Ukraine to heed Venice Commission conclusions on education law
The Ukrainian Education and Science Ministry will take into account the conclusions of the Venice Commission regarding the law on education and will discuss them with all interested parties, Education and Science Minister Lilia Hrynevych has said.
"We are open for discussion. We will discuss the commission's conclusions with all interested parties and will take them into account," she said at a meeting with representatives of Polish public organizations and schools in Lviv on Thursday.
According to Hrynevych, the only condition is that "we could teach children to speak freely in the state language."
"This idea cannot be limited by instructions, and I think that our European partners are well aware of this basic value," she said.
Hrynevych also said that the provisions on language in the law on education concerned the whole education system, from school to universities. She said that language clauses would be specified in the law on secondary education. In particular, she noted that primary schools would be taught in the native language and that schoolchildren would also learn the Ukrainian language. Beginning from the fifth grade, a certain ratio of the study of subjects in the native and state languages will be introduced.
"It is important that this ratio guarantees a good study of the state language and its application... We do not want assimilation and appreciate the right of everyone to speak in the mother language. It is part of national identity," she said.
As reported, the Ukrainian law on education came into force on September 28.
Among other things, the law stipulates that the state language is a language of learning at educational institutions, but one or several subjects in two or more languages, namely, the state language, English and other European Union official languages can be taught in compliance with the educational program.
People, who belong to ethnic minorities, are guaranteed the right for learning in the native language along with the Ukrainian language in separate groups of municipal pre-school and primary school institutions.
On September 28, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent the education law for examination by the Venice Commission.
The Venice Commission's opinion on the Ukrainian education law can be expected in December.