From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
Revision as of 07:21, 13 April 2010 by Pbacsich
Transnistria, also known as Trans-Dniester, Transdniestria, and Pridnestrovie is a disputed region in Eastern Europe. Since the declaration of independence by the de facto local regime in 1990, followed by the War of Transnistria in 1992, it is governed by the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), which is recognised by few nations in the world and none in the EU. This claims the left bank of the river Dniester and the city of Bendery within the former Moldavian SSR. The modern Republic of Moldova does not recognize the secession and considers PMR-controlled territories to be a part of Moldova's sovereign territory - to reflect this standpoint we categorise Transnistria within Moldova also.
There appears (at present) to be relatively free movement for "citizens" between Transnistria and (the rest of) Moldova, but with some bureauctraic complications especially for tourists (see the travel guide at http://wikitravel.org/en/Transnistria)
English and other mainstream western languages are little spoken. The issue of whether Moldovan (in its spoken form) is the same as Romanian is a matter of fierce dispute.
Transnistria is located mostly in a strip between the Dniester River and Ukraine. After the dissolution of the USSR, Transnistria declared independence, leading to a war with Moldova that started in March 1992 and was concluded by the ceasefire of July 1992. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, PMR) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarized zone, comprising 20 localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved: De jure part of Moldova, Transnistria is a de facto independent state.
Transnistria is organised as a presidential republic, with its own government, parliament, military, police, postal system, and currency. Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, national anthem, and a coat of arms.
Transnistria is sometimes compared with other post-Soviet frozen conflict zones such as Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. The latter two - which are recognized only by a select group including Russia, Nicaragua, and each other - have recognised Transnistria as an independent state and plan to establish diplomatic relations (in return for Transnistria's recognition of them). At present it is unlikely that many other countries will join this small club. There are obvious parallels with some situations elsehere in Europe and Asia.
Transnistria appears to function as a state and mostly has control of its borders, even though these are indefensible and cut through towns, villages and fields somewhat at random - it is not simply the case that the river Dniester is the border with (the rest of) Moldova as many outsiders think. There are newspapers, internet, television and most other components of modern life. The travel guide at http://wikitravel.org/en/Transnistria suggests that not all is as simple as the web sites (especially those run or supported by PMR) suggest.
The demographics of Transnistria are complex with no clear majority - as are the demographics of Moldova overall - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnistriahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Moldova.
From the e-learning point of view, although Transnistria has internet, it does not have its own domain and will not (or cannot) use the Moldovan one - thus all web sites are either "international" like .com or use the Russian designator .ru
There are several universities. These include the T.G. Shevchenko University in Tiraspol, said to be the region's main university. It offers courses in partnerships with universities in Russia. The university has 14 faculties and 84 chairs, offering 54 different majors. Attendance is given at between 10,000 and 15,000 students per year and classes are taught in three languages: Russian, Moldovan and Ukrainian. The university employs over 1,000 teaching staff. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._G._Shevchenko_University and (if you read Russian) http://www.spsu.ru
An upbeat description of HE in Transnistria is given at http://pridnestrovie.net/universities.html
At schools level, the mix of ethnicities, languages and scripts causes many difficulties - well documented at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moldovan_schools_in_Transnistria.
As human beings we can only hope that in time Transnistria can come to an accommodation with Moldova and its other neighhours to allow normal life and economic development to resume.