Minority education: statistics and trends

State-financed education in Latvia is available in eight national minority programmes – Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Hebrew and Romani. Courses in state-financed universities are taught in Latvian, while some private educational institutions have opted for languages other than Latvian as the medium of instruction.

Any student has an opportunity to choose a school irrespective of the medium of instruction. The Ministry of Education and Science provides unified standards for basic and general secondary education and for school subjects, compiles national exams both in Latvian and in minority languages. Besides, the Ministry carries out the analysis of students’ exam performance. Should students under a national minority education programme, or a school choose so, centralised exams can also be taken in a national minority language as a separate subject.

Education in Latvia is available in eight national minority languages – Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Hebrew and Romani. In the school year 2009/2010, instruction in 648 schools was conducted Latvian, 114 schools used Russian, and 76 schools used both Latvian and Russian. In five schools instruction was provided in Polish, one school used Ukrainian, one – Belarusian. In one Estonian, one Lithuanian, and in two Jewish schools some subjects were taught in a national minority language. In two schools the Romani language was taught as an optional subject.