Irina Vlah: State should provide programs for studying Romanian

The young generation’s capacity to study Romanian depends on the educational programs financed by the state, said the governor of ATU Gagauzia Irina Vlah. According to her, the children in Gagauzia are willing to study the Romanian language, but the state does not encourage these children by financing programs of study. In a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency, Irina Vlah said the only Romanian language lyceum in Comrat is too small for the region’s children who want to study Romanian.

The Bashkan of Gagauzia said that in order to have a society in which the Romanian language is spoken fluently by all the national minorities, the state should provide programs of study and create appropriate conditions for studying Romanian. The Romanian language lyceum in Comrat, which was renovated with financial support from Romania, is an example showing that the students in the Autonomous Territorial Unit are willing to study Romanian.

“We should have by an educational institution teaching in Romanian, another institution teaching in the mother tongue and the third institution teaching in English in each village and town in the Republic of Moldova. The parents and children should be able to choose. When such conditions are created, the situation will change. What do we have now in Comrat or Vulcănești? In the municipality of Comrat, we have seven lyceums and only one of them teaches in Romanian. This year, the Romanian language lyceum has 72 first graders. This is a high figure as there were only 12 first graders at this lyceum in 2015. The children now study in halls as there are not enough classrooms. If we had had more Romanian language schools, the children and parents would have taken such decisions more often. This is up to the authorities,” stated Irina Vlah.

The official noted that the central authorities do not invest enough in the national education system. It is now crucial to encourage young specialist to work in education as most of the teachers in schools are of retirement age.

“The state does not finance programs to study Romanian and the mother tongue (Gagauz). Last year, it was necessary to allocate 6 million lei for ensuring the studying of the Gagauz language, but the ruling party didn’t vote for this. Currently, the development partners are more interested in studying Romanian or Gagauz than the central administration. Education is the most sensitive sector and this is the area in which we should invest the most. The investments in education do not bring about results in a year or in five years but if we want to have elevated society, we should first of all support the teachers. We must invest in teachers as they are those who can influence the children to love the Romanian language,” said the governor.

Irina Vlah suggested that the authorities should offer the children the possibility of studying Romanian from an early age so that the division of society according to the criterion of spoken language is eliminated.

“I learned Romanian at the age of 48. It is a very difficult language. That’s why the children should start to study Romanian since the age of two-three. The sooner they start to study Romanian, the earlier they will begin to communicate in Romanian. For the purpose, we need programs of study and consensus in society. We must have the capacity to speak different languages and be tolerant towards each other. If this does not happen, we will discuss this issue for another 31 years,” noted the Bashkan.

The public debate entitled “How does the Romanian language function as an instrument for harmonizing the social relations in the Republic of Moldova? The authorities’ role and citizens’ expectations in this process” was the 261st installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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