Ukrainian classes being cut in Donetsk region schools
According to Donetsk human rights campaigner, Maria Oliynyk, in the Donetsk region they have begun cutting classes where tuition is in Ukrainian and moving senior school students into a national minority school with Russian as the language of tuition.
“Representatives of the authorities call the cutting of Ukrainian language classes “general optimization of the system of education”, she says.
“Since the schools are not full, the Department of Education has decided to reduce the number of teachers by 25%. For some reason it is specifically Ukrainian language teachers who have been made redundant”. She says that the students of the eleventh grade of School No. 1 in the town of Vuhledar learned a week before school was to begin that their Ukrainian language class is being cut.
“The town department of education decided to move the senior students from the Ukrainian lyceum to a school of national minorities with tuition in Russian, claiming the need to save public funding”.
Most of the parents are written applications for transfers, including “due to threats from the Head of the School to lower their children’s marks”.
“The teachers and Head of the school in dispute are refusing to comment because, they say, they are afraid of the management. Yet, according to the parents, they are inclined to retain the Ukrainian language class”, Ms Oliynyk explains. She says that at the beginning of the summer, the Head of the Donetsk Regional Department of Education, Volodymyr Solovyov, assured parents that the class would not be closed. However this was done on the instruction of the Head of the Vuhledar department of education, Volodymyr Voitsekhovsky.
The Minister of Education, Dmytro Tabachnyk, has instructed that in two Ukrainian language schools, one in the Donetsk region, one in Luhansk, that classes be started with Russian language tuition.