The new academic year began last Monday in Albania, with around 480.000 new elementary and high school students. The education ministry has announced that this year's educational procedures will be lighter than the old teaching methods.
About 32.000 children have started first grade, while other 32.000 boys have started the new high school program which, according to the ministry, will be based on what will follow in the university and in the labor market.
The ministry also reported that free school books were distributed for approximately 190.000 children this year, from first to fourth grade. The other children enrolled from the fifth grade onwards, however, will still have to pay for their textbooks.
However, the education coalition said yesterday that Albania still continues to stand back from other European countries in terms of education funding. According to the institution, in fact, the government has promised to increase the budget for education up to 5% of total GDP for six years, but the value continues to stagnate on the 3%.
This lack of investment in education puts Albania among the last countries in Europe in the OECD ranking (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). All this means that even today a small percentage of children and adolescents do not have access to education.
Furthermore, the education coalition - citing the World Health Organization - pointed out that almost half of the schools do not have clean water and about 70% do not have adequate hygienic conditions for the education of children.
The other problems of the school system
The coalition report also states that almost 64% of children with disabilities remain outside the secondary education system and only 35% of schools in Albania are accessible to these children. Even the education of Roma or Egyptian children continues to be a big problem, given that the 38,6% of these children do not attend school.
Other numbers, on the other hand, highlight how the phenomena of violence and bullying continue to negatively characterize the school system. Almost 40% of students, in fact, are victims of physical and psychological violence, while 22% of them feel threatened by teachers. The 20% of total students are bullied.
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