Ukraine. Kiev to opt for a school in Ukrainian, and annoyed his neighbors

Ukraine. Kiev to opt for a school in Ukrainian, and annoyed his neighbors


The law on education passed on September 5, has, above all, for the purpose of “put in place reforms more than necessary” in this area, remember the information site Ukrainian

Among other things, it plans to increase the minimum salary of teachers from 161 to 296 euros, and to increase the length of schooling from 11 to 12 years”.

“Expected to come into force in 2020, it has been welcomed by representatives of the Ukrainian political classes, who consider it revolutionary. But an article has been the subject of sharp criticism among the neighbors of Ukraine.” The point that the ministers of foreign Affairs of Hungary, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria have denounced, with the Council of Europe and theOSCE, which constitutes in their eyes a “a violation of the rights of minorities”. back then in more detail on the act, stating that the earlier “it was possible for the students to perform the eleven years of their schooling in the language of their ethnic minority […], the official language of the Ukrainian State being used for the teaching of particular subjects – Ukrainian language, literature and history of the country. Currently, 10 % of the students [primary and secondary] are doing their studies in institutions of this type. Most are in Russian language, but there are also 5 in Polish, 176 in Hungarian, a little less than 200 in Romanian” and a few in Slovak, and tatar.

many young people poorly mastered Ukrainian

“The new law changes this situation. The whole school will now be in Ukrainian. The members of national minorities have the right to take certain courses from the kindergarten and primary education in their languages, which will be used in parallel with Ukrainian.”

according to, the new legislation would be justified for two reasons :

first of All, Ukraine has lived shared between various empires and States, each having tried to assimilate Ukrainians by destroying their language. Three hundred and thirty-seven years of foreign domination, the Ukrainian language has been struck by 60 prohibitions.”

The other reason would “the present isolation of ethnic minorities”. according To figures provided by the ministry of Education, “in 2016, 36 % of high school graduates in the oblast of Transcarpathia have missed their review of Ukrainian. This figure is 75 % in the region of Berehove, predominantly populated by Hungarians. 60.1% of graduates from minority Romanian and Hungarian have also failed in the final event of Ukrainian.”

These young people are deprived of the possibility to enter Ukrainian universities and find themselves de facto cut off from the Ukrainian society. This not only promotes isolationism and separatism […], but this can only push them to emigrate to the country of which they speak the language.”

A threat separatist ?

In Budapest, Warsaw and Bucharest, we expressed concern about the fate of minorities, who no longer have the opportunity to continue with their education in their native language.

Thus, the reaction of the government and of the Hungarian media has been particularly virulent. the “Since the Hungarian government has expressed its deep displeasure on the record of the Transcarpathian region, reports, articles and documentaries negative bearing on the minority Hungarian-language rain down”, regrets Gábor Stier in the columns of Magyar Nemzet.

Yet, behind all this controversy is likely to extend up to the gates of Brussels, the Magyars, Romanians, and Poles [of Ukraine] want only one thing : learn their mother tongue.”

The conservative weekly Magyar Demokrata continues :

The Transcarpathian cannot belong to Ukraine culturally and ethnically homogeneous than trying to build the ambitious Kiev.”

“The situation is so dramatic that a significant component of the press, the Ukrainian agitates the threat of separatist describing supporters magyarophones that does not in any way represent the community”, takes the journalist Balázs Ágoston. the “The central government stands against the Transcarpathian region as it has done with the Russian speakers of the East. The chauvinism of Ukrainian, built from an uncertain identity and amidst the anarchy undermining the country, which the government has completely dropped – especially economically – to the Transcarpathian region”, continues the chronicler. An attitude, which, according to him, “represents a serious risk for Hungary and for Europe as a whole”.

Anxiety in Ukraine

The Romanian side, the concern is also appropriate, even if it is expressed with more moderation. On 20 September, the members unanimously adopted a statement on the new law of ukraine”, accusing him of reducing “the access of the Romanian minority in the Romanian language”, reports the general website Hotnews. Romanian Parliament “calls on the president of Ukraine and his government to act firmly at the bilateral level and within the framework of international structures to ensure the adequate protection of linguistic identity, cultural and religious situation of the Romanian minority”. Hotnews pointed out, moreover, that Romania has signed a treaty with Kiev in 1997, that she wishes to see respected, and that Bucharest was the first capital of the european Union to sign the association Agreement with Ukraine.

The deputy Matei Dobrovie, a member of the training policy USR (United we save Romania) said for its part that it was “not in the interest of Romania to enter into a new diplomatic conflict with Ukraine”. He added, as reported by the daily România libera :

The relationship between Romania and the Ukraine has long been marked by mistrust, stereotypes, ignorance and the problem of minorities. After the [revolt]Euromaïdan and the arrival of a power, pro-european in Kiev, our relationship with the neighbor has improved significantly. […] But there are still issues to be resolved between the two countries, which, for example, are not connected to any air connection”.

In Ukraine too, the “diplomatic scandal […] that is raging at our borders” seems to be inappropriate, stresses The website of the tv channel maintains that the new law guarantees always “the right to the learning of languages of national minorities respective”, but it comes back especially on the hardening of the Hungarian government. the “The Hungarian minister of foreign Affairs, Peter Siyatro, said the September 26, [ … ] : ‘Ukraine can forget its integration in Europe’. the And on October 11, he brandished the threat of economic sanctions.” In conclusion, the site says, however, hope that we can “arrive at a compromise and an agreement with Hungary”.


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