EduMin: I stressed in Kiev need for Romanian ethnics’ rights not to be affected by new education law. Ukrainian Embassy: Adoption of Education Law won’t lead to shutting schools with teaching in languages of minorities

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National Education Minister Liviu Pop on Wednesday pointed out that the meeting in Kiev with Ukrainian Education and Science Minister Lilia Grinevich stressed the need for the rights of Romanian ethnics not to be affected by the new education law of the neighbouring country.

“I had a very serious talk with Ukrainian counterpart Lilia Grinevich. My visit to Kiev took place exclusively because of the situation created by the adoption of the new education law. Once more I firmly stressed the need for the rights of Romanian ethnics not to be affected by the new law. In our point of view, it is clear that the new legislation restricts the rights of Romanian ethnics. Thus, education in Romanian in Ukraine will be significantly affected. I asked Mrs Minister explanations on the manner in which solutions will be sought to solve this situation. To that end, I asked her explanations on the future legislative drafts in the education area. In the first place, the pre-university education law. They want to come back with this draft law and I told her once more that we want to know what this draft law on pre-university education includes and that it shouldn’t have the same approach as in the education law, which is a big framework law, where we have seen there haven’t been serious debates,” Minister Pop told AGERPRES.

He added that he reiterated Romania’s request for Kiev to ask the opinion of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.

“This is precisely why I asked her clear explanations on the future law on pre-university education. Education in Romanian in Ukraine has an over 200-year long tradition and Romanians of Ukraine are citizens loyal to the state and know this state’s language. I reiterated Romania’s request for Kiev to ask the opinion of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. The observance of international standards and the commitments assumed by Ukraine is extremely important,” the Minister said.

According to Pop, “for now,” in his opinion, the Romanian minority is “restricted” by the new education law adopted in Ukraine.

“The education reform is essential to modernise a society, however restricting some existing rights – and here we are concretely talking about the rights of the Romanian ethnics – doesn’t reflect Ukraine’s European spirit and ambitions,” Liviu Pop underlined.

 

Ukrainian Embassy: Adoption of Education Law won’t lead to shutting schools with teaching in languages of minorities

 

Ukrainian Embassy on Wednesday specified that the adoption of the new Education Law by Kiev authorities “won’t lead to shutting education units with teaching in the languages of minorities.”

“Teaching more in the official language of the state under any circumstance will reduce the level of knowledge and usage of the languages of national minorities, with its sole purpose being to provide equal opportunities to Ukrainian citizens in terms of access to upper education, state service and a professional development,” reads a release of the Ukrainian Embassy  in Bucharest sent to Agerpres..

Thus, the adoption of this law “won’t lead to shutting education units with teaching in the languages of minorities, and even less to the laying off of teachers.”

Moreover, shows the release, “under any circumstance [the law ] does not say that the Romanian Language Department at the National University in Cernauti will be eliminated or the Hungarian Faculty at the National University in Ujgorod, or any other private upper education institution.”

The Ukrainian Embassy explained further that a transition period will follow, for the implementation of the Law, which especially stipulates that the teaching cycle of the subject matters in the official language of the state will be gradually introduced.

Moreover, the official language “will be intensively taught, alongside the languages of the national minorities, starting from the elementary school, which will give pupils the possibility to prepare themselves for learning in the official language at high schools and intermediate units, said the representatives of the diplomatic mission.

The Ukrainian Embassy also showed that “in what the implementation of the Law is concerned, there will be drafted such individual curricula, which will consider the linguistic characteristics of each national minorities, after consultations held to this purpose with the minorities in question.”

Also, the Ukrainian side will send the law for assessment to the European Council and “the law is also available for consultations with the representatives of the states interested in drafting the mechanism of implementation for the new Education Law.”

On Monday, the Ukrainian president, Petro Porosenko, passed the new Education Law, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada (the single-chamber Parliament from Kiev) on September 5 that, according to the national minorities, limits their right to education in the mother language.