Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog has proposed a meeting with Ukraine’s Minister for Education and Science Liliia Hrynevych.

According to an official letter sent to the Ukrainian Education Minister, a copy of which was provided to Hungarian news agency MTI on Friday, Mr. Balog will be attending an event to mark the official start of the academic year at the II. Rakóczi Ferenc Transcarpathian Hungarian College on 25 September, to which Liliia Hrynevych is also invited.

In the letter, Mr. Balog wrote that the new legislation, and especially article 7 of the new Education Act, has raised major concerns with several governments, including that of Hungary. A meeting would provide an opportunity to discuss the “major concerns” relating to the aforementioned Article of the Act, and the information provided by the Ukrainian party could also help the Hungarians to understand the true reasons and goals behind the new legislation, he added.

The new Act on Education adopted by Ukrainian Parliament on 5 September is aimed at modernising public education via reforms to be introduced from September 2018. With regard to the language of education, Article 7 of the new legislation states that the language of education in Ukraine is the state language, and national minorities are only permitted to receive teaching in their native language in the first four grades of school (until age 10).

As a result, all subjects with the exclusion of native language subjects will be taught in Ukrainian from the 5th grade upwards. According to national minority organisations, this section of the law violates Ukraine’s constitution, as well as several of the country’s current laws and its undertakings in accordance with international treaties and agreements.