Copyright CEMO - 2013
The absence of bilingualism in "multicultural" schools of Marosvásárhely/Tirgu Mures
Parents in Marosvásárhely for bilingualism
In 2010 January a group of Marosvásárhely/Tîrgu Mures parents whose children study in "Dacia" School, "Europe" High School, "Liviu Rebreanu" High School and in the No. 2 Primary School surveyed the languages projected by these schools, and found an utter lack of Hungarian language inside or outside their buildings in what concerns public interest messages, bulletin boards, and in the entire communication of the schools toward the children.
The fact that Hungarian children can study in their mother tongue in mixed-language schools, does not mean that the Hungarian community's language rights are fully respected. Marosvásárhely's mixed-language education schools are limiting language rights of Hungarian children solely to their classroom studies. School communications, their linguistic landscape do not reflect at all the Hungarian children's presence in these schools. As example the façades of the schools, their bulletin boards, and their publications are solely monolingual (Romanian only).
More the 200 parents has signed the petition (50 signatures/school) requesting the usage of the Hungarian language in school communications, inside the school environment and on the exterior, on the façade of the school, on different school buildings, and generally within the entire communication scene.
Should the schools choose to refuse the present request, or if they do not respond within the time prescribed by law (30 days), the parents are prepared to turn with their legitimate claim to higher authorities and are prepared to take further steps for the language rights of their children. This, to make sure that at those schools where their children are studying true multiculturalism and multilingualism is to appear. These rights are guaranteed by the Local Administration Act No. 2001/215 regarding public institutions, the Constitution, and by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages ratified by Romania through the Act No. 2007/282.
After repeated attempts of the parents the schools have denied to change their daily and general policy regarding the use of languages in the public spaces such as school corridors and other commonly used places alongside their communication with the parents and children that belong to the Hungarian community remained monolingual. Even though the legislation regulating the language rights of the ethnic minorities living in Romania is considered a fair and respectful legislature the reality lacks almost entirely their application.
The schools in Tirgu Mures are having only monolingual signs on their façades albeit the schools names and their placement is regulated since 2011 and it is the responsibility of the city's local public administration there haven't been any improvement regarding these signs.
Considering the inner language landscape of the schools the situation is similar, the signs, the pedagogical materials placed on the walls of the corridors as well as other information and materials remain monolingual.
Given this so-called bad practice the parents have requested from CEMO to submit an official complaint letter to the National Council for the Combatting Discrimination regarding the above mentioned schools' attitude towards the use of Hungarian language. It is important to mention that the schools in Tirgu Mures are bilingual in the sense that they operate with both Romanian language and Hungarian language classes. In the majority of the schools the students, pupils study together the percentage of the Hungarian classes vary from 35-to 55 percent of the total classes. Therefore the bilingual practice would be more than realistic taking into consideration that the Romanian language is taught from the first grade the Hungarian children need time to learn it, meanwhile they need to read all the instruction and other materials placed in the corridors only in Romanian language. Within the Hungarian classrooms the materials and other information are bilingual, the problems start when children are outside their classroom. The administrative personnel including the school psychologist are often speaking of Romanian they don't speak any Hungarian which can also create lots of discomfort for the ethnic Hungarians, especially for the children from the elementary grades.
Open letter addressed to the management of the schools