Nina Shtanski on the Situation with the Moldovan Latin-Script Schools

Nina Shtanski on the Situation with the Moldovan Latin-Script Schools

In the course of the “Permanent Conference …” in Vienna the participants discussed possible steps which would allow moving forward in order to resolve complex issues of operation of Romanian-language schools under the Republic of Moldova.

Earlier, Pridnestrovie invited all participants of the “Permanent Conference…” to visit jointly Moldovan schools in Tiraspol: a school under the Republic of Moldova, and a school under Pridnestrovie. “The ethnic Moldovans study in both schools, and it's very important that we may all look involved at this process,” - Nina Shtanski commented on the need to visit schools during the briefing. In addition, during the meeting the sides affirmed their willingness to conduct the joint inspections of the Romanian-language educational institutions. These inspections are expected to start in March. “The participants also welcomed the appeal of the Pridnestrovian side to continue the work on the resolving the issues regarding these educational institutions following the OSCE recommendations reflected in the relevant report,”- informed the Pridnestrovian diplomat. 

Answering the journalist's question “if the Pridnestrovian side could guarantee that the Romanian-language schools would not be closed in Pridnestrovie”, the political representative of Pridnestrovie expressed the opinion that the question should be addressed to the government of the Republic of Moldova, because those schools were under the Ministry of Education of the RM. According to her, the problem lies in two aspects: the administration and maintenance activity of the schools, as well as “the very deep politicization of the issue by the Moldovan side”.       

“The administration and maintenance activity of these institutions has to be ensured by the school founding authority, whose jurisdiction cover them, and who control their activities, because, as you may see, Pridnestrovie cannot exercise control over these institutions,” – emphasized the head of the Pridnestrovian diplomacy. She also informed that there were no agreements between Pridnestrovie and Moldova which might regulate the activity of those schools or the collaboration on that issue. According to the minister, these schools have been functioning for a long period despite the large number of problems unresolved by the Republic of Moldova. Nina Shtanski informed about the willingness of the Republic of Moldova to enter into lease agreements concerning three schools. She reminded that despite the fact that terms of lease agreements of two schools in Dubossary district had already expired, this had not resulted, however, in suspension of educational process there.  

The Pridnestrovian diplomat informed that at the last meeting of the political representatives in Kishinev the Pridnestrovian side had offered Moldova to take a number of steps which would allow resolving the whole range of administration and maintenance issues until the end of the school year.

Nina Shtanski noted that she had never spoken about the intention to close those schools. “I am not responsible for the activities of these institutions, because it hardly depends on me whether the Moldovan side concludes lease agreements, or it provides these institutions with necessary community facilities […] If the Moldovan side does not show the goodwill to resolve all these issues, it will be interpreted in Pridnestrovie as a self-liquidation of these institutions,” – emphasized Nina Shtanski.

Nina Shtanski explained that all children residing in Pridnestrovian territory had all necessary opportunities to get education, and Pridnestrovie guaranteed the right to free education”. The minister precised that necessary conditions were created in Pridnestrovie for foreign-language teaching, including the Romanian language.

“I expect that this question will lose its relevancy in our discussions at least next year because today, numerous emotional remarks have been expressed, and every time we touch upon this question our meeting get quite bright shades in the most negative dimension,” – resumed the political representative of Pridnestrovie. She expressed hope that pragmatism of the Moldovan side would prevail and all necessary issues would be resolved.