New Ukraine education law ‘blind alley’, says Hungarian government
Ukraine’s new rules restricting schooling in the mother tongue that the president has just signed into law deprives minorities of their rights and leads down a blind alley instead on the path to the European Union, the ministry of human resources said on Tuesday.
The law also violates several international agreements which Ukraine had promised to fulfil as part of its European Union accession plans, including making education and training available in the mother tongue at all levels, the ministry said in a statement.
Hungary’s constitutional obligation is to raise its objections to the law at every international forum in the interest of protecting national minorities,
including the Hungarian minority, the statement said. The human resources minister has called on his Ukrainian counterpart to hold talks with the representatives of Hungarian communities in Transcarpathia/Kárpátalja who have been left out of the legislative process.
The Hungarian government continues to be open for talks with Ukraine in the interest creating fair regulations governing minority language education, the ministry said.
Ukraine’s new education law passed by parliament on September 5 states that its aim is to modernise education, through reforms to be introduced from September 2018. Concerning the language of education, the 7th paragraph of the law states that
Ukraine’s official language in education is Ukrainian and the use of minority languages is allowed only in the first four grades of primary education.
In reaction to Ukrainian President Petro Porosenko signing the law yesterday, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Tuesday said Hungary would block and veto all moves in the EU which, as part of the eastern partnership programme, would advance Ukraine’s European integration process.
“We can guarantee that all of this will hurt Ukraine in the future,” Szijjártó said
during a visit to Singapore, where he is part of a government delegation headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.