The situation with the education of the minorities in Ukraine was discussed in Brussels

On 21-23 November in Brussels, representatives of Transcarpathian minorities met with committees closely associated with the European Parliament – minority commissions, various organizations responsible specifically for Ukraine.

The Transcarpathian Hungarian Teachers’ Association was represented by Lajos Szilágyi, Berehove district chairman of KMPSZ. Other delegation members from Ukraine included Aurika Bozhescu, a representative of the Romanian community in Bukovina, Anatolii Fetesko, head of the alliance of Moldovans of Ukraine, and representatives of the Roma community from Uzhgorod and Rivne.

The purpose of the meetings was for the invited representatives to report on the educational situation of national minorities and peoples living in Ukraine, as well as issues related to Roma affairs.

– Ukraine has an adopted Roma program up to 2020, which started in 2013, Lajos Szilágyi reported to – Roma representatives said that there are several useful initiatives, which are not being completed due to the lack of proper financial background. Roma representatives have raised several questions that would help their case. For example, the recognition of a mediator training in Ukraine, which would have the task of supporting disadvantaged Roma people – those who are undocumented and cannot find a job due to health-related or social reasons.

The delegates of the Hungarian, Romanian and Moldovan minorities brought up the problems related to the laws on education and language.

– The European Union does not fully understand the real situation, said the Berehove district president. – With regard to the Law on Education, Ukrainian state has promised to all law enforcement organizations that specific laws, such as the Law on Secondary Schools, will clarify the points that are ambiguous or unclear. However, we have experienced that these new laws and the draft law on the protection of Ukrainian as a state language further narrow down our rights. We ha

Lajos Szilágyi

ve confirmed that these communities have had their schools for centuries, so the new law does not simply modify certain things but abolishes school networks and actually suppresses the minority language to the levels of the family and the church.

Although in the West – primarily because of the decisive actions of the Hungarian state – the situation with the laws on language and education is regarded as a particularly Hungarian matter, the members of the delegation intended to clarify: other Ukrainian minorities that have their own school networks are just as concerned as Hungarians. The participants emphasized that it is clear to all minority organizations that knowledge of the state language is important and necessary, but the current methodology does not enable it to be mastered properly.

Lajos Szilágyi evaluated the meeting by saying:

– I feel that we have succeeded in presenting the issue to the representatives more clearly than the Ukrainian Ministry of Education communicates about it with the EU.