“For the free choice of the language of teaching!”
to: The President of the Republic of Latvia
to: The Minister of Education and Science
to: The Head of Saeima Commission on education, culture and science
We, the parents, students and teachers of minorities’ schools in Latvia are worried and alarmed by :
- the threat of deterioration of the education quality due to shift of secondary schools into the Latvian language as the language of teching, planned from 01.09.2004;
- deterioration skills quality of the native language, as well as worsening of the knowledge on the subjects already taught in the Latvian language;
- insufficient quality level of teaching the Latvian language;
- reluctance of the authorities to consider the opinion of the parents, clearly stated at all three all-Latvian Parents Conferences in 2000, 2001 and 2003.
We thus appeal to your goodselves with the demands which, if fulfilled, could slacken the tension in the Latvian society and contribute to the social integration.
1. The State should take the responsibility for the quality of teaching the Latvian language in the minorities’ schools, and to provide and ensure the proper high professional quality of the Latvian language teachers , as well as for using the most effective methods of teaching.
2. We demand democratization of the minorities’ education reform.
The parents and the students, together with the founders of school, and not the Ministry of Education and Science, should choose the languages of teaching and exams.
3. We demand that schools should have wider choice of educational programmes.
Among the programmes suggested by the Ministry should be the programme with the native language as the primary language of teaching.
4. We demand that before 01.09.2003 the Law on Education as well as the Law on General Education must contain the right of the parents, school councils and school founders to freely choose the language of teaching and exams.
We confirm the above demands by our signatures as well as participation in the precautionary manifestation
‘For the free choice of the language of teaching’.
Our demands being ignored, we will be forced to resort to other actions.
* - all fields must be filled
** - it is possible to fill only one of these fields