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To fight for national minority schools, Russian representatives promise to hold a referendum

Photo: facebook.com.
Defenders of Russian schools in Latvia promise to organize a referendum for autonomy of national minority schools, said co-chairman of Latvian Russians Association Miroslavs Mitrofanovs in regards to the transition to education only in Latvian language.

He says that following failed attempts to push such an initiative on Manabalss.lv, it has been decided to use a referendum to realize this idea. This proposal offers to return to the education order that had existed in 1919.

About 500 people came to the protest organized on Thursday, 14 December. Protesters carried posters detailing the potential harm Latvian Education and Science Ministry’s reform could do. The protest also had a musical accompaniment. Many protesters also carried white balloons with a light put in them.

The protest, which was called Ring of light this time, started at the Education and Science Ministry’s building. Once they were done there, protesters made their way to Riga Castle to voice their dissatisfaction with President Raimonds Vējoņis’ inaction in solving problems of national minority members.

Protesters said that Vējonis got scared the moment politicians declined his proposal on no longer providing national minority status to newborns.

Protesters then moved to Old Riga, where they spoke in favour of dismissing Education and Science Minister Kārlis Šadurskis (Unity). Protesters did get n a bit of trouble when passing the Christmas market, where several traders chastised them for their behaviour.

After that, protesters returned to the Education and Science Ministry’s building to promote their slogans and ask for Šadurskis’ dismissal. The protest ended there.

This protest act gathered fewer people than the last one, which took place outside the Cabinet of Ministers building. The number of young people, like before, was also insignificant.

At the beginning of December, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers reviewed the Education and Science Ministry’s report on the transition to education only in Latvian language and conceptually approved it.

The ministry proposes realizing the reform in national minority schools in the 2021/2022, making sure pre-school education process is bilingual, education process in primary schools (1st to 6th grade) is available in three bilingual models, 80% of education process in 7th-9th grade is provided in Latvian language, and 10th-12th grade education is performed entirely in Latvian language.


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