The reform of Russian-language schools in Estonia has created a lost generation of native Russian-speaking youth who struggle to understand subjects taught in Estonian and are less likely to make it into university as a result.
Estonian daily “Eesti Päevaleht” reported (link in Estonian) that the transition of the country’s Russian-language schools to Estonian-language instruction has led to major problems, including teachers with inadequate Estonian language skills as well as students essentially having to learn all assignments in two languages and relying on simple memorization in order to pass tests.
Russian-speaking youth tend to choose more science and mathematics electives because the coursework involves less reading, however they also tend to opt for simpler math exams, where the assignments are easier to understand.
Many students who complete Russian-language basic schools (põhikoolid, compulsory grades 1-9) also choose to continue their education in vocational schools because they are afraid that they could not keep up with Estonian-language study at the high school level.
Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik