The Minister of Education, M. Keninsch, has issued a new order relating to the minority, secondary and professional schools, which provides: (1) That the secondary and professional schools of the minorities may teach only children belonging to that nationality whose mother tongue is used as the language of instruction in the school; (2) that in the secondary and professional schools of the Jewish minority, the language of instruction must be Yiddish, or Hebrew; (3) in the secondary and professional schools, where the language of instruction is the State language, children of all nationalities may be taught; (4) these provisions will enter into force on August 1st, 1932. In the existing minority secondary and professional schools these provisions will apply from August 1st, 1932 to newly-enrolled students, and will extend gradually to all classes in these schools, so that in the course of 1933-34 it will extend to the second class, and so on.
Teachers in the minority schools will have to pass an examination in the Lettish language by June 1st, 1934.
The Minister of Education has issued a further order under which all representatives and teachers of minority schools must sit for an examination in the Lettish language, written and oral, by June 1st, 1934. Teachers who will have attained the age of 50 by January 1st, 1932, will be exempt from the examination. A special examining commission will bet set up by the Schools Department for this purpose. Teachers and school representatives who have passed the examination will be given preference in appointments to minority schools.
The same curriculum as in the Lettish schools will have to be introduced into the minority schools.
A third order issued by the Minister of Education relates to the preparatory, elementary and continuation schools of the minorities and provides that (1) begining with the school year 1932-3 the existing curriculum of the Lettish preparatory, elementary and continuation schools must be introduced into the preparatory, elementary and continuation schools of the minorities. All subjects, in addition to the Lettish language and the mother tongue of the minority, will in future have to be taught according to this curriculum; (2) the Lettish language, the mother tongue of the minority, and the religious education of Jewish students and students of the Old Believers are to be taught in the minority schools according to a special program which will have to be approved by the Minister of Education; (3) the Lettish language must be placed on the same level in the minority schools as the minority language. In addition to the Lettish language and the mother tongue of the minority, the minority schools, beginning with the fifth elementary class, may also teach one foreign language, Russian, German, French, or English, as the School Administration decides in agreement with the proper school authority; (4) the Lettish language and the history and the geography of Latvia, must be taught in the Lettish language, and must be taught as independent subjects. They must not form part of the general history, or general geography lessons, or of lessons on other subjects; (5) subjects which are not included in the curriculum of the Lettish elementary schools, must not be taught in the minority schools, except by permission of the Minister of Education of they are special circumstances, or if it is not contrary to the basic principles of the law relating to the educational institutions of Latvia; (6) all alterations in the programs of the Lettish preparatory, elementary and continuation schools automatically come into effect in the preparatory, elementary and continuation schools of the minorities, except where a special exempting ordinance is issued by the Ministry of Education.
All existing ordinances relating to the preparatory, elementary and continuation schools of the minorities are cancelled by this order.
Speaking in the Sejm, the Minister of Education, M. Keninsch, explained his policy by declaring that the Ministry of Education is doing everything possible to strengthen the national forces of the Lettish people.