Parents Fight to Keep Russian-language High School (1)
Student parents in the southern border town of Valga, protested the local government's proposal to get rid of their Russian-language secondary school and put Estonian and Russian-speaking students together in a new school.
"It has a long tradition – my parents, [grandparents], uncles and aunts all attended this school,“ said 11th grader Armand Teever.
Outside of Tartu, the town of Valga, with a sizable Russian-speaking population, has the only remaining Russian-curriculum high school in southern Estonia.
Valga town council chairwoman Külliki Siilak said the local government will give up its plan to bring Estonian and Russian-speaking students under one roof if protests continue.
A legacy of Soviet times, Estonia has traditionally had separate high school curricula catering to Estonian and Russian-speaking cultures. Next year, Russian-curriculum secondary schools are required to teach 60 percent of their material in Estonian, a reform that has met with mixed reaction.
Parents of students in the Russian-language school in Valga are against the mandate. Estonia has 52 Russian-language high schools.