Latvia plans to stop studying the Russian language in schools

Anna Kholodnova

The Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia plans to make one of the languages of the European Union a second foreign language in schools by the 2026/2027 school year. This means that schoolchildren will probably no longer be able to learn Russian as a second foreign language.

This is reported by LSM.

According to representatives of the Latvian Ministry of Education, such changes will contribute to the "full integration of young people into the European educational space, will contribute to the study of official languages of the EU, which, in turn, will open wide employment opportunities inside and outside the EU."

In Latvia, the first foreign language is taught from the 1st grade. It must be one of the official languages of the European Union, English is most often chosen. The second foreign language begins in the 4th grade. The educational institution determines independently which language to study as a second foreign language.

According to a survey conducted in 2021, almost half of schools in Latvia do not offer a choice — in more than 300 schools, students study only Russian as a second foreign language.

Currently, the Latvian Ministry of Education and the National Center for Educational Content receive many requests from parents to make one of the EU languages a second foreign language.

Latviaʼs Ministry of Education has provided for a three-year transition period to allow schools to find new teachers or give teachers the opportunity to retrain.