Minority education in Latvia

Minority education

The state finances national minority education programmes in Latvia in seven languages: Russian, Polish, Hebrew, Ukrainian, Estonian, Lithuanian, and Belarusian.

In the 2015/2016 academic year, 811 schools of general education receive state funding. Out of those, national minority education programmes are implemented in 104 schools: education programmes in the Russian language and bilingually are carried out in 94 schools, in Polish and bilingually – in 4 schools, in Ukrainian and bilingually – in one, in Belarusian and bilingually – in one, Hebrew – in two, in Latvian and Lithuanian – in one, in Latvian and Estonian – in one school.

In the 2015/2016 academic year, 59 418 pupils were enrolled in national minority education programmes, accounting for 26% of the total number of students.

Since 2004 there are several programme models of national minority education, which determined the proportion of subjects taught in Latvian, bilingually and/or in a national minority language. In secondary schools, law determines the language ratio in a following way: 60% of educational content was taught in Latvian and 40% – in the language of a national minority. According to the actual plan, the ratio of Latvian language should be regulated more strictly and should be increased up to 80-100% meaning that only minority language and literature can be studied in minority language.

According to the researches almost all (98%) young people belonging to national minorities in Latvia knows Latvian language. Among all persons belonging to national minorities Latvian language knows 91%.

26 January 2017