Culture

Romanian parliament amends controversial bill on language tuition

6 days ago

The Chamber of Deputies (Camera Deputaților), the lower house of the Romanian Parliament has amended on Wednesday the education bill, restoring ethnic Hungarian elementary schoolteachers’ rights to teach Romanian language and literature.

At the end of August, the Romanian government passed a regulation that teaching the Romanian state language in minority schools can only be performed by native Romanian teachers – contrary to previous practice that permitted ethnic minority teachers to also teach Romanian.

The conflict came to a head at the end of September, when Hunor Kelemen, Chairman of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) suspended cooperation with the ruling Social Democrats (PSD). Although RMDSZ only holds 6.4 percent of seats in the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, their support is crucial to the PSD.

The conflict was swiftly settled on September 27 by PSD President Liviu Dragnea, who many say is the real power pulling the strings behind Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă. Following a meeting with Dragnea, Minister of Education Valentin Popa announced his resignation, and at a cabinet meeting held shortly thereafter, the government withdrew the regulation.