Studies in Estonian in Russian-medium Schools
As of the 2011/2012 academic year, Estonian will be the language of instruction in all upper secondary schools in Estonia. The schools can choose the Estonian curriculum or Estonian as a second language curriculum as the basis for teaching Estonian, and organize the state examination necessary for graduation according to the curriculum they have chosen (either a composition in Estonian or an examination in Estonian as a second language). The upper secondary school curriculum contains a minimum of 57 courses where Estonian is used as the language of instruction (one course equals 35 lessons).
The transition of compulsory subjects to Estonian language instruction in upper secondary schools where Russian has heretofore been used as the language of instruction will be gradual:
- In the 2009/2010 academic year, it is compulsory for schools to provide one course of Estonian literature, two courses of Social Studies, and three courses of Music in Estonian.
- In the 2010/2011 academic year, the pupils starting 10th grade will have one Estonian Literature course, two Social Studies courses, three Music courses, and two Estonian History courses in Estonian.
- As of the 2011/2012 academic year, one Estonian Literature course, two Social Studies courses, three Music courses, two Estonian History courses, three Geography courses, and nine Estonian language courses as well as at least 37 additional courses chosen by the school will be provided in Estonian, constituting 60% of the minimum required study volume.
Each subsequent stage of the transition concerns pupils who start the 10th grade in the given academic year. Pupils starting the 10th grade in 2011 or later will have to study 60% of school subjects in Estonian.
There are 62 upper secondary schools with Russian as the language of instruction in Estonia, all of which will switch to Estonian language subject study in accordance with the schedule and procedure established in the regulation of the Government of the Republic. In basic schools, the owner of the school (generally the local government) will choose the language of instruction.