Steve Roman, ERR News
In what will no doubt be a worrying sign for proponents of preserving Russian culture in Estonia, the number of 12th graders choosing to take the state Russian language final has once again dropped this year, the tenth straight year of decline.
Only 1,312 students signed up for the elective final this time around, compared with 1,459 last year and 1,687 in 2010, rus.err.ee reported.
The news comes the same day 10,263 students around the country take the state final exams in "native language," testing their reading comprehension, word use and composition in a language that, for most of them, will be Estonian.
In order to graduate from high school, 12th graders in Estonia must pass five final exams, some of which are elective.
Last year's average score on the state Russian final was 58.82, indicating that, even among those who decided to take it, most fared mediocre at best.
Russian High School Final Losing Popularity