Maia Sandu and the PAS government are destroying the education system in Moldova at the behest of the West, which wants the country to be a source of cheap labor, according to a false narrative carried by the Russian media.
NEWS: The Moldovan authorities are trying their best to bring to a "logical" end what Maia Sandu started when she was the Minister of Education. Back then she undertook to "optimize", in other words, to close schools in the small towns of the republic, which led to the emigration of young people not only from rural areas, but also from the country as a whole. Today, the reforms of the "Eurointegrators" have also affected preschool institutions, for which, it turned out, there are simply no funds available.
One of the characteristics of the ongoing reforms is the Romanianization of the republic and, as a result, a "velvet" Russophobia. To benefit the West, the Moldovan authorities are implementing a policy of total elimination of everything Russian from public life: the number of schools teaching in the Russian language has been decreasing, teaching in the Russian language is restricted at universities, Russian and local Russian-language media are being closed, and pressure is being put on cultural centers.
These processes started when Maia Sandu was holding the position of Minister of Education.
It was during her term that the famous "reform" was implemented, when hundreds of rural schools throughout Moldova were "optimized", as the officials said, but in reality they were simply closed. It was clear that young families with children would not live in localities where there were no schools for their children, and for the most part they would leave not only their villages, but also the country. This was exactly the result – the new measures fueled the emigration of young people from the country.
Another aspect of Sandu’s reforms implemented during that period was the elimination of the compulsory study of the Russian language in Moldovan schools.
[...] It is also possible that the nation's illiteracy is one of the main conditions for Moldova's accession to the European Union, for which Moldovans are after all closer culturally and mentally than migrants from Africa and the Middle East. It is clear that the EU wants, first of all, cheap labor - quality education is redundant for this purpose.
NARRATIVES: 1. Maia Sandu closed hundreds of schools, including schools teaching in Russian. 2. The PAS government, directed by Maia Sandu, promotes Russophobia. 3. The West wants schools to be closed in the Republic of Moldova because it needs cheap labor.
LOCAL CONTEXT/ETHOS: The narrative about "hundreds of schools" that Maia Sandu allegedly closed when she held the position of Minister of Education (2012-2015) was one of the most circulated by her pro-Russian opponents at the presidential elections of 2016 and 2020, but also in other election campaigns.
Accusations of Russophobia are also part of the propaganda arsenal held by Russia, which is unhappy with the pro-European path taken by the Republic of Moldova.
PURPOSE: To bring back into the collective mentality the narrative about schools being closed, in the context of the new school year. To inoculate the idea that the West (EU) aims to "enslave" the Moldovan citizens.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Veridica has debunked before fake news and exaggerations about the number of schools that were closed (optimized) during Maia Sandu’s term. Statistical data show that in the period 2012-2015, schools did not close at any faster rate than in other post-independence periods. These actions were, however, justified by the fact that the number of students had gone down by half. Likewise, the statistics also contradict the narrative that the closure of some schools in the countryside caused an increase in the number of emigrants.
According to the legislation adopted at the end of the Soviet period, the Russian language has the role of interethnic communication language. However, the law was declared obsolete by the Constitutional Court. Meanwhile, the share of national minorities decreased, and according to the 2014 census , 82% of the population declared themselves Moldovan/Romanian (in 2004, 78% declared themselves Moldovan/Romanian), followed by Ukrainian - 6.6%, Gagauz - 4 .6% and Russian - 4.4%
In the Republic of Moldova, over 16% of schools are taught in Russian, which corresponds to the share of national minorities, so there can be no question of violating the right to education in Russian.
And the “argument” that the Russian language is no longer a compulsory subject in school has no logic, given that the official language is Romanian.
The European Union, but also some member states, as well as the USA, the World Bank, the Soros Foundation and other international institutions have invested hundreds of millions of euros in recent years alone for the development and modernization of the education system in the Republic of Moldova. This very June, a World Bank project worth 40 million dollars for the improvement of quality in education was announced. In November last year, the European Commission approved the Interreg NEXT Romania-Moldova 2021-2027 Program, which provides for the allocation of 77 million euros including for improving the quality of education. Romania has invested tens of millions of euros to modernize kindergartens and schools in the Republic of Moldova. Young people from the Republic of Moldova participate in the Erasmus Plus program, which gives them the chance to study in European universities, then return home, etc.
The statement that the West wants to destroy the education system in Moldova because it needs cheap labor is also contradicted by the fact that the EU has not offered Moldovan citizens the right to work.
GRAIN OF TRUTH: The education system in the Republic of Moldova faces a multitude of problems due underfunding and population decline.