RIGA - About a hundred people participated in a rally at the Cabinet of Ministers building on Feb. 4 to express support for education in the Russian language, reports LETA. The protesters were holding several placards that read: ‘Minority Schools – Latvia’s Treasure!’, ‘Straujuma, Leave The Kids Alone!’
One of the rally’s organizers, Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, told reporters that if no compromise was reached, larger protests would be organized.
Mitrofanovs believes that the current education system in minority schools needs to be improved, whereas pending reforms will only do harm. Asked about the improvements, Mitrofanovs said there should be younger and better trained Latvian language teachers in Russian schools.
Education and Science Minister Ina Druviete (Unity) stopped by to talk to the protesters, emphasizing that the change would be gradual and students would still be able to learn their native language and attend culture classes. She said that an optimum result would be arrived at through discussions, and that all the changes would proceed gradually.
Most of the people participating in the rally were seniors, LETA observed.
The coalition’s agreement stipulates that state-funded minority schools will have to switch to education in Latvian on Sept. 1, 2018.