Russian School Defense Staff

Russian School Defense Staff

Russian School Defense Staff or Headquarters for the Protection of Russian Schools ( _ru. Штаб защиты русских школ; _lv. Krievu skolu aizstāvības štābs) — movement in Latvia for protection of public secondary education in Russian. Leaders: Gennady Kotov, Yakov Pliner, for some time also Alexander Kazakov (deported out of Latvia in 2004).

=Aims of the movement [ [ Штаб защиты русских школ, официальный сайт ] ] =

Annulation of the provisions set in the Education law of 1998, which ordered the language of instruction in public secondary schools (Forms 10-12) to be only Latvian since 2004 (so-called "reform-2004" or "educational reform"). Providing effective learning of Latvian language in the Latvian language and literature lessons and specific preparation of teachers for Russian schools.


The Staff was founded [ [ "Ракурс" № 1/2003] ] in April 2003 as a coalition of various organizations, most prominent being ForHRUL, and later expanded, involving lots of nonpartisan people. In 2003-2004, the Staff has organized the biggest political demonstrations in Latvia since the beginning of 1990-es [ [ 2005 Country report on Latvia] from Freedom House] (23 May and 4 September, 2003; 1 May and 1 September, 2004).

As a result, the Education law was amended in February 2004, allowing to teach up to 40% in the forms 10-12 in minority languages. The proportion "60L:40R", according to BISS research [ [ Cittautiešu jauniešu integrācija Latvijas sabiedrībā izglītības reformas kontekstā. B. Zepas redakcijā. Baltijas Sociālo zinātņu institūts, 2004 — 79. lpp.] ] , was supported by 20% of the teachers, 15% of pupils and 13% of parents in minority schools. The parliamentary opposition started two cases before the Constitutional Court of Latvia (abjudicated in May and September, 2005) with most of its demands being refused.


External links

**D. Wilson [ Minority Rights in Education: Lessons for the EU from Estonia, Latvia (..)] , 2002 — p. 36—43
** [ List of the most considerable protests in 2004]
** [ Latvians face new wall: language] (CNN, 2004)
**Excerpts from [ Latvian-language press, May-June 2004] and [ RFE/RL news on Baltic minorities, January-April 2004]
** [ Teachers in crossfire over Latvia's school reform] (Reuters, 2004)
** [ Thousands of Russian speakers protest new school language rules] (AP, 2004)
** [ Latvian lessons irk Russians] (BBC, 2005)
**Judgements of Latvia's Constitutional Court [ regarding the Education Law and international conventions] and [ on private minority schools' rights to get public funding] , 2005
** [ Discussion in the European Parliament] , 2005
** [ Education law] — edition being in force between 27.02.2004. and 15.09.2005.

*"Russian and Latvian"
** [ Staff site] , mostly in Russian
***Staff video clip [ «Black Karlis»] (referring to then-minister for education Kārlis Šadurskis), in Russian
**Basic excerpts from Staff documents, international treaties and links: [ Russian] , [ Latvian]
**Chronicle of Staff actions: [ 2003-2004] , [ 2004-2005] , in Russian
** [ Official position on the reform] , in Latvian
** [ Education law] , in Latvian — current version

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