[lg policy] Disputed Russian language in eastern Finland

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 19 16:08:21 UTC 2011

Disputed Russian language in eastern Finland
 [image: Which languages for Finnish schools?]

Which languages for Finnish schools?

  Six municipalities in eastern Finland have requested permission from the
country’s Education Ministry to teach Russian instead of Swedish in local

The municipalities of Lappeenranta, Imatra, Mikkeli, Savonlinna, Pieksämäki
and Tohmajärvi are applying for permission from the Ministry of Education to
be excused from teaching Swedish,
They argue that the Russian language is far more useful for the
pupils than Swedish both in social life and in work situations.

Finland has two official languages and all the country’s children have
compulsory teaching in the Swedish language. Meanwhile, only about six
percent of the country’s population, most of them living in the western part
of the country, has Swedish as their first language.

The municipalities suggest that the children should have the possibility to
themselves choose between Swedish and Russian.

*Read also:* Russian instead of Swedish in Finnish

One the towns applying to the Education Ministry -- Lappeenranta – sees the
introduction of the Russian language as a key to its ambitions of becoming
an international town and a bridgehead in EU-Russia relations, Yle writes.

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