Representatives of trade unions of the State Agrarian University of Moldova mounted a protest in front of the Government Building to express their dissatisfaction with the reform announced by the Ministry of Education and Research. They said they are not against a well-thought-out reform, but are against the absorption of their institution. According to them, it is not right not to have an agrarian higher education establishment in an agrarian country. Trade unionists of the State University of Tiraspol and of “Știința” Trade Union joined in the protest, IPN reports.
The protesters said the proposed reform does not ensure certainty in the short and long runs because the State Agrarian University of Moldova is to be liquidated within the reform. They noted they realize the necessity of such reforms, but are against the implementation method and the proposed mechanism. They have other views and proposals, but these are not taken into account at the moment.
The head of the Trade Union Committee of the State University of Tiraspol Liuba Procopii said the so-called reform was launched when the people are on leave and this is revolting. The State University of Tiraspol is the first higher education establishment in the Republic of Moldova. It has old traditions started in Tiraspol, but in 1992 they were driven away from there. They came to Chisinau and resumed admission with a table and a chair. “We will not allow to destroy the State University of Tiraspol as this is an institution with a serious school,” stated Liuba Procopii.
The head of “Știința” Trade Union Oleg Chihai said this is a shameful and humiliating situation for researchers, for representatives of the university community. “We are indignant as the research institutes will lose their legal status, financial autonomy and our staffs will ultimately disappear. We are in favor of the reform as we realize that were cannot move towards the civilized Europe without doing the required reforms. But things should be considered well and discussed,” stated Oleg Chihai.
The dean of the Faculty of Economy of the Agrarian University Petru Tomița said their institution during nine decades has watched over the country’s food security and its graduates worked in the fields and took care of the country notwithstanding the crises – drought, price rises, etc. It is not clear who the real authors of this reform are and they believe that a strategic mistake is made. “Why do the politicians interfere in things that do not concern them? It is the academic community that should solve these problems. We have professors, doctors, scientists in all the state institutions. Why aren’t they listened to?”, asked the professor.
University lecturer Rita Munteanu stated that she has worked at the Agrarian University for over 17 years and knows hundreds of graduates of the institution. “We are an agrarian country and the objective reality shows that the future of our country is intrinsically related to agriculture, either we want it or not. The absurdity of the so-called higher education reform resides in the fact that they want to strip an agrarian country of the only agrarian educational institution in the Republic of Moldova. The Agrarian University provides the staff needed by the national economy,” said Rita Munteanu.