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KIEV, September 29. /TASS/. A bill on ensuring protection of ethnic minorities’ language rights in the sphere of education was submitted to Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on Thursday, the author of the legislative motion, the press service of deputy Nestor Shufrich of the Opposition Block caucus said in a report.
"The proposed amendments concern Article 7 of the (newly endorsed) Law on Education," it said. "For instance, a proposal has been made to give a new formulation in Clause 1 of the article,
Shufrich proposes to confirm at the level of legislation that the instruction process uses the state language (Ukrainian) or a regional language or the language of an ethnic minority if an educational institution is located where the language in question has a wide spread and the local authorities take steps towards fostering its application.
The bill also envisions state guarantees for each Ukrainian citizen’s right to get education of all levels in regional or ethnic minority languages. Like in the previous case, the necessary condition for this is the wide spread of a language in the territory where an educational institution is located and where the authorities take steps to foster the application of that language.
An overhauled Law on Education took effect in Ukraine on September 28. It triggered a sharp reaction in a number of European countries because of its provisions encroaching on the rights of ethnic minorities in the sphere of education.
The law envisions a profound reshuffle of the entire education system from top to bottom. Provisions of the law regarding the language of instruction have invited the biggest criticism.
For instance, classes where instruction is offered in the languages of ethnic minorities will remain only in the elementary school as of 2018. As for the middle school, high school and the universities, all the instruction processes there will switch over to Ukrainian.
A total of seven countries - Poland, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Moldova, Bulgaria, and Russia - have leveled criticism at the law.