Belarus Restricts Lithuanian Education – Language Magazine

Dorothy S. Bass


According to Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belarus will no extended allow for learners in its two Lithuanian-language educational facilities to study in their indigenous language. Alternatively, they’ll review in possibly Belarusian or Russian, with Lithuanian provided as a matter rather than remaining the language of instruction.

Belarus is residence to two well known educational facilities catering to the linguistic wants of small children from Lithuanian-speaking families. Considering the fact that 1996, the faculties have offered Lithuanian youngsters the option to learn in their heritage language.

“The Belarusian facet has informed us that all countrywide minority educational institutions have to pick out possibly Russian or Belarusian as their training language as of September 1,” Egidijus Meilūnas, the deputy overseas minister of Lithuania, advised the Baltic News Services. “In other words, the Lithuanian language will keep on being only as 1 of the subjects.”

Soon immediately after the slide of the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian Ministry of Education, Science, and Activity started funding two Lithuanian educational facilities. The faculties cater primarily to college students from Lithuanian households, as the nation is home to a sizable minority of Lithuanian people today. Lithuanian speakers make up around 5% of the state, and a handful of traditionally Lithuanian locations keep a bulk of Lithuanian speakers.

The shift is a stark reminder of the current discord concerning Belarus and other former Soviet states. The marriage in between Belarus and its Baltic neighbors has often been fairly complicated, but the modern war in Ukraine has elevated tensions in the area. Though countries these types of as Lithuania, Latvia, and Moldova have all condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Belarus has taken a decidedly friendlier stance towards Russia, letting the nation to station troops within its borders.

The federal government of Lithuania has identified as on Belarus to reverse its decision concerning the Lithuanian universities, but Belarus refuses. Though the schools are little (just over 200 pupils are enrolled), the Lithuanian government has noted that Belarus’s steps are “unacceptable” and “restrict the right of Belarusians of Lithuanian descent to get education and learning in their mom tongue.”


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