Teachers in Romania shouldn’t get paid to be tutors to the pupils they have in class but the rule is not respected.
The minister of Education of Romania, Sorin Cîmpeanu, announced on May 18 that teachers will be forbidden by law from tutoring their own pupils.
The new rule could be applied for the new school year 2022-2023.
Such a rule was already in place in a code of ethics issued for teachers in 2018 by the minister of Education. But the rule is not respected and Mr. Cîmpeanu now wants to make it law, which will lead to potential controls and sanctions.
The goal of the law is not to forbid tutoring, but to prohibit teachers from providing private, and paid, lessons to children they have in class. “You cannot forbid parents who want additional training for their own children to do it.” But schoolchildren who would receive extra hours of classes individually to get better would need to have their lessons given by another teacher than the ones they have.
For the minister of Education, this new law is “common sense” because the current practice has an impact on the grades that teachers give to students. It is like a conflict of interest since teachers get paid for these individual lessons. Teachers may influence the grades to become their tutors and parents may demand teachers to give higher grades to their children since they pay them.
Mr. Cîmpeanu also argues teachers have to make every effort so that children don’t need tutoring, which is available for families who can afford it.
Tutoring is common in Romania and has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, online classes lacked interactivity, with children having more difficulty learning and teachers giving classes and help them learn.