Month-long school holiday due to pandemic

The Minister of Education, Sorin Cîmpeanu, announced the extension of the spring school holiday: The one-month school break would include both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Easter. According to the minister, April will be the hardest month from the epidemic point of view, and the closure of the schools would reduce mobility and help keep the situation from getting worse. In 2021, the Roman Catholics celebrate Easter on April 4, while Orthodox Christians do so on May 2; the structure of the school year included one week of vacation for each period, Hungarian newspaper Székelyhon.ro reports.

According to Sorin Cîmpeanu, April is proving to be the most difficult month from an epidemiological point of view, so a one-month vacation, starting on April 2 and ending on May 4, would help the situation a lot. As the minister explained, by expanding the vacation to the whole of April, mobility would be reduced, which is necessary due to the worsening epidemic situation and the saturation of hospitals, Székelyhon wrote based on an article in Krónika. The extension of the vacation changes the course of the school year a little.

Graduation exams taken at the end of high school will be organized according to the original plans, between June 28 and July 1, while the simulation of the graduation exams as well as of the National Assessment – mandatory national exam taken at the end of eight grade – will end March 31. Similarly, the national tests of 4th and 6th graders will be held at a scheduled date, Krónika wrote. However, the National Assessment would be moved to July 5–8, after the graduation tests. The competitive examinations and on-the-job confirmation exams (exams used to assign teaching positions) will be organized as scheduled before. The second half of the school year would also be extended by two weeks: So the summer vacation would start on July 2 instead of June 18.

The minister of education pointed out several benefits of the long vacation. According to Sorin Cîmpeanu, the pilot-examinations could be organized before the school break, while during April, mobility will be reduced, which may help keep the graduation exams as planned. However, the minister also admitted that the extended vacation would have some negative affects as well. “The graduation exams won’t be rescheduled, but the National Assessment of the 8th graders, as well as their admission to 9th grade, will be organized only after the graduation exams. The national evaluation of 2nd graders, meanwhile, will be moved from April 20 to May,” the inister said, adding that they are trying to find the best way to change the school year as little as possible. Cîmpeanu explained that the rescheduling of the graduation exams would also affect the university school year because if these exams are delayed, the summer university admission period cannot be arranged.

Title image: Schools in Romania will be closed for over a month. However, summer vacation will now be docked by two weeks. Photo: Getty Images

Author: Orsi Sarány