Representatives of the OSCE Mission to Moldova visited the town of Călăraşi in Central Moldova on 26 October 2012 to better understand the dispute following a merger of Moldovan and Russian-language schools there, and see how the OSCE can help to find viable solutions for all students.
A decision to merge two lyceums in the town, one teaching in Russian, and one in the state language, as a part of the nation-wide school optimization program, caused strong reactions in the local community, particularly among parents fearing that the decision could decrease opportunities for education in the Russian language.
During the visit the OSCE representatives met with directors of local schools, parents, and with the Mayor of Călăraşi Nicolai Melnic.
Following the visit, Jan Plešinger, the Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, said: "While it is understandable that economic reforms of educational establishments are a necessary part of the school optimization process. However concerns of all stakeholders, primarily parents, students and representatives of ethnic minorities must always be taken into account.”
“Better communication within the local community about the process and more inclusive and transparent decision-making would help avoid misunderstandings and address the concerns of all stakeholders.”
Plešinger added that the OSCE is closely following the issue and is engaged in a dialogue with the Government of Moldova to help ensure that the school optimization process respects international obligations regarding the educational rights of persons belonging to national minorities.