The Ukrainian President: There Could be Changes to the New Education Law
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has admitted the possibility of making changes to language standards in the new education law after talks with European partners, TASS reported.
"The new law on education should not take Ukraine away from Europe, but on the contrary, approach it and, as I understand it, the Ministry of Education has already addressed my instructions to the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission, and I have asked the Minister not be passive, but actively defend our point of view on the mandatory rights of national minorities, and I will also stress that the results of these discussions may be taken into account in the new version of the secondary education, "Poroshen said to people working in the field of education.
The new Ukrainian Education Act came into force today, TASS notes. The normative act, which has caused a negative reaction in a number of European countries because of violation of the rights of national minorities, provides for a profound reform of the entire education system. Greater criticism has been caused by the provisions of the law concerning the languages of national minorities. From next year in Ukraine subjects will be taught in the languages of national minorities only in elementary school. Secondary school and higher education will be exclusively in Ukrainian.
After the signing of the law by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the Council of Europe expressed disappointment that the normative act was adopted without consultation on its individual aspects. Today, European Commission spokeswoman Maya Kociancic urged the Ukrainian authorities to take into account the Council of Europe's views on the implementation of the new law.
Poland, Bulgaria and Greece have reacted extremely bad to the adoption of the law. Romanian President Klaus Iohanis canceled a visit to Ukraine scheduled for next month. Hungary will block any measure in the EU that would deepen further European integration of the former Soviet republic, Foreign Minister Peter Sayatho warned. The new Ukrainian law sparked sharp reactions from Russia as well. Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Carassin commented that the normative act violated the legal foundations of the multinational state and called for a rigorous and immediate international response.
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