At the suggestion of the deputy chairman of the Servant of the People faction Oleksandr Kornienko, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Dmytro Razumkov included in the parliament’s agenda this week a bill on teaching in Ukrainian authored by Maksim Buzhansky. The draft law on amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine regarding education in the state language in educational institutions should be considered by the deputies on July 16, but it is not known whether the people’s representatives will be able to get down to work.
On the same day, the deputies of «Eurosolidarity» gather under the walls of the Verkhovna Rada a protest action — to prevent the «insidious plans» of «servants of the people» to push through the «anti-Ukrainian law» aimed at «total Russification of education.»
Vesti.ua figured out why they want to vote for the resonant bill right now, whether Vyatrovich and his colleagues in the faction will be able to bring people to the streets and what has the language ombudsman to do with it.
All to the barricades!
I ask everyone who cares about the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian education, on July 16 at 9:00 am to go under the walls of parliament and not disperse until the Buzhansky project is failed or withdrawn from consideration. I am convinced that all patriotic parties, public organizations and caring citizens should unite their efforts and thwart the plans of revanchists, ”the ex-head of the Institute of National Remembrance, and now an ordinary People’s Deputy from the“ European Solidarity ”Vladimir, addressed his Facebook supporters. Vyatrovich.
He sees the threat of bill No. 2362 in its second edition in the fact that the transition of students in grades 5-11 of Russian-language schools to the Ukrainian language of instruction from September 1, 2020 will be canceled. In addition, any schools, including schools with Ukrainian language of instruction, will be allowed to teach subjects in Russian.
“This is the path to total Russification of education. We have no right to allow this. Particular cynicism is the consideration of this Moscow whim on July 16 — on the day of the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on State Sovereignty of Ukraine, ”wrote Vyatrovich.
He said that «Servants» and the OPFL want to «stretch» the Russification bill, contrary to the position of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Humanitarian Committee of the Parliament, which opposed its adoption, called on the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada to immediately stop the anti-Ukrainian provocation, and the deputies to vote against.
Following a colleague in the faction, the people and ex-speaker of parliament Andriy Parubiy called to the square in front of the Rada.
“I am sure that on this day all Ukrainian patriotic forces should unite their efforts — both in parliament and on the streets of cities to give a tough rebuff to attempts to destroy the Law on Language — to prevent the adoption of the scandalous bill of the deputy Buzhansky,” the deputy wrote.
The Road to Calvary
The fate of Buzhansky’s bill, which Vyatrovych calls the biggest threat to the Ukrainian language and education since the days of Viktor Yanukovych, is quite florid.
The document reached the parliament on October 31, 2019. In May 2020, it was returned to the author, but a few days later the revised draft law was again submitted to the parliament leadership, and then to the relevant committee. On June 23, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy recommended the parliament to reject the bill.
Why did Servants of the People suggest including the document on the agenda right now? They believe that there will be no other chance to rectify the situation.
“Our faction has a request: bill « 2362 on the transition of Russian-language schools to the Ukrainian language must be included in the agenda of this week. It (the draft law — ed.) Has now moved a little lower to the next week, that is, to September, but this should already happen in September. We ask you to move the bill №2362 this week, «said Kornienko.
What is the dispute about?
The fact that the initial and revised versions of the draft law differ significantly can be seen with the naked eye: in the first version — a page, in the second — more than two.
The essence of the amendments to the Language Law proposed by Buzhansky is that the transition for schools with Russian as the language of instruction to new curricula, which provide for a large share of teaching in Ukrainian, was postponed from September 1, 2020 to September 1, 2023.
Otherwise, all Russian-language schools in Ukraine will have to switch to the Ukrainian language of instruction from September 1, and only educational institutions where teaching is conducted in the languages of other national minorities — the official languages of the EU), can continue in the same spirit for another three years.
It is this contradiction that eliminates Buzhansky’s bill, establishing a single approach for everyone. At least that’s what the sympathizers of the witty deputy say.
Their opponents draw attention to the fact that one of the amendments, instead of the norm about 80% of subjects in Ukrainian, leaves the school the right to choose the language, and they are afraid that the choice will fall far from Ukrainian.
Blurry eyes in action
Meanwhile, theories are already being built on social networks, why stir up another scandal in a difficult period for Ukraine, when flood and fire are alternately added to the coronavirus epidemic. Moreover, the most important «servant of the people» said that the excitement around the language issue was artificially inflated.
One of the versions is that in this way Zelensky’s party is trying to intercept the electorate of the OPFL, for which the language issue is important. Rating «servants» — to hell, and they do not hesitate to step into someone else’s territory.
The second version is, as always, about distraction. Some say that while the people are fighting for the language, corrupt officials are plundering the country, others — that the question of language has always covered up the sins of the authorities, and this time is no exception.
Many are ready to go to the barricades and are glad that now is not winter. And some frankly do not understand why the bill is needed, when in many schools teachers have not switched to Ukrainian. But if adopted, the «refuseniks» will receive a legitimate status.
His response to opposition
Buzhansky himself, who is usually very verbose, was silent for a long time this time. He last spoke about his bill last Wednesday. The People’s Deputy expressed surprise that this week in the Verkhovna Rada they plan to introduce the May bill №3550 — on promoting the development of physical culture and sports, and the October project on the postponement of the transfer of Russian-language schools to the state language, no.
“Colleagues, don’t you think that our priorities are slightly confused and the accents are misplaced? Is the question of the development of physical education and sports so urgent and burning? That’s what we promised the voters, right? A little surprised, ”Buzhansky wrote in his Telegram channel. It seems that Buzhansky’s colleagues heard, and he did not forget to thank them.
“Now that Vyatrovich’s mournful howl has finally stopped interrupting Parubiy’s coughing barking, we can finally say a few words about my bill 2362. Yes, indeed, it is finally included in the parliament’s agenda for Thursday, and I am infinitely grateful to all those thanks to whom it became possible, ”the deputy wrote just a few minutes before the publication of this material.
He explained that the law is not about the language or schools, but about the elimination of discrimination.
“When for some (Russian-speaking), some rules apply, and for others (Polish, Romanian, Hungarian) — others. It shouldn’t be that way, and it won’t. If the law requires all schools to switch to the state language, then all will switch in one day, ”he said, and this day, according to the bill, will be September 1, 2023.
And the Russian warms up red
On the eve of a possible consideration of the bill, the position of the new language ombudsman is interesting. Judging by the biography of Taras Kremen, he was the first to take the flag and move to protest at the head of the column. And the same Buzhansky, judging by the ironic commentary on his appointment, hardly hoped to find a like-minded person in Kremen.
But the language ombudsman is still occupied with other issues. Suddenly he undertook to assess the knowledge of the Ukrainian language by the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov and found it wonderful that the minister speaks in Ukrainian. Flint also said that the role of Minister Avakov is very important for the modern history of the country. There was no better occupation for the language ombudsman than bowing to the minister.
Victoria Yarosh, Vesti