Russian and Latvian Languages Will Coexist in Latvia's Russian Schools

Latvian will not be made the only language used in Latvia's Russian schools said President Vaira Vike-Freiberga in an interview with the Vesti Segognya newspaper.

Vike-Freiberga said that the article of the Law on Education concerning teaching in Russian schools in Latvian would be amended. This article prescribes that teaching in senior classes of Russian secondary schools and vocational schools must be conducted "only in the state language" from September 1st, 2004. The president believes that the word "only" will be removed, and the law will hold that 60% of subjects will be taught in the state language and 40% in the languages of national minorities.

The Latvian president noted that "introduction of 100% teaching in schools of national minorities in Latvian has never been on the agenda." According to her, the education reform "is not aimed at assimilation of non-Latvian children." Vike-Freiberga said that "no-one in Latvia has ever forced the national minorities to reject their languages, culture and national heritage."

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