Latvian parliament moves toward green lighting language reform in public schools

RIGA, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Latvian lawmakers voted Thursday to send draft amendments on a gradual transition to Latvian being almost the only language taught in all public schools, to the parliament's education, culture, and science committee.

The vote was preceded by a debate about the proposed language reform in Latvia's public schools, including ethnic minority schools. During the debate, Members of Parliament (MPs) from the opposition leftist Harmony party argued against the reform, proposed by Latvian education and science minister Karlis Sadurskis and his ruling center-right Unity party.

At the beginning of December 2017, the Latvian government endorsed a three-year plan for a gradual transition to the Latvian language in all public schools, including Latvia's Russian-language schools. In preschools, kids would be taught bilingually, and three bilingual teaching models would be available in ethnic minority schools from grade one to six. From grade seven to nine, students would be taught 80 percent of all subjects in Latvian, and Latvian would become the only language of instruction in high school.

Two-thirds of lawmakers voted for the plan at Thursday's session.

"I believe that as we develop our education system we need to put public needs and the logic of the education system's development first," Sadurskis said.

As the MPs were deciding on the language reform in schools, advocates of Latvia's Russian-language schools staged a picket outside the parliament building in Riga to protest the reform plan which they see as an attempt to assimilate Latvia's ethnic minorities.

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Xinhuanet

Latvian parliament moves toward green lighting language reform in public schools

Source: Xinhua2018-02-09 01:50:36

RIGA, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Latvian lawmakers voted Thursday to send draft amendments on a gradual transition to Latvian being almost the only language taught in all public schools, to the parliament's education, culture, and science committee.

The vote was preceded by a debate about the proposed language reform in Latvia's public schools, including ethnic minority schools. During the debate, Members of Parliament (MPs) from the opposition leftist Harmony party argued against the reform, proposed by Latvian education and science minister Karlis Sadurskis and his ruling center-right Unity party.

At the beginning of December 2017, the Latvian government endorsed a three-year plan for a gradual transition to the Latvian language in all public schools, including Latvia's Russian-language schools. In preschools, kids would be taught bilingually, and three bilingual teaching models would be available in ethnic minority schools from grade one to six. From grade seven to nine, students would be taught 80 percent of all subjects in Latvian, and Latvian would become the only language of instruction in high school.

Two-thirds of lawmakers voted for the plan at Thursday's session.

"I believe that as we develop our education system we need to put public needs and the logic of the education system's development first," Sadurskis said.

As the MPs were deciding on the language reform in schools, advocates of Latvia's Russian-language schools staged a picket outside the parliament building in Riga to protest the reform plan which they see as an attempt to assimilate Latvia's ethnic minorities.

[ Editor: meng ]
 

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