Parents of Crimean schoolchildren are seeking for the right to teach children in their native language


Before the start of the new school year, many Crimean Tatars – parents of schoolchildren wishing to study or learn their native language, defending their legal rights, faced not only refusals, “educational conversations” on the futility and impossibility of studying the Crimean Tatar language, but also outright humiliations, cynicism and reproaches. Below is one of these cases. We do not deliberately name the school and the name of the director: after all, every parent faced with such injustice will recognise himself in this story.

Every educator should know that recent acts of violence, terrorism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination against national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, refugees, workers immigrants, immigrants and socially least protected groups in societies. As well as acts of violence and intimidation against individuals exercising their right to freedom of opinion and expression beliefs which threaten the consolidation of peace and democracy at the national and international levels and is an obstacle to development (Preamble of the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, 1995.).

The Constitution of the Russian Federation, as well as a number of legal acts guarantee citizens of the Russian Federation to receive pre-school, primary general (grades 1-4) and basic general (grades 5-9) education in their native language from among the languages ​​of the peoples of the Russian Federation, including the Crimean Tatar language. 
At the end of August of 2015, a meeting of the pupils’ parents with the school principal was held at one of the Aqmescit schools. At the meeting, parents would like to discuss the issue of the implementation of constitutional rights and interests in terms of obtaining basic general education in the Crimean Tatar language.

Unfortunately, the school principal repeatedly deliberately avoided talking on this topic throughout the summer, citing workload. In brief conversations with some parents, the principal made it clear that she was not going to open a class with instruction in the Crimean Tatar language. The maximum that she can do is organise the organisation of mother-tongue classes in the form of elective. These imperative conditions did not find support among parents. And before the Day of Knowledge they decided to collectively apply to the head of the educational institution with written statements about teaching children in their native language in accordance with federal legislation “On Education in the Russian Federation”, “On the Languages ​​of the Peoples of the Russian Federation”, ” On the order of consideration of appeals of citizens of the Russian Federation “.

Reception in the director’s office was extremely tense and on high tones, bordering on frank rudeness and official superiority. From the first minutes of communication, there was no productive dialogue; there was only a monologue of the director about the shortcomings of receiving education in the Crimean Tatar language. The teacher, not having listened to the requests of the parents, in a humiliating manner began to deride the right of their children to their native language, to reproach the short-sightedness of the request. In the presence of the deputy director and another teacher, the director was ironic about the dubious intellectual abilities of the students when they passed the Unified State Exam in the future because Crimean Tatar language will complicate the understanding of the school curriculum and prevent the full study of the Russian language used in the exams. Any attempts to argue on the part of parents about the need for education in their native language were either stopped or not taken into account. Arguments of the parents that in any regulatory act of the Russian Federation did not specify the minimum number of students, and 25 students as the maximum number of students in the class, were ignored. The school principal shifted her responsibilities to parents, reproaching them with the fact that there are no subject teachers in the school, no methodical program, no equipped classes, and less than 25 people who want to study in the Crimean Tatar language.

Seeing that communication is reduced to domestic clarification of relations when an official switch to individuals and not to the problem of education. The director then was provided with extracts from the federal legislation on education in his native language, including The letter of the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of the Republic of Crimea of ​​June 25, 2014 No. 01-14 / 382 “On the choice of the language of education”. 
This letter states that the organisation of the choice of the language of teaching and learning necessarily involves the participation of the self-governing body of the educational organisation (school board, etc.). The results of choice should be recorded by the statements of the parents to educate their child.

Employees of education administrations and educational institutions do not have the right to interact with parents in order to influence the choice of the language of education under any pretexts (convenience for school, class; lack of opportunities to ensure their choice; lack of trained teachers, etc.). However, the principal did not bother to get acquainted with the letter and change the rhetoric of communication. 
Thus, the head of the school administration openly neglected the right of citizens of the Russian Federation to study in the Crimean-Tatar language, exercised maximum psychological pressure on parents, manipulated and deliberately leaded them astray, appealing with obviously false facts, such as an insufficient number of students, lack of professional teachers, and lack of curricula and programs, lack of funding.

At the end of the so-called conversation, the director refused to accept written appeals from parents, referring to the fact that she would receive statements from each individually after a personal conversation while having with them their original ID’s. If applications are sent by mail with a notification, the school director will also not consider such an application, while ignoring the legislation on citizens’ appeals from the Russian Federation. Only one parent had the opportunity to register a statement on the same day, where not only the incoming number was indicated on the duplicate, but the deputy director personally made an addition: “The parent is familiar with the fact that the school has no conditions, textbooks, or specialists who know their native language.” And at parting, to parents leaving the director’s office, director unceremoniously pointed out that if someone does not want to study at a school with the Russian language of instruction, then they should pick up the documents and transfer to the national school and study their native language there.

Thus, the school director by his actions violates and shamelessly sabotages the implementation of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Federal Laws “On Education in the Russian Federation”, “On Consideration of Appeals of Citizens of the Russian Federation”, etc. She needs to keep in mind that behind every offence is an article of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation and the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

So part 7 of Article 28 of the Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation”, an educational organization is responsible in the procedure established by the legislation of the Russian Federation for non-fulfillment or improper performance of functions assigned to its competence, for the implementation of incomplete educational programs in accordance with the curriculum, the quality of education of its graduates, as well as for the life and health of students, employees of an educational organization. For violation or unlawful restriction of the right to education and the rights and freedoms of students provided for by the legislation on education, parents (legal representatives) of under-age students, violation of the requirements for the organization and implementation of educational activities, the educational organization and its officials bear administrative responsibility in accordance with the Code of the Russian Federation on administrative offenses.

Responsibility for these violations of an educational organisation (as a legal entity) and its officials (director, his substitute). In some cases, the director or other administrative personnel of an educational organisation may be held criminally liable if their actions contain elements of criminal offences. It should be noted that the conviction of teachers, as well as confirmation of their criminal prosecution for crimes against the honour and dignity of the individual, against the foundations of the constitutional system and the security of the state, entail a ban on the implementation of educational activities.

Also, clause 10 of the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of June 28, 2011 No. 11 “On judicial practise in criminal cases of extremist crimes” established that the use of official position (clause b of part 2 of article 282 “Incitement of hatred or enmity, as well as humiliation of human dignity ”of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) is expressed not only in the deliberate use of the abovementioned official powers by the above-mentioned persons, but also in influencing the importance of the position they occupy on other persons for the purpose of their actions aimed, in particular, at inciting hatred or hostility, as well as at humiliating the dignity of a person or a group of people based on gender, race, nationality, language, origin, attitude to religion, as well as belonging to any social group .

So we should not forget that such directors with their targeted actions cause great damage to the education system as a whole, as well as to the functioning and development of native languages, as it was in the early 1960s. Let me remind you that it was precisely at the XXII Congress of the CPSU that the linguistically illiterate provision was put into circulation that the Russian language “became, in fact, the second native language of the peoples of the USSR” and that the “new historical community – the Soviet people” was intensively being born.

The politically oriented notion “Soviet people”, which has no ethnolinguistic or ethnocultural content, not only did not contribute to the strengthening of interethnic unity at the psychological level but also hindered its formation. Not taken into account the fact that switching to the Russian language, a foreign language individual did not become a representative of the “Soviet people” at all, but was subjected to de-ethnicization and added to the number of marginal ethnic people for whom no culture or language was native. There was language assimilation without interethnic integration, there was a semi-lingual, in which a person did not fully own any language.

However, today, the state guarantees to every Crimean – Tatar child the right to receive education in their native language. However, the director of this Crimean school still lives in the ideological tenets of the CPSU of the 60s of the last century.

  Revision AVDET

Author: Редакция Avdet