Ukrainian Ambassador in Bucharest Oleksandr Bankov on Tuesday assured the Romanian Parliament that no school in Ukraine with teaching in the languages of minorities will be shut and no teachers laid off.
A delegation of MPs on Tuesday met at Parliament with the Ukrainian Ambassador, after Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko passed a new law on education, which limits teaching in the languages of minorities.
“This isn’t about shutting down schools. No school in Ukraine with teaching in the languages of minorities will be shut, regardless if we’re talking of the Romanian language or of the languages of the other minorities in Ukraine. And this isn’t about teachers being laid off for they are teaching now in the Romanian language and they could not teach in Ukrainian. The law itself says that funds are to be earmarked from the Ministry of Education for teachers who are now teaching in the language of one of the minorities to be able to participate in such professional training sessions – financed by the state – so that in the end they will be able to teach in Ukrainian,” said the Ukrainian diplomat.
According to him, the law will be implemented based on several normative acts, focusing on curriculum and other aspects.
He also said that the law adopted on September 5 by the Ukrainian Parliament and promulgated on Monday evening by the President introduces “a very complex and global reform” of the system of education in Ukraine that it isn’t entirely related to the national minorities, which have their rights under the Constitution.
“The law has to do with the Ukrainian education system in its entire complexity. We, as a country, and I say this in my capacity as Ambassador, we understand the concerns of the Romanian side, we understand that the introduction of this reform needs to be discussed and clarified for, right now, we have the law already adopted by Parliament and promulgated by the President, but we do not have any debate about the new regulations that the law brings. And in that particular area, we need to discuss certain approaches, which we will do together in everything that concerns the minorities. And I am speaking now about the implementation of the law as a procedure,” explained the Ambassador.
He also announced that there will be a transition time after the promulgation of the law, during which they will work the curriculum and other normative acts.
Oleksandr Bankov also added that the law introduces teaching in Ukrainian language starting with the secondary school – 5th grade.
The Ukrainian Ambassador voiced satisfaction over the Romanian Minister of Education Liviu Pop’s intention to pay a visit to his country.
“I will be looking forward to seeing the results of this visit, for we will be able to tell where we can come up with new solutions to continue to promote Romanian language and culture on the Ukrainian territory and support that evolution of the minorities that is very important to us,” completed Oleksandr Bankov.
MAE requests Ukraine to adopt necessary measures so that Romanians learn in their mother tongue
The Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) announced that it will continue to take steps with the international authorities in order to signal the negative impact of the legislative amendments in Ukraine’s Education area and “firmly” requests this country to adopt all necessary measures so that Romanians learn in their mother tongue.
“The Foreign Affairs Ministry regrets that, despite all Romanian authorities’ demarches with the Ukrainian side, which signaled that the Education Law in its current form significantly diminishes the rights of persons belonging to the Romanian minority, Ukraine’s President promulgated on 25 September the normative act,” a MAE release sent to AGERPRES on Tuesday reveals.
MAE brings to mind Ukraine’s commitment, which has been constantly conveyed to the Romanian side within all official contacts, of observing the relevant international norms and standards in the area of protecting the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, as well as ensuring the fact that the level and quality of education provided in the Romanian language will not be affected by the new norms.
“MAE will continue its demarches, including with the international organisations with authority in the area (the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Venice Commission), in order to signal the negative impact of these legislative amendments in Ukraine’s education area. MAE is firmly requesting the Ukrainian authorities to adopt all necessary measures in order to ensure the right of persons belonging to the Romanian national minority of learning in their mother tongue,” the release mentions.
Romanian Parliament firmly urges Ukraine to respect Romanian minority’s right to education
The Romanian Parliament is voicing its deep regret over the President of Ukraine having promulgated the education law on September 25 despite all the efforts made to signal the shortcomings of the piece of legislation, and is firmly urging Ukraine to recognise and respect the right of the persons belonging to the Romanian minority to mother-tongue formal education, in accordance with international rules and standards.
In a press statement signed by Romanian Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and Speaker of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea, Ukraine is being reminded of its commitment, constantly displayed to Romania in all official contacts, to observe the relevant international rules and standards for the protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, as well as making sure that the level and quality of education in Romanian language will not be affected by the new legislative framework.
“We intend to continue the steps of parliamentary diplomacy, as a delegation consisting of MPs and senators of the Romanian Parliament to pay, as soon as possible, a visit to Kiev to initiate a political dialogue with the relevant Ukrainian officials, in order settle against European standards the situation created by the promulgation of the Education Law in relation to mother-tongue education for national minorities. We will also consistently act inside the international organisations with responsibilities in this field (the General Secretariat of the Council of Europe, the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities and the Venice Commission) to signal out the negative impact of these legislative changes in the Ukrainian education sector in order to determine changes in the approach of the Ukrainian state officials.”