Support The Moscow Times!

Latvian Official Proposes Ending Russian Language Education

The children's ombudsman of Latvia has said that his country should end its system of bilingual education and stop teaching classes in Russian.

The official, Juris Jansons, told Latvian Radio Monday morning that Latvia should "form a more homogenous society" and that schoolchildren need to master the state language, Latvian, in order to fully participate in public life.

He cited the results of a study of the current bilingual system, which found that many Russian-speaking instructors do not know Latvian on a level sufficient for teaching.

Jansons added that some parents who also lack Latvian language skills are unable to help their children do their homework.

He dismissed claims that non-Latvian population is entitled to public schooling in its native tongue by arguing that such arguments "contribute to ethnic confrontation."

About one third of Latvia's 2 million people consider Russian their native language.

Many schools in places like Riga teach in Russian, though the language does not have official status in the country.

In 2011 nationalist politicians moved to put an end to teaching in Russian, but their initiative failed to collect enough signatures.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more