Amendments to the Education Code, which would have put several heads of education directorates out of a job, suspended by CC
The Constitutional Court (CC) has changed its mind on the amendments to the Education Code voted in final reading in August by Parliament, which would leave several heads of district education directorates without posts.
The petition for constitutional review of some provisions of the Education Code was filed by former Socialist MP Gaik Vartanean, now affiliated to the National Alternative Movement (MAN) party.
This suspends the action of Article 48 para. (4) of the Education Code, in the wording of the Law No. 257 of 17 August 2023 – “the head of the local specialized body in the field of education shall be appointed by a competition, organized on the basis of the regulation approved by the Ministry of Education and Research, and appointed for a term of 4 years by the decision of the second level local public administration authority/by the decision of the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia. One and the same person may not hold the position of head of the local education body for more than 8 years, regardless of interruptions in activity”.
At the same time, the action of Article II paragraphs (2) – (9) of the Law no. 257 of 17 August 2023 was suspended until the case is settled on the merits – the service relations of the heads of local specialized bodies in the field of education whose appointment has been more than 4 years, of those who were not appointed by competition, as well as of the heads who were appointed for an indefinite period shall cease by right on the date of expiry of 45 days from the date of entry into force of this law.
The Plenary Court noted that if the action of the contested rules were not suspended, they would take effect ope legis on the expiry of the 45-day period, calculated from 1 September 2023. To this end, the employment of several persons will be terminated and interim staff appointed in their place.
“If, hypothetically, the Court were to find the contested rules unconstitutional and the law were to take effect, its ruling would adversely affect legal certainty. At the same time, the suspension of the contested provisions could prevent the violation of fundamental rights, e.g. the right to work,” the CC notes.
Parliament had previously announced that the period during which young specialists employed in the education system would benefit from state incentives would be extended from three to five years. A draft amendment to the Education Code, which provides for this, was voted in second reading by 54 MPs.
According to the document, it will also increase the amount of allowances young specialists will receive. Graduates of higher education institutions will receive allowances worth 200 thousand lei. And for young graduates of technical vocational education institutions, the allowances will increase from 96 thousand lei to 160 thousand lei.
Also, young specialists employed in public educational institutions in rural areas and district centres will be compensated for five years for the cost of renting accommodation and the consumption of heat and electricity.
The amendment to the Education Code provides for measures to improve the education system at all levels. For the first time, the possibility of dual education will be introduced in higher education institutions.