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One-size-fits-all languages

Amendments to the law "On Education" may adversely affect the knowledge of national languages

One-size-fits-all languages
Photo: StockphotoVideo /

The bill on the study of native and state languages ​​caused great resonance in the national republics, in particular, in Yakutia. Let me remind you that 10 April 2018 the State Duma amended the law "On Education." The essence of the amendments was that the state language of the Russian Federation would become compulsory for studying in schools, and it would be possible to study national languages ​​only on a written request.

You can interpret the amendments in different ways - unfortunately, the text presented leaves a lot of "white fields". It is quite reasonable that many interpreted these amendments as excluding the national language from the curriculum and translating it into an elective with a minimum of hours.

"How many parents will write this statement?" - asks the questioner Vladimir Y. - Many parents feel sorry for the children - the load in schools is so great, even without special study of the native language. Other parents may find that communication in the Yakut house is enough. But after all, children in such families do not speak their mother tongue as a result. "

According to Yuri Tumen, member of the State Assembly of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), head of the Just Russia faction, Yakut language is currently being studied in the 121 school on a voluntary basis, the Even language is studied in 12 schools, Evenk in 5, Yukagir in 2 and Chukchi in the same school. Languages ​​of the peoples of the North are studied as electives. And with the adoption of edits, training in these schools can stop.  

"Our faction will not support this bill, the State Assembly will be sent a negative opinion," Yury Grigoriev said. - The law can not be accepted. I'll explain why. At present, the constitutional rights of citizens are respected, they study the language they want. He created the conditions for studying his native language. The amendments, however, deprive citizens of this opportunity. Because according to the bill, there is a referential norm to the opportunities - that is, if the school is not equipped with the necessary literature, methodologies for teaching the child to the native language, it will not be taught. " 

"We have the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which says that all peoples are guaranteed the preservation of their native language, as well as the creation of conditions for its growth and development," says Felix Antonov, the lawyer and chairman of the NGO Somo-ko-s. - What is development? This is a financial investment. With the adoption of the bill, when the study of the national language becomes an elective, financial investments will cease. Also according to the Constitution of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Yakut language is the state language. At the same time, in schools foreign languages ​​are studied according to the educational program, parents do not need to write applications for this. So why should we study our language on application, if it is also a state language? "

For me, as the head of the largest Saha-speaking media holding, such an initiative is like wrecking. Even in today's situation, we have difficulties with cadres who speak their native language. And this despite the fact that the Yakut language among the national languages ​​in the Russian Federation is far from the rarest, several hundred thousand people speak it.  

And not only about the Yakut language speech. We had a heated discussion at the conference "Current State and Prospects for the Development of the National Press", which was held in April this year in North Ossetia. Members of the Association of National Media openly spoke about the hopelessness of such steps, about the risk of losing national languages ​​in the shortest possible time, if not to pay due attention to their study in school.

The draft resolution says that "heads of universities in all regions must take urgent measures to preserve and develop the national higher education." But how can one demand the strengthening of national education in a university if it is impossible to learn the native language at school?

Against the backdrop of public discussions about the bill, State Duma deputies indicated readiness to correct the stated approaches. For example, the deputy head of the United Russia faction, Andrei Isaev, made explanations that "the subjects of the variable part (the study of national languages ​​- ed.) Do not have the status of facultative (extra-curricular). Separate out-of-school work plans are approved for electives. According to the draft law, the languages ​​of the national republics remain in the variable part of the educational program. "

Andrei Isaev also noted that at the meeting of the working group a compromise version of the amendments was created - on the one hand they provide the opportunity to receive education and instruction in the native languages ​​and the state languages ​​of the republics in the framework of the educational program, and on the other hand, the right to choose the language for students and their parents.

It is worth noting that Isayev expressed very correct and relevant for the national republics of thought. So, according to him, in many national schools there are difficulties with textbooks in native languages, there is no review of these textbooks, since there are no specialists who could do this. To solve this problem, the deputy proposes to create a special federal fund for the support of native languages ​​- and prescribe the functionality of this fund in the law. 

At the same time, on 6 June the Kommersant newspaper reported that, according to the head of the State Duma Committee on Education Vyacheslav Nikonov, there will be no exclusion of national languages ​​from the mandatory part of state standards. "Learning the native language will be mandatory for those who choose it," - quoted the words of Nikonov in the message.

Nevertheless, Nikonov said that the bill will be revised and discussed in the second reading. A special working group was created to work on the bill, which included authors of the draft law, deputies of the State Duma representing the national republics, the leadership of the State Duma Committee for Education and Science, the head of the Rosoboradzor, representatives of the Ministry of Education.

In conclusion, I note that there is a positive and negative side to the emergence of this law. Until now, the scientific and methodological support for teaching native languages ​​has been left to the national regions themselves, and funds have not been allocated from the federal budget for these purposes. For example, in Yakutia, the National School Development Concept adopted in the 90-ies of the last century served as a great impetus for the study of the native language and culture. It reflected the interests of teaching not only in the Yakut language, but also in Russian and the languages ​​of the indigenous minorities of the North. 

Unfortunately, the adopted concept has not been adjusted since then, which prevented it from incorporating modern teaching methods, including those related to digital technologies. Nevertheless, the experience of Yakutia was one of the most advanced in the Russian Federation, and our colleagues from other regions regularly asked for our experience. 

We expect that, as a result of public discussions, the most optimal version of the amendments to the law "On Education" will be adopted, which will not only not lose the accumulated experience of teaching national languages, but will give additional impetus and support to the most advanced regional initiatives, will allow them to be brought to the federal level. In this context, children's, youth's and youth's media, published in national languages, are especially important - already today they are a unique help for the educational process. For example, in Russia there is a multilingual children's newspaper "Belam Buol +" ("Be ready +"), which publishes materials simultaneously in three languages: Yakut, Russian and English. At the site of the Association of National Media, we are now accumulating similar experience in all the national regions of the Russian Federation.


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