Ukraine takes first steps in amending the education laws regarding the Romanian language

Ukraine has taken the first important steps in amending legislation for minorities, including in education, so that teaching in schools in Romanian communities can continue in Romanian, as it has existed for hundreds of years, but “a few corrections” are still needed, he says the responsible secretary of the inter-regional Union “Romanian Community in Ukraine”, Aurica Bojescu.

In December, the Ukrainian Parliament approved three draft laws necessary to start the accession negotiations to the European Union, including one regarding the rights of national minorities, a step expected by Romania.

The responsible secretary of the Inter-Regional Union “Romanian Community of Ukraine” explained that the Ukrainian Parliament repealed the legislative provisions that required schools with teaching in the language of minorities, including those in Romanian, to gradually introduce the teaching of basic subjects in Ukrainian , from 20% of the total class hours in the 5th grade to 60% in the 11th grade.

Aurica Bojescu shows that the legislative changes occurred mainly as a result of the joint meeting between the governments of Romania and Ukraine, which took place in Kyiv on October 18, 2023, but also under pressure from the European Commission, which is negotiating with Ukraine to join the European Union, but and the Council of Europe.

However, the responsible secretary of the inter-regional Union “Romanian Community of Ukraine”, who participated in the discussions with the European Union Commissioner for Enlargement, but also in the negotiations with the Ministry of Education in Kyiv and the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience from the Kyiv Government, believes that the basic normative act on education still needs some corrections, in the interest of the Romanian community in Ukraine, which wants to preserve education in the Romanian language in schools. According to the quoted source, one of the articles that must be revised is related to teaching in the language of minorities at the level of educational units, not only at the class level, and the return to the status of schools with teaching in the Romanian language, as it was until 2017.

The second amendment concerns the Baccalaureate in minority languages, respectively in Romanian. We still have no changes to Article 7 of the Law on Education, as stipulated by the Constitution of Ukraine, where the education process in the mother tongue in schools is guaranteed. We still ask ourselves why in our villages, in the localities where we have schools, teaching should not be guaranteed in the school, but only in the classrooms. We continue to discuss with the Ministry of Education, with the Department for Ethnopolitics of the Government concretely for these changes. (…) The most important point that has not yet been achieved is the Baccalaureate, which is not allowed in the language in which it was learned, as provided for in Romania. We don’t even have a Baccalaureate in the mother tongue, which means that the motivation to learn in the mother tongue, in Romanian, is lacking. If in all years the students learn in Romanian, they should take the Baccalaureate also in Romanian. Now, the Baccalaureate in Romanian is only allowed for those who went to school until September 1, 2018″, added Aurica Bojescu.

In December 2023, the Ukrainian Parliament approved three bills needed to start negotiations for accession to the European Union, including one on the rights of national minorities, a key condition from Hungary, which opposed Ukraine’s EU candidacy, but at the same time an approach also expected by Romania, which criticized the first form of the law.

Minority languages mainly refer to Romanian and Hungarian, spoken in some communities in western Ukraine. Budapest has clashed with Kiev over what it sees as restrictions on the rights of ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine, particularly in education.
amendingbaccalaureateeducationEuropean UnionlawslegislationminoritiesRomanian communitiesRomanian languageschoolsukraine
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  • nobo

    What a shame that Orban himself made this possible