Premier Tudose asks Foreign Ministry to address Romanian schools’ close-down in Ukraine

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Premier Mihai Tudose asked on Thursday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address the “special situation” in Ukraine, where Romanian schools have been shut down.

“I kindly ask for your involvement (…) in the special situation in Ukraine. It really is a very special situation. We have a huge national issue on our hands with just one school [the Roman Catholic Theological Highschool in Targu Mures] and on the other hand they close down all our education facilities there,” Premier Tudose said at the beginning of the government meeting, speaking to Foreign Ministry’s Secretary of State George Ciamba.

In his turn, Education Minister Liviu Pop wished to mention that the ministry he is leading doesn’t have any competence in establishing school units.

“With your permission, after the Government’s meeting, I would like to present several solutions to you, which are local solutions. We currently have equal treatment for all minorities in Romania. We don’t have a problem at the level of the Education Ministry. It is a local problem. Since there is a pending case at DNA, I think we have a solution in order for the students from there not to suffer”, Pop pointed out.

Almost 2,000 people participated on Wednesday, in front of the Prefecture headquarter in Targu Mures, at a protest rally against the dissolution of the Roman Catholic Theological High School. The scandal on the dissolution of the Roman Catholic Theological High School in Targu Mures is based on a decision of the Mures Court since June, this year, which cancelled the decision since August, 2015 of the Mures School Inspectorate, which was regulating the establishment of the new school units.

On Thursday, 360 students who were learning at the Roman Catholic High School in Targu Mures still didn’t know if school will begin on Monday. The municipality is indicating the former school inspector, the Minister is shrugging and UDMR is accusing an action against Hungarian community.

Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday expressed concern over Ukraine’s adopting a new Education Law, stating that mother tongue education for Romanians in Ukraine will be a priority on the agenda of Secretary of State Victor Micula, who will travel to Kiev next week.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has learned with concern about the version of the new Law on Education adopted by the Supreme Rada of Ukraine on September 5, especially Article 7, which refers to instruction in the languages of national minorities. We express our expectation that the rights of persons belonging to the Romanian minority in Ukraine are preserved and highlight the constant concern of the Romanian officials with this issue,” the Foreign Ministry said Thursday in a press statement.

The Foreign Ministry points out that under the provisions of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the parties shall endeavour to ensure that all persons belonging to national minorities have adequate opportunities for being taught the minority language or for receiving instruction in this language. “The necessity of complying with the international rules in the field has been permanently signalled by Romania in its dialogue with Ukraine on the promotion and protection of the rights of persons belonging to the Romanian national minority of Ukraine,” Romania’s Foreign Ministry underscored.