Schooling in a new way: less students, less problems

Hungarian-language teaching is being restricted in the quite popular and renowned Joannes Kájoni vocational high-school in Csíkszereda (Miercurea-Ciuc, Szeklerburg) – due to a decision of the educational ministry, as the institution will begin the new school year with one less Hungarian-speaking class at the high-school level. Besides that, a class that had offered – up until now – vocational training in Hungarian was transformed into one with Romanian-language teaching only – reported the Maszol news portal.

The difference between a class, that offers regular schooling and the one called a vocational high-school class is, that the latter offers a diploma without a high-school graduation exam. The professional-level class which will start this fall in Romanian language only, was the one that formed cooks, waiters and commercial workers in the food-vending industry. This specialization is quite popular, as the labor markets – both internal and external ones – definitely search for job seekers in these three categories.

It is known, that the former education minister, Ecaterina Andronescu’s idea of raising the average ratio of graduation-exam results was to increase the number of vocational classes in teaching institutions to the disadvantage of the professional high-school classes – the less students having the obligation to take the graduation exam, the better – was the line of her thoughts.

Even so, the decision taken by the acting minister that followed her footsteps, Dan Breaz, is as debatable as illogical; it definitely does not explain why the number of the Hungarian-teaching classes had to be diminished. Several parents from Csíkszereda had declared, that they are offended and scandalized by the decision, as many of them would have enrolled their children into the class giving the cook-waiter-commercial worker specialization, but they definitely did not have in mind a totally Romanian-speaking schooling.

They pointed out the fact, that they do not disagree with the proclaimed objective, that the state’s official language – Romanian – has to be learned by every student, but it can be a huge burden for Hungarian-speaking children to study every single subject in Romanian.

The Joannes Kájoni vocational high-school is the only one in Hargita county offering teaching in both languages; on the other hand, according to the Maszol news portal’s information, most students that study in the school are Hungarian-speaking. Some teachers in the school believe, that the change will do no harm, it’s just natural, as the number of the Romanian-speaking classes has to be increased according to the idea of equity. Other teachers state though, that if a student having Hungarian as his or her mother tongue does not learn history, literature in Hungarian, might get really distanced from his or her own culture and identity.

The chief educational inspector of Hargita county, Levente Demeter informed Maszol, that the ministry’s measure actually affects several schools, and 20 classes in the vocational high school-level teaching will be closed. He had also said that it would be “useful for Hungarian students to have a chance to learn the Romanian professional language.” He did not specifically answer though the question that what happens with all the Hungarian students who would have liked to study exactly the above mentioned specialization – in their own mother tongue.

The deputy principal of the Csíkszereda school, Oanea Sergiu just as well believes, that it is “best for Hungarian students to learn the Romanian terminology of the above professions”, and the decision might be disadvantageous to some, but all in all, it serves the best interests of the vocational high-school…

Title image: One less Hungarian-speaking class at Ioannes Kájoni’s high-school level, and no Hungarian teaching for cooking-waiting-commercial worker professionals

Source: Facebook/Ioannes Kájoni Szakközépiskola Csíkszereda

Author: Éva Zay