The media reported that Kyiv schools want to give up Russian. Kyiv authorities say that the language will remain if there are those who want to learn it

Several media outlets and Telegram channels reported at once that in the schools of Kiev for 2022–2023 teaching in Russian is not provided and there will be no study of the Russian language as a main or optional subject. Oleksiy Kurpas, adviser to the Kyiv City State Administration, denied this information in a conversation with The Insider.

In the news about the rejection of the Russian language, the media referred to the answer of the permanent commission on education and science, family, youth and sports of the Kyiv City Council to the request of the public organization "Jura Youth Club".

According to Kurpas, this document reflects the preliminary results of surveys of schoolchildren's parents. In Kyiv, each school, on the basis of applications from parents, decides for itself whether the program will include such a subject as the Russian language. The adviser said that at the time when this letter was written, no such applications had been received by any of the schools.

Kurpas added that on August 28, a pedagogical council will be held in all schools in Kyiv and, based on its results, the final program in schools will be approved. He noted that the decision to abandon the Russian language in schools can only be taken at the level of legislative initiatives, and departments are not responsible for such initiatives.

This information was confirmed by The Insider and the Kyiv Department of Education. “Ukrainian schools comply with the principles of democracy and operate on the basis of academic autonomy, making their own decision on the curriculum within the framework of existing rules. Teachers and parents expressed their wishes, according to which at that time there were no applications for optional study of the Russian language or teaching in Russian, ”the department said.

Meanwhile, Verkhovna Rada deputy Yegor Chernev, in a conversation with The Insider, recalled that a law is now coming into force in Ukraine on the transition of all schools to teaching exclusively in Ukrainian. This law was passed in 2020 with a delayed transition until 2022. “All education throughout the country should switch to the Ukrainian language without Russian, Hungarian, Romanian and other languages, which were previously taught in areas densely populated by some national minorities. We are faced not only with the problem of the Russian language, but also with the fact that in Transcarpathia we have children who do not know the Ukrainian language and communicate only in Hungarian. To avoid this, a decision was made a long time ago,” the deputy said.

“Because of this law, we had problems with Hungary, which blocked us at the Ukraine-NATO level precisely because they did not like that representatives of the national minority in Transcarpathia would switch to the Ukrainian language. This is a difficult question, but we see no other way but to switch to Ukrainian, so that all children study in their native language, and then they can optionally study both Hungarian and Romanian, and if they want, Russian,” said Chernev.

Hours of teaching in Russian in Ukrainian schools have dwindled since Russia's annexation of Crimea. In 2017, the law “On Education” was adopted in Ukraine, according to which all schools in the country must conduct education in the state language - Ukrainian. An exception was made for the children of the Crimean Tatars, they were allowed to study in their native language, but at the same time they learn Ukrainian as an additional language. In elementary school, they retained the opportunity to enroll in a Russian-speaking class if the majority of parents support this language of instruction. There are also optional subjects in Russian.

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