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Anger over new language measures in schools growing

24.12.2008

Representatives of the Romanian National Cultural Society for the Chernivtsi Region have sent a letter of protest to the country’s leaders over the new language strategy which has been approved as a base by the Cabinet of Ministers, as well as over the Order from the Minister of Education Ivan Vakarchuk. According to the latter, some subjects in schools where tuition is in the language of a national minority will be taught in Ukrainian. The letter of protest calls for the Minister’s removal.

Details were provided at a press conference by Deputy of the  Chernivtsi Regional Council Vasyl Terytsan and the Head of the Romanian National Cultural Society Arkady Opayets.

Mr Terytsan complained that neither the appropriate textbooks nor methodological guides had been prepared in Ukraine in order to adapt school programmes to being taught in Ukrainian. Mr Opayets stated that he was ready to resign from his position since in Kyiv nobody was listening to him as member of the Council under the President for National Minorities. He said that he could not defend the rights of Bukovyna’s Romanians.

They say that the draft of the Government document was drawn up without involving national minorities. They assert that the Minister’s Order “is in contravention of Ukrainian legislation and aimed against the national cultural rights of national minorities, and contravenes the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages “.

They do however agree that there should be more Ukrainian language tuition in schools so that children know the state language better and can be on an equal footing when applying to a higher institute.

Based on a report on UNIAN

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