Politics

Ten percent of schoolchildren in Ukraine study not in Ukrainian

Ten percent of schoolchildren in Ukraine study not in Ukrainian, with most of them, 9.4%, studying in Russian, Deputy Education and Science Minister Pavlo Khobzey has said.

“According to last academic year’s statistics, 10% of schoolchildren study not in the state language. Some 9.4 percent of them study in Russian, 0.4 percent in Hungarian and Romanian, and hundredths of a percent, about five schools, in Polish,” he said on Ukraine’s TV Channel 5 on Sept. 13.

Khobzey noted that now it was necessary to explain to the neighboring countries the provision of a new education law regarding the language of instruction.

He said that on Sept. 13 he had a phone call with a Bulgarian deputy minister of education who asked him to explain whether the adoption of the law would mean the closure of the Bulgarian Sunday schools and the cancellation of the learning of the Bulgarian language. He noted that 78 people studied in the Bulgarian language in Ukraine, that there was no purely Bulgarian school and that in this case the provisions of the new law would not restrict the learning of the minority language.

Khobzey expressed regret that the new law on education, which has many reform articles, was reduced to the discussion of an article defining the language of instruction.

As reported, on Sept. 5, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law on education, which foresees that from Sep. 1, 2018, children can receive preschool and primary education in the language of ethnic minorities, while simultaneously studying the state language. From the 5th grade children will begin to study in the state language, while learning a minority language as a separate discipline. If the language of national minority belongs to the languages of the European Union, one or several disciplines could also be taught in that language.

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