MFA Ukraine says "constructive negotiations" launched with Hungarians on education law

19:30, 05 June 2018
Politics
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Photo from UNIAN

The issue was discussed at a Tuesday meeting of Minister Lilia Hrynevych with representatives of the Hungarian community, the ministry's press service reports.

"Our talks focused on clarification of positions on the implementation plan for Article 7 of Law On Education, improvement of tools for studying the Ukrainian language, development of new standards and textbooks, which is expected to be carried out within the period of transition to the full implementation of the language article," the statement reads.

Also during the meeting, the issue was raised of publishing new quality textbooks.

According to the minister of education, very important is the context in which the information is presented in textbooks.

"If there is an ABC where children learn letters while reading exclusively about the Hungarian anthem, flag and city - this is something we find inappropriate. The textbook should be adapted to tell children about the state they live in, along with learning process. I'd like to note that we already have great experience in publishing textbooks where a foreign publishing house cooperates with a Ukrainian one and provides a good, high-quality textbook. So public funds are being spent correctly and in favor of children, so we are very interested in this format of cooperation. We will be very grateful if you help us establish such connections and develop textbooks for teaching children from the Hungarian community of Ukraine," Hrynevych said.

Read alsoSzijjarto hails U.S. role in efforts to settle Hungary-Ukraine language row

The parties also agreed that representatives of the Hungarian community would be included in working groups on the development of state standards and standard educational programs. Community representatives also submitted proposals for a draft language article for the bill on general secondary education, which should specify the way of implementation of the language article of Law "On Education."

The Ministry of Education and Science also recalled that, until recently, the Hungarian community refused to hold consultations on the implementation of the language article, basing their stance on the fact that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine should first consider the relevant submission and confirm its constitutionality.

As UNIAN reported earlier, in April Hungary for the third time blocked the NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting at the ministerial level.

Earlier, in March, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto demanded that Ukraine adopt changes to the law on education and postpone its implementation until 2023, otherwise, he said, Budapest will block meetings important for Ukraine at the level of the European Union and NATO.

Read alsoPolish FM calls on NATO's Stoltenberg to intervene in Hungary-Ukraine row

UNIAN memo. The new law on education, which entered into force on September 28, 2017, introduces a 12-year secondary education system in Ukraine with Ukrainian being used as the language of tuition.

Children of national minorities can be taught in their mother tongue at classes (groups) along with the national language. Yet, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Greece and Bulgaria expressed concern over the language provisions of Article 7 of the law.

The Venice Commission issued recommendations on December 8, 2017, that the Ukrainian authorities should balance the language provisions.

On February 14, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved bill No. 8046, which provides for the extension of the transition period until 2023 for the introduction of the language provision of the education law. Now the draft law is under consideration by parliamentary committee

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