All but one of the senators present at the meeting voted down a draft bill submitted by József Kulcsár-Terza that would have disposed with the requirement for ethnic Hungarian pupils to take a graduation exam in Romanian language and literature.
This begs for the logical question: Why would all the other Hungarian senators vote down a proposal that would ease the Romanian curriculum of ethnic Hungarian students?
First of all: The draft bill was submitted by a representative who received his mandate by running on the list of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) but is in fact a member of the Transylvanian Hungarian People’s Party (MPP). While he did discuss his bill with the RMDSZ senators, the latter did not support it.
The reason for the RMDSZ’s refusal is first that it believes that ethnic Hungarian students – having to live in Romania – will ultimately benefit from speaking the country’s language at a proper level and second because RMDSZ has already been successful a year ago in getting through parliament its own proposal that ethnic Hungarian students’ graduation questions should be different from those of their Romanian peers.
This change is also part of a larger strategy: The RMDSZ eventually plans to introduce changes that would give ethnic Hungarian students the chance to take a separate Romanian language exam.
RMDSZ caucus leader Attila Korodi said their main goal now is to implement all the curriculum changes that will allow Hungarian pupils to learn Romanian language and literature in a differentiated manner.
The author of the draft, Kulcsár-Terza, said that while he did believe in the benefits of his proposal, this was by no means a make or break issue.
“In politics one can have disagreements and make peace and our cooperation does not hinge on this single proposal. There are more important issues, such as that of autonomy.”
Title image: Classroom in Romania (MTI/Péter Kollányi)