Bilingualism in education program

Our Bilingualism in education Program started in 2009 and its goal is to create in the town’s school a real multicultural and multilingual atmosphere, where the linguistic landscape of educational institutions are reflecting the balanced coexistence of the two ethnic communities.  In TîrguMureș/Marosvásárhely, the school network includes approximately 45 educational institutions most of them function as mixed institutions, having both Hungarian and Romanian speaking classes.However, the internal and external linguistic landscape of most of these institutions are exclusively Romanian; public interest information is presented only in Romanian, names of classrooms and administrative offices are monolingual. Administrative personnel, school nurses and doctors, librarians often do not speak Hungarian, andprimary school pupils (between age 6 and 10) cannot communicate with them without their teachers, who need to act as translators and interpreters.

Law no. 215/2001 on local public administration stipulates that „in the territorial-administrative units where citizens belonging to national minorities have a share of over 20% of residents, the local government authorities and public institutions subordinated to them shall ensure mother tongue inscriptions of and shall display mother tongue notices of general interest.” Moreover, Law no. 1/2011on educationstates that „the education performed in the language of the national minorities, the internal communication, and the communication with the pupils’ and preschoolers’ parents may becarried out in the language in which the tuition is performed.

Over the years, the language landscape of some schools and kindergartens has changed the walls started to reflect multiculturalism; all boards are bilingual, information related to the culture and history of both communities is displayed, the ceremonies organized at the opening and ending of the school year are implemented in both languages. Unfortunately this is the case in only a few kindergartens and schools sadly the majority of the institutions still rejects the use of the Hungarian language within their linguistic landscape.

Regarding the bilingual linguistic landscape and the importance of the implementatkon of the linguistic rights of the Hungarian community our Ngo have had many work meetings with the principles of the high schools in Marosvásárhely. We initiated petitions, reported the entire school system of Marosvásárhely at the National Council for Combating Discrimination and  offered to donate bilingual signs to all interested institutes of education.

CEMO has initiated several anti-discrimination proceedings, the NCCD in 2010 found four institutions discriminating against Hungarian and in 2017,  17 schools were considered discriminative against the Hungarian students.  

As part of our program, in 2017, we decided to initiate a law suit against the representative of the Mayor’s office. The situation is similar in many other settlements and towns in Romania where there are mixed school, where different ethnic communities are studying in the same school building.