Today, on January 27, 2021, an online seminar “Multilingual Education: Definitions, Models, Benefits and Challenges” was organized in partnership with Eurac Research Institute, Bolzano, Italy, in cooperation with the ATU Gagauzia authorities. The event was attended by representatives of the central authorities, as well as the autonomy authorities, representatives of educational institutions of the autonomy, civil society organizations, independent education experts and other stakeholders.
This seminar was aimed at improving the knowledge on multilingual education of the Working Group involved in the development of a long-term education program in the ATU Gagauzia, as well as for other interested parties. This process was launched in December 2020 by Gagauzia authorities with the assistance of CMI, Crisis Management Initiative. It will contribute to the development of a long-term strategic vision of education sector development in the autonomy.
During this event, more than 50 participants got acquainted with various models of multilingual education, as well as learned about the advantages and challenges of their implementation.
Experts of the Eurac Research Institute presented international experience of multilingual education. They described the benefits of multilingual education for citizens, schools and society at large. Employment prospects, innovation, and economic growth are just some of the benefits that multilingual education system offers. Experts also provided detailed descriptions of solutions of the challenges related with implementation of multilingual education, noting that “multilingual education requires medium and long-term project systemic investments, as well as professional and financial resources”.
For her part, the Head of the Main Department of Education of ATU Gagauzia, Natalia Cristeva spoke about the tasks, needs and challenges of ATU Gagauzia related to implementation of multilingual education.
Today, the education system of Gagauzia faces many important tasks. We should develop our native Gagauz language and at the same time preserve the languages of national minorities residing in the territory of Gagauzia that are taught in our educational institutions. At the same time, it is very important to know the state language and not to forget about the Russian language, which is spoken by most of Gagauz population. We also need to take into account the wish of the parents for their children to know two foreign languages. That is why this strategy development is so important for us, and we understand the need to introduce multilingual education, which will provide new opportunities for our children and will also promote multicultural dialogue. I believe it is extremely important at this stage to develop a multilingual education model based on international experience and best practices. We really want to choose together a model that will reflect the interests of the autonomy and the tasks of our education system.declared Ms Cristeva
Senior Researcher at the Institute Eurac Research spoke about the necessary aspects related to the multilingual education.
Multilingual education is essential for the proper functioning of the autonomy. This educational model should be viewed from two perspectives – From the local and national dimension, as well as from the territorial entity integration into the overall system of the country. It is absolutely essential to have a broad sociodemographic picture and to understand the benefits of multilingual education and its value.underlined Elisabeth Alber
This activity is part of the “Dialogue on Gagauzia” project implemented by the Crisis Management Organization (CMI) with financial support from Sweden. CMI supports Gagauzia authorities by providing international advice and expert reviews. In this regard, a Working Group consisting of independent experts from Chisinau and Comrat, as well as representatives of the Gagauz authorities, was established to support the process of Gagauzia policy elaboration in three key areas: education, tourism and culture.
CMI is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 by Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland. The organization’s efforts are aimed at preventing and resolving conflicts and maintaining sustainable peace. In Moldova, CMI implements the project “Dialogue on Gagauzia”, which is aimed at supporting the effective implementation of the competences of Gagauzia by ensuring a constructive dialogue between legislators from Chisinau and Comrat, as well as to develop joint solutions to common problems related to multi-tier public administration in the context of Gagauz autonomy.