Republica Moldova (The Republic of Moldova) is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe surrounded by Romania, and Ukraine. The population is 4,324,450 of which 75.8% are ethnic Moldovans and the rest are ethnic Ukrainians, Russians, Gagauz, Romanians,
and Bulgarians. Moldovan is the official language. It is virtually the same as the Romanian language. The other majority languages spoken are Russian and Gagauz, which is a Turkish dialect. The literacy rate is 99.1%.
During the Middle Ages, most of present day Moldova was a part of the Principality of Moldavia ruled by the Ottoman Empire. In 1812, as a result of the Treaty of Bucharest, the eastern part of the Principality was ceded to the Russian Empire and became
Bessarabia. The western part formed the Kingdom of Romania. After the dissolution of Russian Empire in 1918, Bessarabia became a part of Romania. In 1940, Bessarabia was occupied by the Soviet Union and, after WWII, was divided into the Ukrainian
SSR and the Moldavian SSR. On August 27, 1991, the Moldavian SSR declared independence from the USSR.
Education in Moldova is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 17. Currently, the education system in Moldova is overseen by the country's Ministerul Educației, Culturii și Cercetării.
Primary and Secondary Education
Școală Primară (primary school) is 4 years beginning at ages 6 or 7, though most children begin at age 7. No credential is awarded after completion of primary school. Învăţămîntul Gimnazial (lower secondary school) is 5 years
and, upon completion of the 5th year, students sit for an examination leading to the Certificat de Studii Gimnaziale.
Following lower secondary school, students have the option of continuing into either a vocational, technical, or academic upper secondary school. Below are the following upper secondary school options:
- Şcoli de meserii (Technical upper secondary school) programs last from 1 to 1.5 years long. One year programs lead to the Adeverinţă or the Certificat de Studii Secundare Professionale. The Certificat de Studii Secundare Professionale is also awarded after 1.5-year programs.
- Liceu (academic upper secondary school) is 3 years long. An examination is required for admission. Upon completion, students sit for an examination leading to the Diplomă de Bacalaureat.
- Școală professională polivalentă (vocational upper secondary school) programs are 4 years long and lead to the Diplomă de Bacalaureat with a professional qualification. Vocational upper secondary schools also offer 2-year Diplomă de Bacalaureat with a professional qualification programs and a 1-year Diplomă de Technologii for students who hold a Diplomă de Bacalaureat from an academic upper secondary school.
First-level university studies are 4 to 6 years long, depending on the field of study and the student's previous education. Students who hold a Diplomă de Bacalaureat can complete their studies in 4 years, and students who hold an Atestat de Studii Medii de Cultură Generală can complete their studies in 5 years. Upon completion, students are awarded a Diplomă de Licentă or a Diplomă de Studii Superiorare. Students must defend a thesis to be awarded a Diplomă de Licentă.
Second-level university studies are 1-2 years long and require a Diploma de Licentă for admission. Upon successful defense of a Teză de Master (research thesis), students are awarded a Diplomă de Master or a Diplomă de Magistru.
Doctoral studies are 3 or more years long. Upon successful defense of a Teză de Doctor (dissertation), students are awarded a Diplomă de Doctor or a Diplomă de Doctor în Ştiinţe, depending on the field of study.