We greatly appreciate Bulgaria's constructive stance on the Law On Education and express satisfaction that we have finally managed to sign the Declaration on the Safeguarding of the Rights of Individuals Belonging to the National Minority of Bulgaria to learn their mother tongue and be taught in it. This was stated by Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Lilia Hrynevych at the ceremony of signing of the relevant Declaration with the Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria Mr. Krasimir Valchev, today, April 26, 2018, in Sofia.
"Our goal is to provide equal opportunities to all schoolchildren. The Law On Education guarantees that Ukrainian children belonging to national minorities will get a sufficient level of both native and state language to exercise their constitutional rights. We offer to gradually introduce more subjects taught in the state language starting from the 5th grade. The number of subjects taught in Ukrainian will gradually increase grade after grade and there will be achieved the proportion of 60% of subjects taught in Ukrainian and 40% in minority language by the 11th grade. This is a model being successfully used in the EU countries. Such a change is a necessary step from the educational point of view", said Lilia Hrynevych.
Moreover, she stressed that Ukraine is implementing all the recommendations of the Venice Commission. In particular, a Roadmap containing a list of legislative and other measures to provide the gradual introduction of the language article has already been drafted.
The Declaration states that, along with the study of the national language, the Bulgarian minority will have the necessary conditions for learning and being taught in their native language. The parties separately confirmed the importance of studying the state language "as a factor in achieving the integration of the country and social consensus through the expansion of the use of the state language in the educational process, in particular by increasing the time spent learning the state language."
The document also stipulates that Ukraine and Bulgaria will work on a new Protocol on cooperation and exchange between the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria for 2019/2020, 2020/2021, 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 academic years.
Minister Mr. Krasimir Valchev confirmed that for Bulgaria the development of partnership with Ukraine is rather important, therefore active cooperation continues and in the near future the Bulgarian side will send its proposals to the draft Protocol.
It is worth noting that earlier Minister Lilia Hrynevych agreed to the invitation of the Bulgarian side to visit Sofia to sign the aforesaid Declaration.