Start of academic year highlights deep gaps in Albania’s education system

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 17, 2018 14:03

Start of academic year highlights deep gaps in Albania’s education system

Story Highlights

  • However, the Coalition for Education said on Monday Albania remains one step behind all other European and even regional countries in financing education. According to the coalition, the government has been promising to raise the budget for education by up to 5 percent of the GDP for 6 years, but the state budget for education has actually stagnated at only 3 percent.

Related Articles

TIRANA, Sep. 17 – The new academic year began today in Albania, with approximately 480,000 new elementary and high-school students.

The education ministry announced this year’s curricula is more relaxed and further away from old teaching methods.

Around 32,000 children will be going to first grade, while 32,000 seniors will try out the new senior program which, according to the ministry, is based on what will follow in university and the work market.

The ministry also said this academic year free academic textbooks were distributed from the first to the fourth grade for approximately 190,000 children, while from grade five to grade nine children still had to pay for their textbooks.

However, the Coalition for Education said on Monday Albania remains one step behind all other European and even regional countries in financing education. According to the coalition, the government has been promising to raise the budget for education by up to 5 percent of the GDP for 6 years, but the state budget for education has actually stagnated at only 3 percent.

This lack of investment in the education of children and young people places Albania among the last countries in Europe for the results and achievements of students compared to the OECD countries.

The lack of public investment in education and the scarce government spending on quality and inclusive programs continue to leave a small proportion of children and adolescents without access to education, the Coalition for Education said.

To make matters concrete, the coalition quoted the World Health Organization, according to which nearly half of the schools have no drinking water and about 70 percent of them do not have adequate hygiene conditions for child education.

Almost 64 percent of children with disabilities remain out of the secondary education system and only 35 percent of schools in Albania are accessible to these children, the Coalition said. Although this school year finds public high-schools with a doubled number of teacher assistants, most children will not benefit from this support measure.

The coalition added that education of Roma and Egyptian children remains another big problem, as 38.6 percent of Roma and Egyptian children do not attend mandatory education.

One of the main problems of education remains violence and bullying at school: nearly 40 percent of students are victims of physical and psychological violence, while 22 percent of them feel threatened by teachers. Almost 20 percent of students are bullying victims, while 50 percent of students are witnessing discrimination of students in their school, the coalition concluded.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 17, 2018 14:03