Comment by the Information and Press Department on the elimination of Russian-language schools in Estonia
The Estonian authorities are continuing their unconstructive policy to try to abolish the Russian-language education system. Several days ago, members of the municipal assembly of the town of Keila in Estonia decided to shut down the only local Russian language secondary school for the next academic year.
The mendacious theme about the need to integrate Russian speaking young people is used as an “argument.” Just like the scandalous merger of two Russian language gymnasia and one Estonian language gymnasium (in Kohtla-Järve) into an integral state gymnasium with a solely Estonian language curriculum, the decision on the school in Keila was made contrary to the opinion of the students and their parents. Moreover, NGOs that stage peaceful protests face possible criminal prosecution.
Russian language schools in Kallaste and Tartu may soon suffer the same fate as those in Keila and Kohtla-Järve.
We are counting on the active position of specialised UN, OSCE and Council of Europe agencies with regard to Tallinn’s discriminatory policy for ethnic minorities in education, and we hope they will act in the same manner as they do when similar situations arise in other countries.