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    LATVIA'S PRIME MINISTER SEES NO PROBLEMS WITH SWITCHING NATIONAL MINORITIES' SCHOOLS OVER TO INSTRUCTION IN LETTISH

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    RIGA, May 13 (RIA Novosti) - Compromises in the switching of the Russian schools over to instruction in Lettish are necessary but only within the law on education, Prime Minister Indulis Emsis of Latvia stated in an interview with the Latvijas Vestnesis (Latvian Herald) newspaper.

    In keeping with the law on education, from September 1, 2004 at least 60% of the subjects in the senior classes of the national minorities' secondary schools, the Russian schools included, must be taught in Lettish.

    Mr. Emsis admits that "certain signs of a crisis are observed" in the sphere of education of the national minorities. In his opinion, on the one hand, the authorities, and, on the other hand, the opposition political forces are to blame for this.

    As the Prime Minister stated, "forces which are unfriendly to Latvia have made the education and language questions in the aggregate a system of splitting activities in order to divide society into two camps." He believes that at the same time a dialogue with the headmasters of schools, teachers, pupils and their parents is necessary in carrying out the reform of education.

    Mr. Emsis claims that only approximately one-sixth of the 108 Russian schools of Latvia have problems with the carrying out of the reform.

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