The Hungarian government will open the free Ukrainian language courses for the ethnic Hungarians living in Zakarpattya. The classes are supposed to begin in early 2019, Yevropeiska Pravda reported.
Istvan Greza, the Ministerial Envoy for Transborder Regional Cooperation reported that the initiative aims to reduce the Ukrainian-Hungarian tensions.
Over 300 local Hungarians signed in over the first 48 hours after the respective announce was made.
'The sign-in for the courses began last week. The classes are to begin in January. The number of vacant places for the Ukrainian language courses is unlimited. We will teach everyone who wishes to learn', the government envoy said.
The classes will be held on the facility of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute of Ferenc Rakocsi II that is funded by the Hungarian side; the Institute offers teaching methods and study materials.
According to Summa 2017 center's research, over 130,000 Hungarians reside in Zakarpattya region, western Ukraine.
When the Ukrainian Parliament passed the Law on Education in autumn 2017, the Hungarian government heavily protested, as the law stipulates that after the primary school, the children will be only taught in the Ukrainian language - without the opportunity to be taught in the language of any national minority. Budapest considered the law an assault on the rights of the national minorities in Ukraine. However, the Venice Commission supported Ukraine in this regard, finding that the law allowed no violations in this area.
After long-lasting negotiations, Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijarto said there was tangible progress and said his government would not turn its back on the actual edition of the law.