The assembly of students uniting Russian-speaking schools made a proposal to the Minister of Education and the Parliament to institute a minimum number of lessons taught in Estonian in basic schools, in order to prepare them better for the compulsory lessons taught in Estonian in upper secondary schools.
Currently, all subjects in Russian-language basic schools are taught in Russian and the Estonian language is the only subject taught in Estonian, uudised.err.ee reported.
However, on the upper secondary level (high school), 60 percent of subjects must be taught in Estonian, and the proposal was made by the students to make the transition easier.
Andrei Minejev, the General Secretary of the Assembly of Student Representatives, suggested that lessons in Estonian could be divided over several days of the week to ease the burden and start with subjects that are helpful in everyday interactions, such as natural science and social education.
According Irene Käosaar, head of the ministry’s General Education Department, there are actually very few Russian-language basic schools in Estonia that have no subjects taught in Estonian. Also, there is currently little political will to impose compulsory lessons in Estonian in Russian-language schools, as the move regarding upper secondary education was initially met with protests and anger.
However, Minejev seems to disagree.
“I don’t know any Russian students who don’t want to learn Estonian,” he said. “We must not forget that we are living in the Republic of Estonia, the official language is Estonian and we need to speak it, no matter how."