The educational system in the Republic of Moldova has undergone many reforms which had the praiseworthy goal of modernising and democratising learning, to create conditions which affirm the potential of every child regardless of the material state of the family, the living environment, ethnic background, mother tongue, or the religious choices of the parents.
However, even with all the previous reforms, recent years attest to the declining rate of enrolment in primary school. Many schools lack teachers, the libraries are small, and the level of instruction is poor. Many children from families with limited means, especially families with a lot of children who live in rural areas, begin school at a later age and with great disadvantage compared to other children.
Every child has the right to a quality education. School assures protection, development, and the participation of children through the development of knowledge and skills which they will need in life. Promoted at the international level, the concept of child-friendly schools centers around five dimensions: inclusion and equity; effective learning; safety, protection, and health of the students; equality between the genders; involvement of the students, families, and community in school life.
Access to a quality education is promoted by the modernization program for the educational system in the Republic of Moldova, the SALT Program and Strategy for Youth. The National Development Strategy for 2008-2011, adopted in December 2007 by the Moldovan Parliament, foresees the improvement of the quality of education and the increase of access to education as required by international organizations.
National strategy “Education for all”
The national strategy 'Education for all' (EPT) places special importance on promoting access to education. EPT started in the Republic of Moldova in 2001 as a follow-up to the International Conference of Dakar, in which all participating countries were called on to prepare or strengthen their national plans of educational development, inserting the EPT objectives and strategy. In December 2001, the Moldovan government collaborated with the United Nations to organise the National conference 'Education for all' whose goal was to sensitize public opinion to the objectives of EPT, to debate the current educational problems, and to set up the National EPT Forum.
Early education was set as a priority for the first time by the government in 2002. Attendance at preschool in the Republic of Moldova was fairly low at only 41 per cent.Many preschools, especially in rural areas, have been closed. For 15 years, preschool educators did not receive books nor instruction.
In the last five years, the percentage of preschool attendance has risen to 55 per cent. If 85 per cent of 5-7 year old children attend preschool, the necessary preparation for school would be assured. Moldova is the only country which, benefiting from the Catholitic Fund, has channeled all its existing resources into the revitalization of the early education system.
Together: Information campaign
The campaign encouraged parents to play with their children, to read to them, to talk with them and to hug them. These messages were sent to some 150 thousand families with children, especially in the villages of the country. At that same time, Bedtime Stories was launched on national television as material to be shared by parents and children.