Human Rights Report on Moldova: Employment of graduates of higher and secondary specialized pedagogical institutions

In 2011, according to the report on the activity of the Ministry of Education in 2011, 841 young specialists were assigned for employment. By November 1, 2011, only 381 people (341 specialists - in rural areas, 40 specialists - in urban areas) were engaged on the basis of employment certificates, and who benefitted of the facilities specified in Article 53 of the Law on Education. In the academic year 2011-2012, young specialists who arrived at the workplace were by 7.05% less, compared with the 2010-2011 school year.  The vacancies are more often filled from among the graduates who have studied on a contract basis.

According to the findings of the ombudsmen, the mechanism of offering facilities sets different conditions for the support of young specialists, graduates of higher education, depending on the type of chosen education.  Thus, of the incentives provided in article 53, paragraph 9 of the Law on Education benefit only graduates of higher education and specialized secondary education enrolled in full-time state-financed groups, who signed agreements on education and employment after graduation, according to the needs of the State. Young specialists, graduates of educational institutions, who studied full-time on a contract basis, are deprived of the opportunity to sign employment contracts after graduation and, respectively, remain outside any state support. According to the ombudsmen, the mechanism for granting privileges and facilities only to graduates of state higher education and secondary specialized institutions enrolled in full-time funded from the budget groups, contravenes the principle of equality, stipulated in Article 16 of the Constitution, and should be shifted to all young specialists, who wish to pursue careers according to specialty in state educational institutions. In this context, on February 9, 2011 the Government was proposed to review the regulatory framework for the employment of graduates, so that facilities are provided to all young specialists, who want to work in rural areas, regardless of the type of educational choice. The proposal is not under the Executive’s consideration yet.

In order to improve the existing terms of remuneration for certain categories of employees and to enhance social protection of employees with low salaries in budgetary sector branches, there have been made some changes  in the Government Decision no. 381 of 13/04/2006 “On the terms of remuneration of the staff from the budget”. Starting with July 1, 2011, the salaries were increased to over 107,000 employees,  including teachers in pre-university educational institutions. Thus, in 2011 the application of the new pay system for 55,600 teachers from all educational institutions was completed. According to the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and family, from 1 January 2011, the monthly salaries of teachers were increased on average by 12.5% and, from 1 September 2011, by another 10%; the average salary in 2011 constituted in the field of education 2,805 lei. Were the nominal value of these increases adjusted to the consumer price index, it would be noticed that the material situation of teachers has not improved significantly.

In the context of Republic of Moldova's commitments by ratifying the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention against Discrimination in Education, by which the State recognized that higher education must be accessible and equal to all, based on capacity by every appropriate means, the ombudsmen have addressed the issue of ensuring equal opportunities for admission to doctoral studies  (full time state-funded education) and enrolment in master studies at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Moldova.  According to the ombudsmen, restricting access to higher education of citizens according to age is contrary to the provisions of article 16, paragraph (2), article 35, paragraph (7) of the Constitution, Article 6, paragraph (2) of the Law on Education and the international treaties mentioned above. For these reasons, the issue was addressed in the Report on the observance of human rights in the Republic of Moldova in 2010,  and on October 11, 2011, the Government was submitted the proposal to change the operating rules on the organization of Doctoral and Postdoctoral Studies, approved by the Government Decision no. 173 of 18/02/2008 and the Government Decision on the operation of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Moldova no. 962 of 05/08/2003. This proposal of the ombudsmen still remains outside consideration and is awaiting its turn on the Executive’s agenda.

In this context, it is worth mentioning that at the ombudsmen’s recommendation, the Ministry of Education has already revised the departmental Law which stipulates the organization and development of admission to higher education institutions in the Republic of Moldova, excluding the age limit of 35 as a criterion for admission to higher education at present. Thus, the central specialized body of public administration that promotes the state policy in education accepted the arguments of the ombudsmen on the inadmissibility of discriminatory terms of accessing to higher education and the need to promote the equality of opportunity and treatment for everyone in the field of education.
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