Posted: 24.08.2023 16:10:00

UN: termination of Russian language education in Estonia contrary to human rights

The United Nations believes that the termination of Russian language education in Estonia is contrary to human rights, TASS reports


The UN expert group said the law on the translation of the country's educational system into Estonian actually makes it impossible to receive education in Russian. This does not comply with international human rights instruments.

The new law severely restricts education in minority languages in Estonia. The UN is concerned about the impact of the provisions of the Estonian law on the Russian-speaking population, since they ‘have virtually abolished the minority language as a means of teaching’.

On December 12th, 2022, the Estonian Parliament approved a law creating the basis and conditions for the transition to Estonian-language education in the country. From 2024 to 2025, kindergartens and primary school classes will use the state language, and the share of lessons in Estonian will have to be at least 60 percent until 2029-2030. The full transition of schools to Estonian is scheduled for 2030-2031.

There are 74 secondary schools in Estonia where education can be obtained in Russian, but their number is steadily decreasing.