The Institute for Strategic Initiatives (IPIS) organised on 21 February the international conference “Promoting social cohesion in the Republic of Moldova through the study of the Gagauz and Romanian languages in ATU Gagauzia”, as a result of the implementation of the project supported by the Soros Foundation Moldova and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, in a video message broadcast during the event, listed several measures that can be taken immediately to encourage and facilitate the study of Romanian and Gagauz in ATU Gagauzia.

Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova: I know that in Ceadir-Lunga, classes with the study of the Romanian language cannot be formed because of the lack of teachers. The Ministry of Education and Research must get involved in providing the school in Ceadir-Lunga with Romanian language teachers. The concept of multilingual education must also be included in the Education Code.

You can find out what multilingual education, to which the President refers, is from the video made as part of this project: What does multilingual education entail?

Attending the event, Gagauz Governor Irina Vlah said that currently six thousand children in 45 high schools and gymnasiums in Gagauzia are studying Romanian.

Irina Vlah, Governor of Gagauzia: My dream is that young people do not leave the country, but see their future in the Republic of Moldova. Our duty is to create opportunities for them to feel fulfilled and appreciated here at home. We want very much for the young people of Gagauzia to have opportunities to be trained after graduation in public institutions at national level, but without knowledge of Romanian, the official language, this desire has no chance of materializing.

The Executive Director of Soros Foundation Moldova, Petru Culeac, underlined the role of authorities in ensuring the social cohesion of the country.

Petru Culeac, Executive Director of Soros Foundation Moldova: The authorities must promote precise and effective public policies to stop the social exclusion of ethnic groups living in Moldova. I hope that today’s event will contribute to boosting inter-institutional dialogue that will serve the citizens of Gagauzia, in particular by creating the necessary conditions for the full participation of the inhabitants of the autonomy in the social, cultural and political life of the country.

Floris van Eijk, Chargé d’Affaires at Embassy Office of The Netherlands in Moldova, also stressed the need for cooperation between the authorities in Chisinau and Comrat.

Floris van Eijk, Chargé d’Affaires at Embassy Office of The Netherlands: I am in favour of promoting diversity in all its forms and modalities, as well as promoting diversity in languages. This contributes to stronger social cohesion. It is important to make sure that Gagauz feel part of this country. But it is also very important that Chisinau and Comrat work together to come up with better solutions.

In the framework of the project, a team of local and international experts developed an Assessment of the situation regarding the study of Gagauz and Romanian languages in ATU Gagauzia and a Roadmap for the implementation of recommendations based on the analysis of relevant legislation, including international standards, as well as policies and programmes of the Government and authorities of the autonomy.

The document can be consulted here:
Assessment of the situation with the study of the Gagauz and the Romanian languages in ATU Gagauzia

Vadim Pistrinciuc, Executive Director IPIS: Changes in education are complex changes that require a lot of attention. But we are very glad that we have learned about the need for this project first of all from those who need it: teachers, parents, education managers and students. And what do they want? They want to learn the Romanian language in a much more efficient way, faster, to be integrated in society and they want to learn their mother tongue, the Gagauz language.



The live broadcast can be accessed here:
Conferința internațională „Promovarea coeziunii sociale în Republica Moldova prin studierea limbii găgăuze și române în UTA Găgăuzia”