|Transylvania - The Roots of Ethnic Conflict|
Besides the ideological (Marxist-Leninist) factors, the dominant characteristic of education in Rumania has been the stress on the "national," which has been manifested primarily in the disproportionate emphasis on Rumanian national history, as well as Rumanian language and literature. The question of national-minority education has to be approached with an awareness of these two considerations as well as of the internal and external political factors that shape nationality policy.
The 1965 Constitution of the Rumanian Socialist Republic referred in several places to the equal rights possessed by the nationalities. Section II, Article 22, dealing with the fundamental rights of citizens, guaranteed the free use of the mother tongue in education. According to the text of the Constitution, "education for the nationalities is in their own languages at all levels." The Education Act of May 13, 1968, also stipulated, in accordance with the guaranteed rights of the Constitution: "Education at all levels for the coinhabiting nationalities is in their own languages." The measures connected with this have been regulated in the spirit of the Constitution by Education Act No. 11/ 1968 and by Decree No. 6/1969, relating to the status of the teaching staff. The former states that education for the "coinhabiting nationalities" has to be in their own languages at every level (Article 9, Paragraph 2). School textbooks have to be written for instruction in the languages of the "coinhabiting nationalities" in the languages concerned (Article 45, Paragraph 3). The former stipulated that in those schools and sections where teaching is to be in the languages of the coinhabiting nationalities the teaching and auxiliary staff have to be selected from among those who are familiar with the language in question (Paragraph 9). In these schools or sections, principals or assistant principals have to be selected from the nationality in question or from among those who speak the language of that nationality (Article 40, Paragraph 2). In those counties with schools in which teaching is to be carried out in the languages of the coinhabiting nationalities, the staff of the directing and controlling organs is to be appointed from among the members of these nationalities (Article 46, Paragraph 4).
However, the rights contained in the Constitution have not been put into practice. This was due in part to the lack of clarity in the formulation of the text of the Constitution and in part to the failure to realize the rights enshrined in the text. In guaranteeing the free use of the minority languages in education, the constitutional text spoke of education "at all levels" and not "of all types." This did not exclude the possibility of there being schools within secondary education, such as the secondary specialized technical schools, where education was exclusively in Rumanian. Further, the Constitution does not guarantee schools based on the mother tongue but only "teaching in the mother tongue."
National-minority education has not been stabilized nor normalized since the 1968 events in Czechoslovakia. After this crisis, a policy of delay as well as a degree of relaxation developed, partly as a result of internal pressure by the nationalities and partly in response to external pressures caused by the Soviet intervention. Certain concessions were made that, although only of secondary significance and not an alteration of the fundamental political line, were nonetheless sufficient to reassure the national minorities and to raise hopes abroad. Once the danger of Soviet invasion was over, as far as Rumania was concerned, the system of national discrimination and cultural suffocation was reasserted. The temporary gains made by the network of minority schools during the crisis where thereby allowed to atrophy. In fact, newly developed policies took a form that far surpassed in severity the conditions between the two world wars. The aim was to restrict the nationalities merely to the right to use the mother tongue, without allowing any nationality content whatever. This goal has received an official formulation in the designation "Rumanian writers writing in Hungarian or German." However, Rumanian nationality policy, employing the well-established pattern of concessions and relaxation alternating with deprivation, led to new concessions in 1969 and even in 1971 after the plenary session of the Council of Workers of Hungarian Nationality. In the regions inhabited by the Hungarian nationality, secondary specialized and technical schools and Hungarian-language parallel classes and vocational schools were established. However, these concessions were short-lived.
In the 1973-74 academic year, new educational laws were adopted with the objective of completely eliminating instruction in the mother tongue by way of universal Rumanianization. In accordance with the new law, the secondary academic schools, which correspond to the old gymnasium or the arts and science (human and real) gymnasiums of Western Europe, were reorganized: seventy percent became secondary
specialized, or technical or vocational schools, with Rumanian as the medium for instruction, and thirty percent were retained as secondary academic schools, some of them possessing nationality sections. In order to maintain classes in the national-minority sections at the elementary level --- spanning the fifth to the tenth years --- at least twenty-five applicants were needed, otherwise the school could provide only the first four grades and even this required at least seven applicants. An exception to this limitation required the approval of the Ministry of Education. As a result of this measure, the widely scattered elements of the national-minority population or those living in smaller settlements do not have a "legal" right to instruction in their own languages. In the secondary academic and specialized or technical schools, for grade levels nine to ten, the minimum number of students required was thirty-six. By contrast, there was no minimum number stipulated for setting up classes taught in Rumanian. The law in the latter case prescribed that in those secondary and elementary schools where there were classes taught in the languages of the national minorities, Rumanian sections had to be established, independently of the number of Rumanian pupils attending the school. The discriminatory character of the law was not even disguised.
It has already been noted that there exists only incomplete data concerning the education of the national minorities in Rumania for the past two decades. Furthermore, the selected statistical data that has been published by the Rumanian authorities failed to reflect the real situation. The available data on the nationality educational institutions and the comparisons that could be made based on them do not provide an accurate picture of the nationality populations, educational needs in line with their geographical distribution. Additionally, these statistics do not depict the quality of education provided in the mother tongue, the spirit underlying it, or the direction of new developments.
Official and detailed data on national-minority education in the Rumanian Socialist Republic is available from the 1966 census, as well as from various other scattered sources. According to some of these sources, during the 1966--67 academic year, there were 376 German-language schools or sections attached to Rumanian schools in the whole of Rumania, consisting of 354 general schools or sections with one to eight classes; 19 secondary schools or sections with one to twelve classes; and 3 pedagogical schools, with a total of 314 students, two of which trained teachers and one of which trained nursery-school instructors. According to other sources, in the 1967--68 academic year, there were 1,944 minority-language schools and sections in all of Rumania. Of these, 1,480 were Hungarian and 386 German; the other
78 offered instruction in Serbian, Slovak, Ukrainian, and Czech. In the 1969--70 academic year, 225,618 pupils attended Hungarian-language educational institutions: of these 35,177 attended kindergartens, which corresponded to 7.9 percent of all the children in kindergartens in Rumania. In the general grade schools, 168,218 pupils studied in Hungarian, which corresponded to only 6 percent of all general grade-school pupils in Rumania. Moreover, in higher-level Hungarian-language education, 21,568 students attended secondary academic schools, 665 attended teacher-training colleges, 1,425 attended secondary specialized, or technical schools, and 6,308 attended vocational schools.
In the 1970--71 academic year, Hungarian was the language of instruction for 157,000 pupils in 1,337 general grade schools and for 21,106 pupils in 91 secondary academic schools; altogether for approximately 178,000 pupils. In the 1971--72 academic year, 955 Hungarian kindergartens functioned, attended by approximately 50,000 children.
In the 1973--74 academic year, significant changes occurred in secondary education for the national minorities regarding the number of schools and sections. The educational institutions of the nationalities were considerably reduced in number, while in compensation the number of sections functioning within the framework of Rumanian schools increased. According to the official statistics, the number of general grade-school and secondary pupils belonging to the Hungarian nationality during this academic year was 190,000, and 2,383 Hungarian-language schools and sections functioned with 220,000 pupils. Of the kindergartens and general schools, 1,230 were still independent Hungarian schools, while 1,062 functioned as Hungarian sections within Rumanian schools. At the same time, during the 1973--74 academic year, 60,992 German pupils were enrolled in German-language schools or sections; of these, 16,130 were enrolled in kindergartens, 40,071 in general schools, and 4,791 in secondary academic schools. The total number of German-language schools was 711, including both independent schools and sections.
German-language secondary technical education was expanded numerically in the 1974--75 academic year. In this academic year, there were 340 kindergartens and sections with 16,087 children, 355 general schools and sections with 41,661 pupils, and 28 secondary academic schools and sections with 4,696 pupils. The total number of German-language schools was 723, with a total of 62,444 pupils.
German was the language of instruction during the 1975--76 academic year in 324 kindergartens or sections attended by 14,878 children, 338 general schools or sections with 42,043 pupils, and 30
secondary academic or technical schools or sections with 6,272 pupils. The total number of schools was 692, with 63,193 pupils. In the academic year 1976--77, there were 13,748 children enrolled in 309 kindergartens and sections, 41,737 pupils in 335 general schools and sections, and 5,689 pupils in 33 secondary academic schools and sections. The total number of German-language schools and sections was 677, with 61,174 pupils.
According to official figures during the 1976--77 academic year, there were only 4,666 Hungarian students in the third year of the secondary academic schools entitled to grant degrees, in contrast to the 8,300 who had completed the second year in the system during the previous academic year. Hungarian was the language of instruction in a total of 128 secondary academic schools. Out of a total of 34,738 secondary-school pupils whose mother tongue was Hungarian, 15,591 attended technical secondary schools where the specialized subjects were taught exclusively in Rumanian, because there was no Hungarian-language specialized education available for them.
In the academic year 1977--78, there were 1,393 Hungarian-language general schools and sections and 112 lycees, of which 12 were independent and 100 were sections within Rumanian schools. If these figures are compared with data for 1947, the decline in numbers is quite clear: in 1947 there were 186 Hungarian secondary schools in Rumania; in Cluj (Kolozsvár) alone there were fourteen Hungarian-language secondary academic schools in operation in 1947.
These figures related to the relevant data on Rumanian education, as well as to the overall national statistics, indicate the following: In the 1948--49 academic year, 217 secondary academic schools functioned in the country, whereas in 1968--69 there were 568, to which one has to add 53 art, 415 specialized or technical schools, and a further 191 vocational schools, making a total of 1,227.
According to the official statistics for the academic year 1976--77, about a third of the Hungarian pupils attended Rumanian general schools; by comparison, in the academic year 1977--78, 70 percent of German pupils attended Rumanian general schools. However, if the proportion of the Hungarian pupils in relation to the various counties is considered, it becomes clear that the figures in the official statistics have falsified the situation. In reality, the actual proportion of Hungarian pupils attending Rumanian schools was approximately 30-40 percent; this proportion increased by 1977--78 to 47--83 percent. According to another official source, 24 percent of the Hungarian pupils went on to further studies after completing the eighth year of their general education, in comparison with the national average of 19 percent.
This figure was used by the official authorities to laud their program in Hungarian-language education and their nationality policy in general. However, this figure obscured the fact that a considerable proportion of Hungarian students attended Rumanian schools. Thus the purpose of this statistical datum veiled the actual state of affairs. Furthermore, the figure itself has to be regarded as a distortion since the proportion of Hungarians gaining a secondary education in Rumania was estimated at only between 7 and 8 percent.
After analyzing the statistical data of elementary and secondary education, it can be concluded that all minority nationalities in Rumania faced a constant decrease in the number of educational institutions during the 1969--79 decade. While, for example, 3,479 minority schools or sections existed in 1978, by 1980 their number was reduced to about 3,000. The most drastic reduction has been felt by the Hungarians; a continuous decline was evident in the instruction of Hungarian especially in secondary education. The Germans were somewhat better represented in secondary academic schools, but they were underrepresented at the lower and higher educational levels. Almost to try to prove the contrary, in 1978 elementary schools were established for the numerically small Turkish, Polish, Czech, Bulgarian, and Greek national minorities.
Regarding higher educational opportunities for the national minorities, instruction in the mother tongue has been indispensable to their development, and the Hungarian national minority of 2.5 million has to have several branches of higher education for its educational needs. The existence of Hungarian higher educational institutions would provide the necessary foundation for scientific life, for growth of the general cultural-technological participation, and for the maintenance of a viable minority intellectual leadership. For the Rumanians as a whole, the intellectuals have multiplied as compared to the period before the First World War. While during the 1937--38 academic year Rumanian universities had 26,498 students, by the 1978--79 academic year their numbers increased to 190,560.
The development of higher education for the national minorities in Rumania has shown a very different and at the same time a contradictory picture: the largest nationalities, like Hungarians and Germans, were underrepresented in the higher educational levels, while smaller ethnic groups for a tactical-political reason were enjoying considerable support in this educational category.
Utilizing the favorable political conditions in 1968, Hungarian intellectuals and the Hungarian public in Transylvania did everything possible to obtain the reestablishment of the Bolyai University of Cluj
(Kolozsvár). On this point, however, the Rumanian party leadership was adamant and uncompromising, and the Hungarian university was not revived.
In the academic year 1978--79, the Rumanians had seven universities and ten technical, four agricultural, four medical, seven art, five pedagogical, and four mixed colleges with 134 faculties. There were also four theological institutes of university rank and two theological seminaries.
In contrast, already by the end of the 1960s Hungarian-language higher education was reduced to a minimum in Rumania. Yet, party leader Nicolae Ceausescu made a promise at the March 12, 1971, plenary session of the Workers of Hungarian Nationality that higher education would be expanded. At the same time, the deputy rector of the Babes-Bolyai University also emphasized that "there were setbacks, mistakes..." in providing higher education for the national minorities in the mother tongue. However, these statements were not followed by increased Hungarian study opportunities. Instruction in the languages of the national minorities in Rumania in the academic year 1978--79 was carried out only in some sections at the following institutions of higher education: the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, the Institute of Medicine and Pharmacology at Tirgu Mures, and the István Szentgyörgyi Institute of Dramatic Arts at Tirgu Mures; lectures were given in German by the Sibiu (Nagyszeben, Hermannstadt) faculty belonging to the Babes-Bolyai University and in German Studies at the Universities of Bucharest, Iasi, and Timisoara (Temesvár). At the same time, despite the high number of students belonging to the national minorities, there was no instruction in their languages at the ten technical, four agricultural, five pedagogical, and four other colleges. The situation was the worst in the sphere of technical training. During the 1977--78 academic year, all the arts-oriented secondary academic schools were reorganized into specialized or technical schools. Consequently, a large percentage of the teachers belonging to the national minorities lost their jobs. At the same time, lacking technical training at the college level, the reorganized secondary schools do not have instructors who can teach in the minority languages.
The Babes-Bolyai University has been, on the whole, dominated by a Rumanian administration. There has been no institutional arrangement to ensure the dual Rumanian and Hungarian character of the university, and there have been no separate Rumanian and Hungarian sections in the individual subjects. This has had an adverse effect on national-minority university enrollments.
The trend has been against the minorities in this area. In the
1974--75 academic year, of a total of 108,750 students attending full-time courses in higher education, there were only 6,188 Hungarians, or only 5.7 percent of the total. Comparing these figures with the data relating to the 1957--58 academic year --- when the Hungarian-language higher education institutions were attended by 4,082 Hungarian students and an additional 1,000--1,500 Hungarian students attended technical courses at Rumanian universities as compared with the national total of 53,007 students in full-time higher education --- demonstrates the drastic reduction in minority higher education. Thus, while in the 1957--74 period the number of university students in Rumania doubled, the number of the Hungarian students went up by only approximately 10 percent.
In the Babes-Bolyai University, approximately 6,000 students were enrolled at the beginning of the 1976--77 academic year. Of the above, 1,206 were first-year students, which included 269 Hungarians. However, not all of the Hungarian students were able to attend lectures given in Hungarian. The Hungarian lectures were attended only by 8 percent of the students. Thus, the majority of the Hungarians attended courses given entirely in Rumanian. The teaching staff, which totaled approximately 900 academic personnel, included 210 Hungarians, but most of them taught their courses in Rumanian. The number of German students at Rumanian colleges and universities in the 1976--77 academic year was 1,966.
The further development of secondary education was also dependent on and determined by the existing system of university education. The fact that specialized subjects in higher education have been taught in Rumanian, together with the difficulties of passing the university entrance examinations, which have been given in Rumanian, has meant that those attending a Rumanian secondary school stood a much better chance of getting into a university than those who attended a Hungarian secondary school. Thus, the university has served the purpose of deterrence: deterring the national minorities from insisting on having their children attend secondary schools that teach in their own languages. Furthermore, this pressures them to transfer their children to Rumanian schools already at the secondary level. In any case, very few schools teaching in the languages of the national minorities have been permitted in each town or city to set up an eleventh and twelfth year to complement the secondary level of education. Therefore, large numbers of students from the national minorities have been forced to complete the last two years of their schooling prior to university admission in a school where instruction is in Rumanian. In other words, as the
educational process progresses towards the higher levels, it has become increasingly Rumanian.
The career opportunities for graduates from colleges and universities has also played an important role, which has complemented the above policies. The state has placed graduates in jobs, which they have been obliged to accept, and has done this in such a way that members of the national minorities --- particularly those who have demonstrated their attachment to their nationality by attending classes in their own language --- inevitably find themselves in comparatively less desirable positions. For example, a high proportion of Hungarian graduates have been given jobs in Rumanian areas. If they have been fortunate and have obtained employment in areas inhabited by Hungarians, and if they are teachers, they have been in general appointed to teach in primary and not in secondary schools.
Two specific local examples provide additional support for the above delineated characterization of Rumanian educational opportunities for the minorities. At the end of the Second World War, there were eleven Hungarian-language secondary schools in Cluj; of these, seven were entitled to issue matriculation certificates. There were three additional Hungarian-language secondary schools in the county outside of Cluj, for a total of fourteen altogether. By the beginning of the 1973--74 academic year, only nine secondary academic schools taught in Hungarian in the city of Cluj, with a further five in the rural areas; these, together, provided a total of fourteen. At the beginning of the 1976--77 academic year, seven secondary academic schools existed in Cluj having classes with instruction in Hungarian. Another four existed in the countryside, making a total of eleven. The deterioration is quite clear and it becomes even more manifest if the fact is taken into consideration that the educational system had in the meantime been reorganized. Under the new system, the objective was no longer restricted to the narrow task of training the future teachers and intellectuals; it was now given a more general role. In 1973, at the beginning of the academic year, there were thirty-two secondary academic schools teaching in Rumanian in the city of Cluj and a further twenty-nine in the county, making altogether sixty-one. By 1976, of the secondary academic schools in the county as a whole, seventy-four had Rumanian-language classes. Thus, while education in the languages of the national minorities declined, the development of Rumanian-language education was constant and rapid. It is worth noting that at the beginning of the 1970s almost half of the population of Cluj was of Hungarian nationality, and it was only the large-scale settlement of
Rumanians there that succeeded in changing the national composition of this traditionally Hungarian-inhabited city.
In Cluj, education in the languages of the national minorities is now below the level attained between the two world wars. Rumanian-language education has in the meantime increased severalfold compared with interwar figures. Taking the number of pupils in first-year secondary classes to be the compulsory thirty-six, and working out the proportions on this basis, the number of pupils being taught in Hungarian in Cluj County is approximately 12--13 percent of the total, which is less than half of the proportion of Hungarians in the population of the county as a whole.
The school system in Tirgu Mures (Marosvásárhely) presents a similar picture. At the end of the war, there were three independent Hungarian-language secondary schools teaching up to the matriculation level, while at present there are three Rumanian-language schools that also have Hungarian classes. In 1974, there were still three independent Hungarian-language secondary schools in the city and two in the countryside. The present proportions are as follows: in Tirgu Mures there are twelve Rumanian and eight Hungarian sections at the secondary level. If all the schools are taken into account, including the general schools that pass for academic schools, there are eight teaching in Hungarian, as opposed to thirty-six teaching in Rumanian. Of the three secondary schools possessing parallel Rumanian and Hungarian classes, the principal of one is Hungarian, while the other two principals are Rumanian. The direction of development is also indicated by the decline of the number of Hungarian primary and secondary school teachers during the past ten years corresponding with the increase of the number of Rumanian teachers from 110 to more than 1,000. This process has had no relation to nationality needs, since, according to the official census of 1956, 73.8 percent of the population of Tirgu Mures belonged to the Hungarian nationality.
THE ADMINISTRATION OF NATIONAL MINORITY EDUCATION: THE QUESTION OF SUPERVISION
In the administration of the educational system for the national minorities, after the mergers were realized at the end of the 1950s, the nationality organs for supervision, the school inspectorates, also ceased to exist. Furthermore, the administrative reorganization of the counties led to the rapid exclusion of members of the national minorities from this area of responsibility.
Within the framework of the Ministry of Education, in 1970 a
section was reactivated called the Directorate for Nationality Schools. The responsibility of this section was to deal with the special problems of nationality education. This organ, however, has been limited to dealing with the problems arising in individual classes within the school system. It has not had general jurisdiction over minority educational problems. In a country like Rumania, inhabited by several nationalities, a directorate would be justified in having general jurisdiction over nationality education.
At the county level, the supervision of education has been the responsibility of the county school inspectorate, which has been under the direct control of the county council and the Ministry of Education. Professional supervision has been within the framework of the individual school inspectorates.
With the abolition of the national-minority organs responsible for education, the number of educational specialists belonging to the national minorities has been significantly reduced for the county school inspectorates, particularly outside the compact nationality areas. The national-minority schools, which have included the nationality sections, have been generally directed by Rumanian principals or chairmen, with the members of the minorities filling only subordinate posts. Rumanian teachers have also frequently taught in national-minority schools. Abuses and arbitrary measures have been frequent. After the 1968 Czechoslovakian event, for some time articles appeared in the Hungarian-language press complaining about circumstances that made teaching in the languages of the nationalities almost impossible in certain parts of the country having a mixed population. These articles referred to meager financial provisions, out-of-date school buildings, and inadequate instructional equipment and supplies, as well as the arbitrariness of Rumanian district superintendents and school inspectors.
The number of Hungarian principals and assistant principals of general schools was 1,430 in 1971. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the Hungarian principals directed only the independent Hungarian schools. In the jointly directed institutions, or mixed schools, the general practice has been for the principal to be Rumanian and his assistant to be a member of a national minority.
In Rumania, the publication of textbooks for the national minorities has been the responsibility of the Textbook and Educational Publishing House. The great majority of minority-language textbooks for
the various school grades have been poor translations of Rumanian textbooks, using vocabulary and modes of expression that have been often incomprehensible to the pupils. The situation has been the same as regards methodological handbooks. Consequently, the standards in the teaching of the history of national-minority literature has left a lot to be desired. The situation has been even worse regarding the teaching of history. The pupils belonging to the national minorities have not been taught either the history of their people or the factual history of Transylvania. Instead they have been provided with a falsified history reflecting the spirit of Rumanian nationalism. In this way an attempt has been made to break the ties of the minority pupils with their historical and cultural roots.
As in the case of history books, the depiction of the literary history of the national minorities also has left out, apart from the private endeavors of a few lecturers, the national historical connections. It has been impossible for pupils to form a realistic picture of their national development over the centuries. The student teachers in the teacher-training colleges have only been able to obtain books that have been prescribed by the educational plan as "compulsory matter" in accordance with an arbitrary and nationalistic view. Books in the national-minority languages in school libraries have not been adequate in content or quantity. The shortage of reading material in the minority languages has also hindered the work of the primary and secondary school teachers in the outlying areas. Because of the prescribed and inadequate quotas, the Kriterion Nationality Publishing House has only very rarely published specialized works or enough copies. While textbooks for the Hungarian minority living in Yugoslavia have been printed in Hungary, in Rumania it has been forbidden to use books from Hungary in the classroom. Specialized education for the national minorities has to rely on the poor translations of Rumanian publications. It has been characteristic, for example, that textbooks in Hungarian literary history have not been available in secondary schools for a long time. The textbook for the first year was prepared only for the 1972--73 academic year, and, as has been the case for Hungarian-language publications in general, so few copies were printed that they could not even come close to filling existing needs.
From the point of view of minority education, on a relative scale, qualitatively better conditions have existed in towns and cities that have strong Hungarian and/or German cultural traditions and where the
proportion of Hungarian or German inhabitants has remained considerable (e.g., Cluj-Napoca, Oradea [Nagyvárad] Satu Mare [Szatmárnémeti]). Conditions have been worst of all in areas where relatively few Hungarians or Germans live in relation to the total population. For example, beyond the Carpathians, where about 300,000--350,000 Hungarians live, only in Bucharest do they have a Hungarian school.
At the beginning of the 1970s, the network of Hungarian-language academic secondary schools came close to meeting the existing needs in areas inhabited by a compact Hungarian population, such as the Székely region. At the same time, the majority of pupils in the Rumanian-language classes also belonged to the Hungarian nationality in that region. At the beginning of the 1970s, slightly more than half of the Hungarian-language general schools and kindergartens were independent institutions under Hungarian direction. In the sixteen Transylvanian counties, and in the capital, Bucharest, 1,230 general schools and kindergartens taught exclusively in Hungarian and 1,060 functioned as nationality sections.
However, national-minority education in Rumania reached the stage in the second half of the 1970s where only the nameplates outside of their schools indicated the existence of instruction in the language of the minorities ("Hungarian school," "German school," etc.). In practice, the purpose of education has been no less than the creation of the "unified, socialist nation" whose language is Rumanian. The slogan "national in form and socialist in content" has been given lip-service by government officials, but its application has been inconsistent at best. The objective in the areas inhabited by the national minorities has been Rumanianization and the eventual elimination of the school network of the national minorities, from elementary-level to higher-level education as well.
The compulsory teaching of the Rumanian language in the national-minority schools, at the expense of their languages, has become one of the major issues concerning national-minority education. It is imperative that states inhabited by several nationalities consider that all the peoples should be encouraged to learn each other's language. At the same time no member of any nationality should be discriminated against for not speaking any other language but his own. At a time when equal rights in language usage has become an international issue, linguistic intolerance is an anachronism beyond understanding in Central Europe. The national minorities living in Rumania do not possess equal opportunities either in the sphere of vocational training or in securing their future by having the institutions and organs of society support their right to existence and development. It is in the interests
of the national minorities to acquire the language of the national majority; however, to make this compulsory and to employ sanctions to punish those who do not speak the language of the national majority is irreconcilable with the spirit of the present age.
|Transylvania - The Roots of Ethnic Conflict|