Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has said once again that Russian-language schools pose a threat to Estonian language and culture. RIA Novosti reports on the matter.
The president alleged that Estonia has its own state language which should be taught to children in kindergartens and schools so that, upon graduation, everyone could speak Estonian. She also emphasized that a poor knowledge of the Estonian language has isolated members of the Russian community in large cities. Moreover, there are still no schools and kindergartens in Estonia that offer an exclusively Estonian-language education.
In February 2019, Kaljulaid had already expressed her opinion on the importance of de-Russifying schools in order to eradicate the division of the country's inhabitants “into two communities”.
At present, half of the subjects in Russian schools is conducted in Estonian as facilitated by the 2010 Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act. The rate of Estonian and Russian language use is 60% and 40% respectively. Currently there are 74 schools in Estonia that operate partly in Russian.
A significant number of members from the Russian community live in Estonia. However, the percentage of Estonian citizens among Russians is lower than the number of inhabitants in the country. This is due to the fact that in the 1990s, only citizens of the pre-war Republic of Estonia and their descendants were recognized.