Sep 2, 2021
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Russian-language education in Latvia has been eliminated

About 200 lawsuits from parents were sent to the ECHR

A new academic year has begun and 40 primary, 235 basic and 277 secondary schools have opened their doors in Latvia. But among all these schools there is not a single one in which teaching was conducted in Russian – Russian-language education in Latvia has been eliminated. As they say in the government, it is final and irrevocable.

This happened against the backdrop of a pandemic and the constant threat of continuing distance learning in the new academic year. Of course, there were protests from the Russian-speaking public, but under conditions of general quarantine, they did not become widespread.

The need to translate all schools in the country into the state language was discussed back in 2004, and the language reform was launched three years ago. The goal of this reform was the final transformation of the educational process in schools of national minorities in order to completely exclude the native language from it. At the same time, the deadline for the reform was announced – September 1, 2021.

Minister of Education of Latvia Anita Muizniece is proud that the reform was completed on time, and is not going to “deviate from the course.”

“Under no circumstances do I intend to deviate from the course taken for training in the state language. We will do this smoothly, identifying difficulties that hinder this process. Latvia is a country where Latvian is the only state language! And I do not agree with the assessment that this is happening very abruptly – after all, for 30 years now we have been living in the Republic of Latvia again, and for 30 years Latvian has been the state language that must be used and respected ”,

– said the minister on the air of the Latvian radio LR4

She agrees that earlier the state was more loyal to teaching in minority languages, but now the authorities are well aware that, if urgent measures are not taken, the Latvian language may disappear. In her opinion, today the reform is “going well.”

Although, of course, there are difficulties and there are many of them, she does not consider these difficulties a serious obstacle.

For example, a kid came to school, but does not know the Latvian language.

It doesn’t matter, Anita Muizniece is sure, if she wants, she will learn.

From September 1, at least half of all education in elementary school should take place in the state language, in the middle classes only the subjects “Russian language” and “Russian literature” can be taught in Russian, all other subjects – only in Latvian.

The quality of education, as well as the catastrophic shortage of teachers in Latvian schools, does not bother the government.

The only thing that can have any influence on the fate of the Russian-speaking education in Latvia is the decision of the ECHR, to which about two hundred lawsuits have already been sent from the parents of Latvia. However, the court’s decision will not be earlier than next summer, but for now Russian-speaking children will be forced to study in Latvian.

Own. corr. FSK

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