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Latvian president approves expulsion of Russian from secondary schools

Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis. Photo: LETA

Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis has approved the latest amendments to the law on education stipulating that Latvian should be the only language in ethnic secondary schools.

The president’s decision was published by Latvijas Vēstnesis on Apr 2.

According to the president’s press service, Vejonis believes that this will give all children equal chances to get high-quality education and to study and work in Latvia. Mixnews.lv quotes him as saying that this will make the society more solid and the state much stronger. The Latvian president adds that non-Latvian children will still be able to study subjects related to their ethnic identity and culture and to learn their native tongues in primary and basic schools. The transition to Latvian for ethnic secondary schools is to be finished by Sept 1, 2021.

As EADaily reported earlier, on Mar 22, the Latvian Saeima approved amendments to the law on education stipulating gradual transition to Latvian for all ethnic secondary schools. According to the amendments, pre-school education should be bilingual, in primary schools (1-6 forms), there should be three models of bilingual education, in basic school (7-9 forms), 80% of lessons should be in Latvian, in secondary school (10-12 forms), all lessons should be in Latvian.

The transition will be gradual: in 2019/2020, the reform will cover only the 7th form, in 2020/2021 the 7th and the 8th forms, in 2021/2022 the whole basic school. The same is true for the secondary school.

For the primary school (1-6 forms), the Cabinet will approve three models of bilingual education with different Latvian/ethnic language ratios.

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