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Latvia to drop Russian as second language in schools

Latvia to drop Russian as second language in schools Photo: Latvian schools will not teach Russian as a second foreign language (Getty Images)

The Latvian government is preparing a decision regarding restrictions on the Russian language in the country. Russian will no longer be studied as a second foreign language in Latvian schools, reports Delfi.

The Latvian government is set to approve a ban on the study of Russian as a second foreign language on April 23rd. According to the government's decision, starting from the 2026/2027 academic year, schools must gradually offer students one of the official languages of the European Union or countries of the European Economic Area, or another foreign language, but not Russian, as a second foreign language.

During the public discussion of the ban, the Latvian Ministry of Education received over 300 objections from private individuals.

The main reasons for dissatisfaction revolve around the idea that children should not be restricted in learning their native language and should be able to decide for themselves which language to study. It is also emphasized that the refusal to teach Russian is unacceptable for political reasons.

It is worth noting that in Latvia, the first foreign language is taught in schools from the first grade, while the second foreign language is introduced at the end of primary school. In practice, Russian has been more commonly chosen as the second foreign language because schools lack teachers of other languages.

Baltic states' attitude towards Ukraine

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are among the leaders in providing assistance to Ukraine. They have provided military, financial, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and have accepted thousands of refugees.

Recently, it became known that the Latvian government has approved a new comprehensive assistance package to Ukraine for 2024. The assistance package amounts to 10 million euros, which will be allocated for both support to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the reconstruction of Ukraine.