Estonian President Alar Karis, who took office, spoke about Russian children facing linguistic inequality in the country. This was reported by RIA Novosti.
He explained that the origins of inequality appear in kindergartens, where parents have to pay for additional Estonian language lessons, while not everyone can afford it. “This is a bottleneck that can affect the future of Russian-speaking children in Estonia, their competitiveness in the labor market, confidence that they are an equal part of our society,” he said.
Karis stands for universal Estonian-language education, but admits the existence of Russian schools in the country. The previously elected President of Estonia Alar Karis said that it is impossible to refuse teaching in Russian in Estonian schools. The head of state also criticized the idea of making only Estonian-language higher education free of charge. According to him, such actions will “smell a little of discrimination.” At the same time, Karis stressed that the language still remains a significant factor in the split in society.
Almost 30 percent of Estonian residents consider Russian as their mother tongue. The Russian-speaking population lives in almost all regions of Estonia, but their concentration is highest in the north-east of the country and in the south-east of Tallinn. At the moment, there are 74 Russian schools in Estonia, where you can get education partially in Russian. The number of subjects taught in such schools in Russian does not exceed 60 percent.