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Maria Pilkin: Employers should financially stimulate employees who know Romanian

The studying of the Romanian language by other language speakers could be stimulated by providing financial stimuli on employment, writer Maria Pilkin stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to her, the National Program for studying the Romanian language launched by the Government is welcome and this can have increased success if the employers offer bonuses to the salaries of employees who know the Romanian language.

Recently, the Government approved the National Program for studying the Romanian language, which is intended also for adults who want to improve their knowledge of Romanian or to study the language from scratch. The courses are free of charge and the costs are cowered with state budget funds. Writer Maria Pilkin said the other language speakers in Moldova will be encouraged to attend these courses if they are offered financial stimuli later, when they are employed.

“This program can be very well implemented in the field of labor force. When the young employee comes to the employer, particular stimuli should be applied and an exam to assess knowledge of the Romanian should exist. It would be good to have an employment mechanism by which the employee will be offered a bonus to the salary for knowing the official language. If the person doesn’t know the language, the bonus will not be provided. It does not go to punishment. After the 1990s, the other language speakers migrated to the private area as the fact that the person didn’t know the language was an impediment to building a career in state institutions. The parents who thought about the future of their children insisted that these should learn Romanian and these children are now integrated into society,” stated Maria Pilkin.

The National Program for studying the Romanian language will be implemented in 2023-2025. The Ministry of Education and Research said that about 2,500 teachers and executive staff of general educational institutions and about 4,000 adults from different professional categories, such as justice, medicine, arts, central and local public administration, including Ukrainian refugees, will be trained through this program in 2023 alone. Maria Pilkin said the Russian invasion of Ukraine makes an increasing number of Russian speakers to study Romanian.

“In social media, I saw businessmen who announced their intention to start to study Romanian. The parents realized that the road to Moscow is closed and their children will have to study in Chisinau, Bucharest or Paris, while the Romanian language, being a European language, will facilitate this road. Paradoxically, the language studying solution was provided by this war. I know cases when parents transferred their children from a Russian teaching school to a Romanian teaching school,” explained the writer.

According to her, after the war in Ukraine started, the arguments in favor of studying Romanian are no longer idealistic, but are very pragmatic. The Russian speaking parents realize that the Russian language cannot ensure a prosperous future for their children.

“The parents don’t want their children to go to Moscow as in five years they could be sent to the front. No mother wants this to happen. Such limit situations as the war generate historical memory and particular survival instincts, while the individual wants first of all to be safe. The war revealed the negative side of the non-integration into a community, of not knowing the official language,” said Maria Pilkin.

The public debate titled “Chances of the Romanian language and of Moldova society” was the 289th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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