Integration monitor

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.

Jan. 6, 2015

  • Vesti Segodnya prints an article about state language inspections in Russian schools 
  • Diena reports that some local council allow its workers to take day-off on Orthodox Christmas

Vesti Segodnya prints an article about state language inspections in Russian schools.  The majority of interviewed school representatives say that there were no inspections during last couple years and no teachers got dismissed due to poor Latvian language proficiency. If the inspection finds that a teacher has insufficient state language proficiency he/she can be fined and given 3-4 months for its improvement. According to schools’ directors, the inspectors of the State Language Centre might come with inspection of whole school personnel and following anonymous complaints about specific teacher. Director of a Russian school in Riga where the inspection was conducted recently says that there are several teachers with insufficient state language proficiency in the school and they all got fined. Mostly, those are teachers who graduated from Russia’s higher education establishments and who do not work bilingually – teachers of Russian or foreign language and teachers of elementary schools aged between 50-60 years.

Diena reports that despite the fact that the Orthodox and Old Believers’ Christmas celebrated on 7 January is not official public holiday in Latvia, some local councils allow its workers to take a day-off. Such practice works for several years in Rezekne (city in the Eastern part of Latvia) and this year also in Riga. As reported, the oppositional party the Concord every year submits a proposal to grant the Orthodox Christmas status of official holiday in Latvia, however, it gets turned down by the majority of the MPs. But this year the majority of the Saeima voted to forward such proposal to the parliamentary committees.

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