Integration monitor is a daily Latvian press digest on ethnic minority and society integration issues. The Monitor reviews the biggest Latvian dailies: Diena, Latvijas Avize, Neatkariga (in Latvian language), Vesti Segodnya (in Russian language). In specific cases other information sources are used. Latvian Centre for Human Rights is not responsible for information published by the media.
- Latvijas Avize prints an article about ethnic Russian students who chosen to study in Latvian language schools
- Overwhelming majority of respondents interviewed by Vesti Segodnya are ready to take part in protest actions against language reform in minority schools
- Director of a Russian language school: the right of the parents to choose education for their children should be respected
- Ombudsman Juris Jansons met with the President of Latvia Andris Berzins
Latvijas Avize prints an article about ethnic Russian students who chosen to study in Latvian language schools. According to a director of the most prestigious school in Latvia - Riga State 1st Gymnasium, there is no specific data about how many ethnic minority children study in the school but there is a tendency that number of such students in the school grows. The statistics collected by the Education Ministry, in its turn, shows that only about 4% of ethnic Russian students choose Latvian language schools and in the past years this number dropped a little. There is no data why do ethnic minorities choose Latvian language schools and how do they feel there. Seven ethnic minority students of the 1st Gymnasium interviewed by the newspaper, said that they have chosen to study in this school not because wanted to improve Latvian language proficiency but because of high education quality. According to the students, they did not have any major difficulties studying in Latvian language environment. These students also do not support the idea to transfer education in ethnic minority schools into Latvian language and believe that at least primary education should be in a native language. All the interviewed young people also said that after graduation they are planning to study abroad. The schools director says that ethnic minority students who enter the Gymnasium in 10th grade easier get integrated in the school environment because in most of the cases it is their personal decision.
Vesti Segodnya publishes opinion of about 50 persons about government’s plans to transfer education in ethnic minority schools into Latvian language. The overwhelming majority of respondents are against such reform and ready to take part in protest actions. At the same, time people do not know how to protect the existing education system and wait for more specific plan from activists for protection of ethnic minority schools.
Commenting a discussion between the directors of ethnic minority schools the Ombudsman Juris Jansons about education in minority schools held last week, director of one of the Russian language schools in Riga said that she hopes the idea that Latvia is not ready to transfer ethnic minority education into Latvian language was properly communicated to the Ombudsman. According to the director, the right of the parents to choose education for their children should be respected. Vesti Segodnya
According to Vesti Segodnya, the Ombudsman Juris Jansons during his meeting with the President of Latvia Andris Berzins pointed at education quality in Russian language schools. The Ombudsman said according to the monitoring conducted by the Ombudsman’s Office, students, teachers and even directors in some schools have poor Latvian language proficiency and such factor violates rights of a child for dignified education and development. Mr Jansons said that there will be language reform in 2018 because already now the legal acts say that education in Latvia is in state language.