Eesti Elu
The politics of language (1)
Eestlased Eestis 03 Jan 2014 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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Laas Leivat

The question of the vital importance of Estonian as the native and state language of the country is still being debated. Resistance to Estonian being the primary language of instruction throughout the state funded school system is undoubtedly being supported by Moscow.

Little by those obedient to Russia is mentioned of the fact that Russian language schools can choose most of their own subjects that are to be taught in Estonian and that delays in enforcing the legislation has been postponed numerous times to let the Russian schools be well prepared.

It’s worthwhile to look at the history of the legislated status of the Russian language in Soviet-occupied Estonia. In December of 1978 the Central Committee of the Estonian Communist Party in a secret session passed the following decree “The Future Enhancement of the Teaching and Use of the Russian Language”. This was a demand of the Kremlin. The secret decree resulted from an October regulation of the Soviet Council of Ministers. This was to be the introduction as part of a general Russification trend and the demotion of the official status of the Estonian language.

The decision was seen as representing a deliberate socio-political manipulation of Estonian society with direct bearing on all levels of education as well as on teachers, curriculum and students. A special periodical was established, “The Russian Language in Estonian Schools”, was intended to improve the efficiency of Russian language learning and boost its importance in relation to Estonian culture. Russian was not treated as a foreign language in the educational system, even though it was not the indigenous language. (Loe rohkem Eesti Elu 3. jaanuari paberlehest )
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