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Statement of the 2023 General Meeting of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Pedagogical Association


The Transcarpathian Hungarian Pedagogical Association (THPA) has always taken care of supporting the activities and development of Hungarian educational institutions in Transcarpathia during its three decades of its activity, and still considers this to be its most important task.

Since 2017, the association has been continuously fighting for the abolition of restrictions that are disadvantageous for the Hungarian community of Transcarpathia. Through peaceful means, within the framework of the current legislation and under the influence of international forums, our struggle has brought many results.

Recently, Ukrainian legislators adopted amendments to the law on national minorities, which should regulate restrictions on the rights to education, use of language and in other areas of the life of national minorities. On the basis of the law, it is necessary to change other laws that do not agree with it, and to pass many more decrees to restore the rights that have been violated in the last decade. To date, we still do not know the exact content of the law and its final provisions, so we will be able to formulate a final position after its approval by the President, but for now we can make a statement based on what is on the website.

The most important thing for us is that the law, even if it does not restore full-fledged education in the native language, also does not determine the percentage of subjects that will be taught in the Ukrainian language, instead limits this requirement to the Ukrainian language and literature, as well as the history of Ukraine. The law leaves an opportunity for heads of educational institutions to expand the scope of these subjects. This means that our teachers must be more vigilant and consistent to protect our rights, because we have already seen in recent years that the management of some schools, bypassing the opinion of parents and teachers, voluntarily and arbitrarily decided to teach certain subjects in Ukrainian, especially where it was easier to find a Ukrainian-speaking teacher than a Hungarian-speaking one.

In educational institutions where there is a class or group of a national minority with instruction in the language of this minority, the language of the minority can be used in the educational process in addition to the state language. We note this with relief, but it is still worrying that these educational institutions have not restored their status, that is, that in these institutions the culture of this minority is given a more significant role which means the status of a national minority school.

Private educational institutions are given the right to choose the language of instruction, which corresponds to the recommendations of the Venice Commission. We consider it particularly important that this right be ensured in the higher education as well, because it was already regulated by the law adopted in 2014, but this right was canceled after the adoption of the law on the state language.

The issue of using the Hungarian language in state vocational schools, technical institutes and higher education institutions has not yet been resolved.

    After the draft law was published, the Transcarpathian Hungarian Pedagogical Association studied it in detail and sent its proposals to the relevant parliamentary committee, the initiators of the law. We even held an online meeting with the Deputy Minister of Education on all matters related to education. We also agreed that after the adoption of the law, certain issues that cannot be regulated within the framework of the law will be regulated by decrees that will have the force of law. We also call on the competent executive and supervisory institutions and bodies to regulate the following rights in accordance with our agreements:

     1. Since the law does not regulate the "status" of schools of national minorities, it is necessary to adopt a resolution on how to interpret the text of the law stating that "the language of the educational process can be the language of the national minority, along with Ukrainian, in educational institutions where there is a class or group of national minorities". According to the agreement, this means that the language of national minorities can be used in the institution in all situations, events, meetings, places, when creating the image of the institution, in advertising and on the website.

      2. The translation of multi-tests and tests of external examinations into the languages of national minorities for graduates of secondary schools must be provided on a regular basis.

      3. A mechanism that would make it possible to take the bachelor's degree exam in the languages of national minorities must be developed.

      4. In order to preserve the network of lyceums of national minorities, the opportunity to create a lyceum department even from one class of students must be provided.

      5. In order to preserve the network of schools of national minorities, the costs of maintaining educational institutions with less than 300 students should be provided from the central budget in a targeted manner, and not according to a quota.

      6. In educational institutions of any type and level, including vocational training and education, where there is a need for a national minority group, it should be created, and the language of the educational process must be the language of this national minority.

7. When applying for the positions of directors of state and municipal educational institutions, the level of the language test for knowledge of the state language should be set at the intermediate level (B2), since according to the law on the state language, the condition for the position is the ability to freely use the state language. Level B2 meets this criterion. C1 was defined by a decree after the acceptance of the law.

      8. In educational institutions where a class or group with the language of a national minority operates, one of the heads of the educational institution must speak the language of the given minority.

      9. International accreditation of higher education institutions should be recognized at the national level.

      10. When adopting all new laws on education, the provisions of the Law on National Minorities must be taken into account.


In addition to education issues, we made a number of comments on the draft Law on National Minorities, which we will support in the future in order to ensure and restore our rights:

      • The jurisdiction of the law on national minorities should extend beyond the boundaries of settlements and cities to communities and districts where the share of a given national minority reaches the share accepted in the law. We insist that this rate be set at ten percent, as this was ensured by the Law on the Use of Regional Languages 2012. Increasing this ratio means restricting the rights of national minorities.

      • We consider it impractical for local self-government bodies to provide for the application of the rights to the language of national minorities provided for by the law in a separate resolution, as this means that the application of the law would depend on the goodwill of the majority.

      • When writing our names in Latin letters, the rules of the languages of national minorities should be taken into account, since the names are significantly distorted during transcription into Cyrillic.

      • The possibility of parliamentary representation for national minorities must be allowed in accordance with the previous practice: a separate electoral district should be created for a minority living in one region where the numerical ratio of this minority is 51 percent or more. If this is not restored, a new procedure should be developed so that all national minorities recognized in Ukraine can participate in the work of the parliament with the right to vote, or at least as advocates.

      • Educational institutions of national minorities must be alowed to also issue certificates of progress of students in the language of the relevant national minority.

      • The use of the language of the national minority must be alowed not only for emergency medical care, but also for all medical examinations and treatment.

      • Multilingual ballots must be provided during elections - in line with previous practice.

      • All topographical information (city name, street name indicator) in areas where the language of the national minority is accepted must also be provided in the language of the national minority.

      • The possibility of using national symbols of national minorities must be ensured.

      • The use of European Union languages must be allowed for scientific publications and theses.

      • Control over the observance of the rights of national minorities in Ukraine should be carried out by an independent human rights commissioner.

      • Minority sign language learning must be provided for those who need it.

      • In public higher education institutions, the management should be able to decide that one or more subjects are taught in English or another official language of the European Union.

      • English or another language of the European Union may be used in scientific and scientific-technical activities, along with the state language.

Berehove, December 9, 2023

2023. december 11. hétfő 18:00
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