MINELRES: Information on the Moldovan/Romanian minority of the Odessa Region

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon May 8 10:13:51 2006

Original sender: Ionas Aurelian Rus <ionasrus@eden.rutgers.edu>


LGI / Case Studies Database

247. Satisfying the national, cultural and educational requirements of
the Moldavian minority in the Ukraine (Odessa region, 1991-2000 and
Authors: Savoskul, Maria 

Abstract: Providing the Moldavians of the Ukraine with the possibility
of receiving Moldavian (Rumanian) language education in pre-school
institutions and schools; publishing information on the problems of the
Moldavian minority of the Ukraine.

Region/Country: Odessa/Ukraine

Minorities: Moldavian

Problems: Preservation of culture, Preservation of identity, Use of
mother tongue

Keywords: Education, Managing interethnic relations

Practices: education for minorities and on minorities, consolidating
national-cultural societies

Actors: Local government, local NGOs, ministry, Media, educational
institution, minority organisations

Target Groups: local minority, local social organizations local social

Providing the Moldavians of the Ukraine with the possibility of
receiving Moldavian (Rumanian) language education in pre-school
institutions and schools; publishing information on the problems of the
Moldavian minority of the Ukraine in the regional and central media.
Broadcasting TV and Radio programs in Moldavian (Rumanian) language.

Minority: Moldavians. 
Target Group: national-cultural association of Moldavians

This information is not available.

The development of programs supporting educational activities for the
Moldavian minority in Ukraine started in 1991 and currently ongoing.

The activities to develop both Moldavian language education, and
Moldavian culture in general, are in accordance with Ukrainian laws and
implement the basic principles of the Ukrainian minority policy. Some
problems exist with the question of self-identification of the minority
representatives as Moldavian or Rumanian.

National and cultural interests of the Moldavian minority were taken
into consideration in a number of treaties between the Ukraine and
Moldavia, in the Ukrainian laws "On Education", "On national minorities
in the Ukraine", "On language".

General information on the Moldavian minority in the Ukraine: according
to the 1989 census there are 324,500 Moldavians living in Ukraine:
144,500 live in the Odessa region (this represents about 5.5% of the
total population of the region and about half of all the Moldavians of
the Ukraine); 84,500 Moldavians live in the Chernowitz region (9% of its
total population).

As of September 1998 in the Odessa region there were 18
Moldavian-language general education schools, attended by 4,500 children
of Moldavian origins. Over and above this, about 1,400 children studied
Moldavian language as one of the subjects of their curricula in nine
other schools, while in all other schools about 500 children studied
Moldavian language as an optional subject. Teachers for the Moldavian
(Rumanian) language schools are trained in Izmail Teacher Training
college and Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Teacher Training School.

Before the 1991-1992 school year all text-books and books available in
Moldavian/Rumanian language were published using the Cyrillic alphabet.
Since the 1991-1992 school year, schools have started to use books
published using the Latin alphabet, following the same process occurring
in the schools of Moldavia. The textbooks and teaching aid books were
renamed from "Moldavian Language" into "Rumanian language". According to
article 3 of the 1991 agreement of cooperation between the Ministries of
Education of the Ukraine and Moldavia, Moldavia started to provide
Ukrainian educational institutions with text-books, teaching aids and
novels in the Moldavian/Rumanian language.

In 1993 the first textbooks for Moldavian language schools based on the
Latin alphabet were published in the Ukraine. The Ukrainian Ministry of
Education published, as it was recommended for the Moldavian schools,
textbooks and teacher aid books for 45 titles over 4 years, especially
for the Moldavian/Rumanian language schools. By the 1998-1999 school
year 89.4% of all necessary textbooks used in Moldavian schools were
published in Ukraine.

In the Odessa region there are 23 Moldavian authors' theatres-studios,
some choruses, dance and musical groups. The Regional TV-Radio Company
of Odessa (RTVRCO) each week broadcasts a one-hour TV and radio program
in Moldavian/Rumanian language.

The Izmail district's paper "Danube news" once a month publishes a
special page in Moldavian/Rumanian language. Moldavian national-cultural
associations can publish their materials in such local editions as
"Black Sea news", "Odessa news", "Regional Herald", "Evening Odessa".

It is necessary to say, however, that Moldavians do not have their own
newspaper. It is currently under consideration whether it would be
possible to publish in Odessa a supplement in Moldavian/Rumanian
language to the "Voice of the Ukraine", the official newspaper of the
Ukrainian Parliament (Supreme Rada). This possible measure is in
response to a request voiced by the Moldavian pan-Ukrainian association
"Luchaferul" and supported by the Inter-departmental Council on Problems
of Interethnic Relations and Ethno-national Rebirth.

It must be stressed that the situation of the Moldavian minority in the
Ukraine depends to a large degree on the ethno-political processes
taking place in Moldavia. Particularly critical is the issue of
self-identification of the Moldavians as a separate nation or, instead,
as Rumanian. Such expressions as "Moldavians" and "Moldavian language"
are written in the Constitution of Moldavia. The absolute majority of
the Moldavians in the Ukraine consider themselves to be Moldavians.

On the other hand, public opinion in Rumania, but also some political
groups in Moldavia, consider Moldavians as a sub-ethnos of the Rumanians
and the Moldavian language as a local variation of Rumanian language.

Naturally the official position of Moldavia on this issue also has an
influence on the situation of the Moldavian minority in the Ukraine.
Some parents, pupils, and teachers among the Moldavians favour the
"Rumanization" of the Moldavian schools. Others defend the Moldavian
differentiation in the local media and in the schools.

In this situation the official position of Ukraine is neutral and
considers the issue of self-identification to be an individual choice,
as stated by article 11 of its constitution. However, in view of the
mixed positions within the Moldavian/Rumanian community, the regional
department of education of Odessa regions decided to change the name of
the language of education in the Moldavian schools from simply
"Moldavian" into 

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