Russian language to be abandoned in Latvian schools


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The Latvian government plans to gradually abandon Russian as a second foreign language in schools. According to the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia, Russian is taught as a second foreign language in almost half of the country’s schools.


In Latvia, foreign language is taught at schools starting in the first grade. The first language students study must be one of the official languages of the EU, and students most frequently choose English. 


Students begin a second foreign language in fourth grade. There are no regulations as to which foreign language a school should offer as a second foreign language, leaving the school free to select which language or languages it wants to offer. 


According to a 2021 survey on the languages schools are offering, almost half of Latvian schools do not offer a choice, and more than 300 schools teach only Russian as a second foreign language.


Looking ahead, amendments state that from the 2026/2027 school year onward, schools must gradually introduce a second foreign language at the basic education level. This language must be one of the official languages of the European Union or the member states of the European Economic Area, or a language regulated by intergovernmental agreements on education. Notably, Russian is not included in this list.


The government of Latvia announced the intention to abandon Russian in schools in 2022.


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Source: Delfi

Main image: picture-alliance/P. Grimm


Copy Editing: Terra Friedman King