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22 October 2017
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Number of EU states to voice to CoE, OSCE concerns over Ukraine's education reform

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zakharieva has said Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Greece will appeal to the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) over Ukraine's newly adopted law on education, according to BGNES.

Photo from UNIAN
Photo from UNIAN

"Undoubtedly, we are concerned, and it is not by chance that we have a common initiative with our colleagues from European countries, who[se minorities in Ukraine] will eventually be affected by this law. And today, the foreign ministers of Hungary, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria signed a letter to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, in which we warn that this law should not influence the rights of minorities and their possibility to study in their native language. We will send the copy of the letter to the Council of Europe and the OSCE," Zakharieva said, BGNES reports.

She also said that, according to the assurances of the Ukrainian side, the new law on education "is aimed at strengthening the Ukrainian language and will not affect the study of European languages."

Zakharieva stressed that she had a conversation with the Ukrainian ambassador last Friday, and then several more meetings and conversations took place at different levels, where the Ukrainian side provided guarantees that the new law would not affect the study of the Bulgarian language in schools.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, on September 5 passed draft law 3491-d on education, having introduced a 12-year school system to replace the country's current 11-year school program.

Neighbors annoyed by education reformThe law specifies that the language of the educational process at schools and colleges is the national language. It is also stipulated that educational institutions, according to the educational program, could teach one or more subjects in two or more languages, namely the national language, English or other official languages of the European Union.

Students belonging to the national minorities of Ukraine are guaranteed the right to study in municipal institutions with the use of the language of a respective national minority along with the state language. This right shall be fulfilled through classes (groups) with instruction in the language of the corresponding national minority.

U.S. diplomats greet Ukraine on passing new education lawThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania expressed concern about the norms of the new law on education regarding the language of study for representatives of national minorities in Ukraine. Hungary and Poland have also expressed concern over the matter.

Tags: Ukraine, educationreform, minorities, language, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, EuropeanUnion, concerns

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