Friday, April 16, 2010

Separatists threaten to shut down Romanian-language schools in the region

Separatist authorities in Transnistria have threatened to shut down the Alexandru cel Bun high school in Tighina (Bender), which is located on territory controlled by breakaway authorities but is under the subordination of Chisinau. Transnistrians have said the high school has violated health codes.

Promo Lex, an NGO that defends human rights in the region, said in an April 15 statement that „on March 31, 2010, the hygiene and epidemiology center in Tighina /.../ released a notice to the high school /.../ threatening to shut down the school after April 15, 2010 because some health codes have been allegedly violated.”

Analysts have suggested that the move could have been planned by incumbent Transnistrian President Igor Smirnov, who is trying to rally public opinion behind him as his popularity has been decreasing after his candidates lost local elections in March 2010. Transnistria will hold legislative elections at the end of 2010.

The separatists have shut down Romanian-language schools in the region before. In the summer of 2004, they closed the eight schools that taught in Romanian in the region. The schools were later given licenses, but they continue to rent and, therefore, depend on the whims of Transnistrian authorities.

In most schools in the region, Russian and Ukrainian are used as primary languages. There are some that still teach Romanian in cyrillic, which was the alphabet imposed on Soviet Moldova during the Communist period.

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