On 10 and 11 October 2018, the Council of Europe, together with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, conducted the seminar “Policy and practice in state and minority language education” in Kyiv, Ukraine. The seminar gathered 45 educational practitioners from all over Ukraine, among which national authorities’ officials working on education at regional level, teachers and methodologists responsible for the development of curricula and textbooks for minority language schools.
The seminar was organized in the framework of the European Union and Council of Europe Partnership for Good Governance project “Strengthening the protection of the national minorities in Ukraine” and served as a platform for discussing the issue of minority language education in Ukraine.
The aim was to present the experience of Council of Europe member states in teaching in the state and in minority languages in secondary school. Speakers from the Republic of Serbia and from Romania presented the regulations and models applied in their countries, including for the development of curricula and for the elaboration of textbooks and teaching materials. In particular, classroom and out-of-school activities in the Samuel-von-Brukenthal-Gymnasium (Sibiu, Romania) and in the Deže Kostolanji School (Subotica, Republic of Serbia) were presented. The participants showed particular interest towards the proportions of teaching hours and subjects taught in the state and in minority languages, respectively.
On the second day of the seminar, the participants, working in groups, put forward practical suggestions for the realization of the Ministry of Education’s Roadmap for the implementation of Article 7 of the Law on Education of Ukraine. As a priority, they recommended the development of models and methods for the training of subject teachers working with pupils belonging to national minorities; the creation of an on-line platform for such teachers with open and free access to teaching materials; the regulation of the requirements for textbooks for minority language education.
Hanna Novosad, General Director of the Directorate of Strategic Planning and European Integration thanked the Council of Europe for its continuing support to Ukraine’s work on the Law on Education, and stated that the Ministry of Education and Science is taking the CoE recommendations in due consideration.
Yury Kononenko, Head of the Department of General Secondary and Pre-school education of the MoES stressed the importance, for the Ukrainian practitioners, of the sharing of best practices in the field of minority language education by representatives of other Council of Europe member states. This knowledge will also serve for the future steps to be taken by Ukraine in the implementation of its new legislation.
The participants appreciated the practical insights gained through the seminar and expressed their willingness to learn more about the teaching in minority languages from other CoE member states.