Plans to remove Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages in Crimean schools?


Radio Svoboda’s Crimean programme reports that parents are being sent questionnaires regarding language preferences. In Kerch the questions pertained to the studying of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar, with four answers to choose from. The school is proposing to have the two languages either as optional or as a specific subject.

The questionnaire, supposedly undertaken in accordance with the Russian Federation’s academic plan, may be aimed at drawing certain conclusions regarding the sense – or lack of such – of teaching Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.

As reported, the only - formerly Ukrainian -  lyceum in Simferopol is to become almost totally Russian-speaking, with three out of four classes at each level in Russian.  Tatyana Sukhina from the Simferopol City Council’s education department claims that this is in full keeping with parents’ wishes, that 86% of the parents decided that they wanted Russian.

This is hardly surprising since there will only be the possibility of studying in Ukrainian up till the ninth grade.  In the tenth and eleventh only Russian will be available.  This would mean that students were studying in one language, then having to change for the two critical years for anybody wishing to go on to university and obviously few parents choose this option.

Even the Russian Human Rights Council under the President called for retention of Ukrainian language tuition at the lyceum in Simferopol and for the reinstatement of the department of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar philology at the Tavria National University. 

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