The Moldovan education system was fundamentally changed when the country became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. Moldovan (Romanian) replaced Russian as the dominant language of instruction and communist ideology was removed from the curriculum. However, the language issue has continued to be a delicate subject right into the 2010s.
Until the late 1980s, education in Moldova followed the Soviet model. It meant that teaching communist ideology, Russian and Russian history had to take place at the expense of, for example, Romanian history and literature as well as the Moldavian language. Most of the teaching took place in Russian. In connection with independence, Romanian history and literature were included in the curriculum. Many Russian-speaking schools were closed, while contacts with schools in Romania increased.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Moldova, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Nowadays, Moldavian (Romanian) is the dominant language of instruction and many Moldavans study in Romania. Minority groups are formally entitled to teaching in their mother tongue, but this is not always complied with.
The children begin compulsory schooling at the age of seven. The school should be free of charge, but parents are often asked to give voluntary grants. The compulsory school is divided into a four-year low school and a higher school that lasts for seven years (in turn divided into two stages of five and two years respectively). This is followed by voluntary vocational or college preparatory upper secondary education.
Almost all children start school, and nine out of ten pupils complete primary school. More than two out of three students continue to study at the upper secondary level.
The largest among the institutions of higher education are the State University of Moldova and the University of Moldova, both in the capital Chișinău. The number of students at colleges and universities has increased sharply since the mid-1990s. Many Moldavians acquire higher education in the EU, mainly in Romania.
In the early 2000s, the ruling Communist Party was accused of political involvement in education, especially in the language issue. In 2002, demonstrations broke out in Chișinău as the government tried to make Russian a compulsory subject in elementary school. Since 2003, the government has appointed and appointed rectors and decision-makers at the local education authorities.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Moldova, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
86.5 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
99.1 percent (2012)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
18.5 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
18.5 percent (2016)
Team against communist symbols
Calls for a ban on the use of communist symbols for political purposes; Communist Party leader Voronin explains that the party intends to retain the traditional symbol with the hammer and the cutter. The law comes into force in October of that year.
Pedophiles should be castrated
A law comes into force that makes chemical castration mandatory as punishment for those convicted of pedophilia (sexual abuse of minors, in this case children under 15). The punishment should also be punishable in certain cases of rape. Chemical castration means that the sexual drive of the convicted person is greatly reduced by medication with hormones.
Judge becomes new president
In the seventh attempt, Parliament elects the government’s candidate – the politically independent and inexperienced judge Nicolae Timofti – to the Moldovan presidential president, after also three communists voted for him, likely to put an end to the deadlock that delayed both political and economic reforms and slowed the country’s approach to the EU. The country has not had an ordinary head of state since September 2009. After the election, Timofti expresses strong support for the government’s efforts to integrate Moldova into Europe, while emphasizing that he is a politically independent head of state. The Communists, who also boycotted this vote, condemn the three defectors. Tens of thousands of Communist Party supporters march in a protest demonstration.
Transnistria’s hard currency has shaken
Transnistria’s newly elected President Shevchuk says before parliament it has been revealed that 90 percent of the hard currency’s breakaway republics have been “transferred to other accounts” during the previous Smirnov regime. The governor leaves the job.