The Ombudsman believes that the elimination of social grants for students from rural areas who go to high school in a different locality than their own is „surprising” and „unfair”, according to Agerpres.
„Under the Order of the Minister of Education no. 5379/2022 on the approval of the general criteria for granting scholarships to students in pre-university education, the social aid scholarships granted to students from rural areas who go to high school in a different locality than their own has been eliminated. The decision to eliminate this category of social grants is as surprising as it is unfair, given that it affects students from rural areas who are forced to go to high school in a different locality, because they do not have such an educational institution in their own locality. Moreover, this measure was not publicly announced by the Ministry of Education, as it should have been, according to the provisions of Law no. 52/2003 on decision-making transparency in the public administration, republished,” reads a press release of the Ombudsman.
In the Ombudsman’s opinion, by eliminating these scholarships „the inequities” between students from the rural environment and those from the urban environment „will be maintained and deepened,” which „contradicts” even the Educated Romania Project, which „expressly” highlights the principles that refer to equity.
The Ombudsman also underscored that, regardless of the place where they were born, the family’s economic situation or ethnicity, all children have the right to quality education, and they must be provided with equal opportunities for education and later access to the labour market.
The Minister of Education, Sorin Cimpeanu, declared on Saturday that the provision of free student transport and social scholarships „are of maximum importance for the Government of Romania” and are provided from the state budget.
He added that all students who need support from a socio-economic or medical perspective this year receive social grants worth 200 lei per month, 12 months a year.