The registration of children subject to compulsory education in Romania is based on a free-tuition, egalitarian system. Access to free education is guaranteed by Article 32 in the Constitution of Romania.
Kindergarten is optional under the age of six. The education system of Romania resembles the French education system. As of April 2013, there were about 7,200 opened schools in Romania, a sharp drop from nearly 30,000 units in 1996. This is mainly because many schools were brought together in order to form bigger schools and eliminate paperwork. 2 million students and preschoolers were enrolled in the educational system, 500,000 more than in 2012. Throughout the 20th century, compulsory education has oscillated between 4 years, 7 years, again 4 years, 7 years, 8 years, 10 years, and again 8 years. In the 21th century, it was raised to 10 years and then to 11 years.
When the communists came into power in 1947, compulsory education was 7 years, but this was not enforced. Originally, the communist regime lowered compulsory education to 4 years, but with a strong enforcement. Next they increased it gradually to 7, 8 and ultimately 10 years. After the 1989 revolution, compulsory education was lowered again to 8 years. The new government cited as reasons the poor quality of education, high strain on the state budget, and inflation of diplomas.
In 2003, compulsory education was raised again to 10 years, through Law nr. 2003, modifying Article 6 of Law nr. During the 1990-2003 period, there was very little concern for education in Romania, and the generation who studied in this period is quite poorly trained, with illiteracy being higher than the pervious generation, especially among the Roma population in rural areas. A new law come into force in 2011. 7, and since it became compulsory in 2012, it usually takes place at school. In rural areas, most kindergartens only have a short schedule. The private sector has a very large role in providing kindergarten and day care services, having a large proportion in the market share for preschool education.