Crimea, which reunited with Russia in 2014, has a majority Russian population, but the local authorities are working to make life more comfortable for Ukrainians and other national minorities.
“As part of native language classes, Ukrainian was added to Russian and Crimean-Tatar languages” in Sevastopol from the start of the new school year on September 1, a local education department official said.
The Ukrainian language lessons are optional, and students are required to have an application from their parents in order to attend the classes.
Around 13 percent of the city’s population of 443,000 are Ukrainian, and Ukrainian language classes are currently attended by 180 kids. Roughly the same number of children are learning Crimean-Tatar.
As for the Russian language, it’s studied by 41,000 school students in Sevastopol, a major port city in southern part of the Crimean Peninsula and the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
There have also been several requests for Armenian and Azerbaijani language classes, and the authorities are looking for qualified educators to teach them.
The situation in Crimea stands in contrast to the ongoing crackdown on Russian and other languages in neighboring Ukraine, where a significant part of the population speaks the language.
Education in Russian will only remain available to primary school students in the country in 2019 and 2020. After that, all schools teaching in any other language than Ukrainian are to be shut down.
The decision by Kiev caused a major outcry not only in Russia, but also in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, which also have large diaspora in Ukraine.
A new law supporting Ukrainian as the only state language came into force in the country this July. It made the use of Ukrainian obligatory in education, medicine, culture, media and other areas, abolishing the status of Russian as the language of inter-ethnic communication.
Fuente e imagen: https://www.rt.com/russia/469008-sevastopol-crime-school-ukrainian-language/