Vice-Premier Marko Bela backs positive discrimination for native language education

Wherever minorities live scattered among the majority population, positive discrimination should be ensured to enable these minorities to learn in their mother tongue, chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) and Vice-Premier Marko Belas declared on Friday in Targu Mures after the conference of specialists in Hungarian-language education in Romania.

“There is some concern that in the eventuality of an egalitarian approach – if I am allowed to use this expression – some classes with Hungarian-language curricula would be dismantled. And indeed the very nature of mother-tongue education requires a differentiated approach in this regard. We talked this over – this should be positive discrimination, after all,” said the UDMR leader.

The politician said that if a Hungarian-language class or a Hungarian-language school is dismantled in a particular locality, there might not be a similar school in the neighboring settlement. From this perspective, Marko Bela argued that there should be a different approach of the financing issue “whether one decides to keep the respective class or school in the locality, or plan to have these children learn some distance away from home.’

“But what is the most important at this moment is that we discussed the possible proposals of our colleagues regarding the Education Law (…) Together with the Education Minister and the relevant Ministry, with our colleagues in the government, we want to ready in a couple of weeks a new draft Education Law, which should be of course subjected to public debate, then adopted by the Government – and then passed through Parliament for debate and vote.

The starting point is the text of the draft law that was rejected by the Constitutional Court and in this meeting we discussed the legal framework, the provisions on native language education, and other subjects as well,’ said Marko Bela.

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