important from a professional perspective and from a human, intellectual, moral point of view," he affirmed.AGERPRES(RO - authors: Iulia Carciog, Daniel Popescu, Catalin Alexandru, Cristian Lupascu, Tina Dumitrescu, editors: Andreea Rotaru, Karina Olteanu, Georgiana Tanasescu; EN - author: Simona Iacob, editor: Maria Voican)

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