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School dropout rate in Romania

Cunoasterea - Descarcă PDFMocanu, Alexandra (2023), School dropout rate in Romania, Cunoașterea Științifică, 2:3, 38-47, https://www.cunoasterea.ro/school-dropout-rate-in-romania/



Throughout our personal journey, family and school are the main pillars that introduce us to the term socialization and subject people to different scenarios that can be applied later in adult life. The two institutions co-exist together and collaborate in order to help raise future generations. School and family are the basis in education, the two should have a harmonious relationship for the good of children. The two influence the child’s school work and social life. The family is the first group a child interacts with in the early years of life. Then comes the educational institution, called school, which is a place of social interaction, where teachers and pupils communicate, new social relationships are established outside the family.

Keywords: school dropout, Romania, school, family, socialization

Abandonul școlar în România


De-a lungul călătoriei noastre personale, familia și școala reprezintă principalii stâlpi care ne introduc termenului de socializare și supune oamenii diferitelor scenarii care vor putea fi aplicate mai târziu, în viața de adult. Cele două instituții trebuie să învețe să coexiste împreună și să colaboreze pentru a putea ajuta la creșterea viitoarelor generații. Școala și familia reprezintă baza în educație, cele două ar trebuie să aibă o relație armonioasă pentru binele copiilor. Cele două influențează activitatea școlară și viața socială a copilului. Familie reprezintă primul grup cu care un copil interacționează în primii săi ani de viață. După își face apariția instituția de învățământ, numită școala, care este un spațiu al interacțiunii sociale, unde profesorii și elevi comunică, se stabilesc noi relații sociale în afară de familie.

Cuvinte cheie: abandonul școlar, România, școala, familia, socializare


CUNOAȘTEREA ȘTIINȚIFICĂ, Volumul 2, Numărul 3, Septembrie 2023, pp. 38-47
ISSN 2821 – 8086, ISSN – L 2821 – 8086
URL: https://www.cunoasterea.ro/school-dropout-rate-in-romania/
© 2023 Alexandra Mocanu. Responsabilitatea conținutului, interpretărilor și opiniilor exprimate revine exclusiv autorilor.


School dropout rate in Romania

Alexandra Mocanu



1. Introduction

Income insufficiency is one of the most common problems in Romania, being recognized at the population level, through statistics and is a highly publicized topic both at national and European level [11].

Copiii expuși riscului de sărăcie și de excluziune socială.
Sursa: Eurostat.

Fig. 1. Children at risk of poversty or social exclusion

Poverty affects people regardless of their age, gender, and this problem can be addressed through various programs offered by the state [11].

According to a Eurostat report from 2021, Romania ranks first in the risk of poverty and social exclusion with a probability of 41, 5% for children up to 18 years old, compared to other EU countries [12].

Education is defined as human behaviour through which a person develops intellectually, psychologically, emotionally and professionally. The educational process begins at home, the most important environment in a child’s life, where cultural norms are passed on from generation to generation. Family education plays a special role in the formation and development of children’s social personality. Alongside this social institution, schools are another important factor in educating new generations. Schools, which are social organisations, have the task of transmitting to pupils the system of values specific to society [6].

Education is an important branch of a person’s formation and schools not only form children but also integrate them into society. Education is defined as the set of social actions that propagate culture, generate, organise and direct individual or collective learning [17].

Education in schools has the role of introducing new generations to social life. It is responsible for the physical, intellectual and moral development of children [18].

Education is a specific human action through which a person develops intellectually, psychologically, socially, emotionally and professionally. Educational efforts begin in human life with the family, which is the most appropriate environment and the main mode of transmission of cultural norms [6].

Family education also plays a special role in shaping children’s social personality. The school is a social organization entrusted by the community to transmit to pupils, in accordance with their pedagogical and psychophysiological criteria, a certain value system of society [6].

It is a social space that brings together children from different social backgrounds. Although the school population differs in so many ways, the presence of pupils in school is aimed at their good formation and social integration [6].

Rather, school and family are the basis of education and the two institutions should have a harmonious relationship for the good of children. The two influence the child’s school work and social life. The educational institution is a space of social interaction, where teachers and pupils communicate, new social relationships are established outside the family. Teachers carry out activities necessary for the harmonious growth and development of children. In order for these activities to take place, cooperation is needed between the two sides, parents and teachers.

The school space is an important element in children’s lives, and according to Goodman it is a „new social world” where the child will be integrated into school. The school has the task of teaching the pupil to read, write, and count, but it is a necessary place for various important experiences in social life. The child will come into contact with new relationships, he will end up in a place where all pupils must be treated equally.

In every school there is a diversity about the group of people, in the institution, who have their own beliefs, relationships, which help to create a distinctive „air” [15], as Robinson and Aronica put it.

The child will begin to be part of the peer group, where he will interact with his peers, and in most cases the discussions and topics are not under the control of an adult [6].

At this stage, you will notice the emergence of unwritten rules imposed by the other members of the group. Thus, with the help of communication between children, the school space becomes an essential step in the child’s socialisation process. The classroom is the physical space in the school where the most important interactions in the educational environment take place: the interaction between teachers and pupils, but also between young people. The human components of the classroom, teachers and pupils, will establish various social relationships, both inter-individual and individual-collective. These relationships can have major effects on the psychological state of each pupil and can influence the quality of their school life [6].

2. The school-parent relationship

Four reasons why families want a positive and stable relationship with school have been identified in various studies carried out over the years in EU member countries:

  1. Legally, parents are responsible for their children’s upbringing, with the law coming down on their side and giving them the freedom to raise their children in the way they want;
  2. Education is only one stage of a child’s upbringing and a significant part of a child’s upbringing, which also takes place outside school;
  3. Emphasis was placed on the influence of parental attitudes on students academic achievement, particularly on motivation to learn, highlighting certain parental behaviours that can have a positive effect on communication with the school;
  4. Social groups, parents and teachers, have the right to influence the way schools work.

Three stages in the evolution of the relationship between family and school have been identified:

The first stage is the „self-sufficient school”, in which the school is a closed institution, which does not influence the family and will not allow it to be influenced.

This stage has the following characteristics:

  • interaction between parents and school rarely takes place;
  • parents agree with the idea of not interfering in what happens in school;
  • dministration is chosen by the school for the parents;
  • parents do not participate in school governing bodies and parent associations are discouraged [3].

In the second stage, teachers uncertainties appear and they admit the influence of the family, which can have on students’ school results, on the other hand, parents continue to believe that the school’s involvement is sufficient and they do not have to control it.Etapa aceasta se caracterizează prin:

  • there is an increased tendency to blame the family for the student’s negative results;
  • the relationship between parents and school remains largely unchanged;
  • voluntary parent organisations begin to emerge;
  • school management councils are set up, in which parental participation plays an insignificant role;
  • teachers will approach the family-school relationship in a secondary manner [3].

In the final phase, mutual trust is established between parents and teachers, active collaboration from both sides occurs.

It is specific characteristics are:

  • organisations set up by parents are accepted by the school and encouraged to participate in the life of the pupils;
  • teachers and professional counsellors address special issues related to working with families;
  • training teachers to be able to approach a harmonious relationship with the family is one of the main factors;
  • specialised courses are organised for teachers and parents [3].

Knowing the family environment in which a child lives will lead to better management of how to carry out the act of transmitting knowledge, forming skills and abilities. Information about the family environment can only be obtained through a positive relationship with parents and their active involvement in the child’s life.

Research in the field of educational psychology divides parenting typologies into two categories:

  1. Active – represented by parents who actively participate in their child’s development and learning process, they consider their student’s academic achievement to be part of their responsibility.
  2. Passive – this typology believes that the school is the only institution that should be in charge of the child’s education, so they will not get involved [1].

Diana Baumrind conducted a study, which identified three types of parenting. They were built on two key dimensions: parental support and strict control. The sample participating in this study consisted of 103 preschool children from 95 families.

After testing, interviews and surveys, conducted in the respondents’ homes, the researchers identified the following parenting styles: democratic parenting, liberal parenting, authoritarian parenting.  In 1983, Eleanor McCovey and John Martin added a fourth parenting style, which was indifferent or neglectful parenting [1].

In Baumrind’s philosophy, authoritarian parenting focuses on controlling and subduing the child. Tolerant parenting emphasises the child’s personal expression, where there is little control from the parent, while democratic parenting styles respect the child’s individuality. Clear rules are created that must be followed and allow the child to understand and respect opinion [1].

Parents who are uninvolved or avoid parental responsibilities, do not take control of their children and do not give them the attention they need. Research claims that it is almost impossible for a neglectful parent to become a democratic parent or for a passive parent to become an active parent [1].

3. School absenteism

School absenteeism is a significant problem today, a phenomenon that is particularly prevalent among teenagers, unfortunately it affects educational institutions, but also the families who face this form of deviance.

According to the Dictionnaire explicative du langue română, the word absenteeism is defined as a behaviour of a person who is often absent.

  1. Cristea presents, with the help of her work „Encyclopedic Dictionary of Pedagogy”, school absenteeism as a psychological and social cause, representing repeated absence from classes of one or more subjects. Absence over a long period of time is considered the main reason for dropping out of school [8].

According to a study carried out for the period 2012-2021, according to the Ministry of European Investment and Projects, during this period the rate decreased from 17.8% in 2012 to 15.3% in 2021 [10].

Grafic privind situația părăsirii timpurie a școlii.
Sursa: edupedu.ro

Figure 2. Graph on the situation of early school leavers

The rate at which students permanently leave school covers ages 18 to 24, and the majority have the eighth grade as their last form of education.

More than 15% of young people aged 18 to 24 have completed grade 8 or less and have not continued their education. Thus, out of a class of 25 children, there is a good chance that 4 of them will drop out of school by grade 8 or immediately after finishing it [10].

According to the study, Romania recorded an early school leaving rate of 15.3% in 2019, the lowest between 2012 and 2020, before rising in 2020.

According to the European Ministry of Finance, 2,398,097,983 lei (€484,581,713 at the current NBR exchange rate of 4.9488 lei/euro) were spent to reduce this drop-out rate.

School dropout is defined as the percentage of young people aged between 18 and 24 who have graduated at least from grade VIII and who at that time drop out of school without education or training [13].

Nearly 16% of 18-24 year olds do not go beyond grade 8 and do not continue with compulsory education. In other words, in a class of 25 students, 4 will drop out of school by grade 8 [13].     Potrivit Institutului Național de Statistică, pe 1 ianuarie 2021, în România trăiesc 1.402.079 de persoane cu vârste cuprinse între 18 și 24 de ani. În 2020, tinerii cu vârstele între 18 și 24 de ani, 218.724 de tineri nu au absolvit clasa a VIII-a [13].

Grafic reprezentând cheltuielile Ministerului Investițiilor și Proiectelor Europene.
Sursă: Edu

Figure 3. Graph showing the expenditure of the Ministry of Investments and European Projects.


In 2020 the most economic resources were spent on this indicator. Since then, 711,237,553 lei have been directed. In contrast, 2012 was the year with the lowest allocated revenue. In 2012, 42,668,217 lei were allocated [13].

The effects of dropping out of school are multiple, leading to loss of knowledge, temptation to delinquency, conflicts with parents and friends, and repeated failure. These include social and occupational instability due to limited education. It affects the implicit self-image and self-esteem but, in the long term, other psychological problems can also arise.

Thus, having demonstrated the need for school-home collaboration, it is a critical and relevant factor in reducing truancy. Educational partnerships are usually integral to modern pedagogy and represent a flexible and open approach to educational problems [2].

Researchers V. Botnari and A. Scutaru highlight seven basic principles of a collaborative educational project, which we value in a school-family partnership focused on life against absenteeism:

  1. Commitment principle – those involved know exactly how much effort is required to implement and deliver the learning partnership project.
  2. The principle of predefined success – the indicators for evaluating the success of each project, both in terms of development and the final product, must be defined at the outset before work begins;
  3. The principle of efficiency or internal consistency – refers to the interdependence, which exists between the scope of the project, the time allocated and the expected quality of the final product.
  4. Strategy principle – this principle defines what needs to be done and when;
  5. Control principle – all projects must have strict and effective management and monitoring policies, procedures;
  6. Single channel of communication principle – single channel of communication means that decisions do not reach the implementing units erroneously, are inconsistent or significantly influence the successful progress of the project;
  7. The principle of a stimulating work environment – a stimulating work environment is created that allows team members to reach their full potential [2].

4. Conclusions

In our development as individuals, family and school are the main indicators that introduce us to the term socialisation, different scenarios that can be applied later in adult life.

The two institutions need to learn to coexist and work together to help raise future generations.

If there is no understanding and effort on their part, there is the potential for a disastrous impact on student preparation. This is a good reason to carry out information campaigns and programs that will help in decreasing dropout.

It should be noted that a different approach to implementation should be found in order to have significantly better results compared to previous projects.


  1. Bărnuțiu, M. (2020). Rolul familiei în formarea unor experți în domeniul STEM. Altarul Reîntregirii;
  2. Mîsliţchi, V., & Chihai, V. (2021). Parteneriatul Şcoală-Familie–Factor relevant în diminuarea absenteismului şcolar în rândul adolescenţilor. In Dialog intercultural polono-moldovenesc (Vol. 4, pp. 287-301).
  4. Robinson, K., & Aronica, L. (2015). Şcoli creative: revoluţia de la bază a învăţământului. Editura Publica.
  5. Andronache, R. N. (2021). Consolidarea cooperării școală-familie–condiție esențială a unei educații moderne și durabile. In Educația în fața noilor provocări (Vol. 2, pp. 12-17).
  7. Mizdran, M., & Băloi, F. C. (2022). Familia şi factorii criminogeni: desocializarea familială şi conflictul familial. Revista Naţională de Drept, 247(1), 177-190.
  8. Cristea, S. (2015). Dicționar enciclopedic de pedagogie: Volumul I. AC. Didactica publishing house.
  9. https://www.g4media.ro/romania-tara-cu-cei-mai-multi-tineri-din-ue-care-parasesc-scoala-timpuriu-in-clasament-urmeaza-spania-italia-bulgaria-si-ungaria.html
  10. Edupedu (2021). România rămâne lider în topul Eurostat cu cei mai mulți tineri care au abandonat timpuriu școala – aproape 215.000 / Rezultatele în 2021 sunt ușor mai bune decât în 2020, în ciuda așteptărilor autorităților. [Online] Available on: https://www.edupedu.ro/romania-ramane-lider-in-topul-eurostat-cu-cei-mai-multi-tineri-care-au-abandonat-timpuriu-scoala-aproape-215-000-rezultatele-in-2021-sunt-usor-mai-bune-decat-in-2020-in-ciuda-asteptarilor-autorit/.
  11. Eurostat (2021). 1 in 4 children in the EU at risk of poverty or social exclusion. [Online] Available on: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-eurostat-news/-/ddn-20211028-1https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-eurostat-news/-/ddn-20211028-1.
  12. Eurostat (2021). Persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion by age and sex. [Online] Available on: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/ILC_PEPS01N__custom_1432797/bookmark/table?lang=en&bookmarkId=c1141eb4-38c0-4ab5-af29-9d47d7205187&page=time:2020.
  13. Edupedu(2021). ANALIZĂ România a cheltuit peste 2 miliarde de lei din fonduri europene pentru reducerea ratei de părăsire timpurie a școlii în ultimii 9 ani, iar indicatorul a scăzut cu doar 2 puncte. [Online] Available on: https://www.edupedu.ro/analiza-romania-a-cheltuit-peste-2-miliarde-de-lei-pentru-reducerea-ratei-de-parasire-timpurie-a-scolii-in-ultimii-9-ani-iar-indicatorul-a-scazut-cu-doar-2-puncte/.
  14. Edu(2012). Strategia privind reducerea părăsirii timpurii a școlii în România. [Online] Available on: https://www.edu.ro/sites/default/files/fisiere%20articole/Strategia%20privind%20reducerea%20parasirii%20timpurii%20a%20scolii.pdf.
  15. Robinson, K., & Aronica, L. (2015). Creative schools. New York: Viking
  16. CRISTEA, S. Dicționar enciclopedic de pedagogie. Vol. 1. București: didactica Publishing House, 2015. 831 p. ISBN 978-606-683-295-3.
  17. Zamfir, C., & Vlăsceanu, L. (1993). Dicţionar de sociologie.
  18. E. (1980). Educatie si Sociologie.
Follow Alexandra Mocanu:
Email: m.alexandra.maria.48@gmail.com. Facultatea de Sociologie si Asistență Socială
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