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New Language Learning Policy Revives Controversy Over Russian in Armenia

Road sign in Armenia. (photo: "Tommy and Georgie," Google Commons)

A new government education policy that gives a special status for the Russian language in Armenia's schools has provoked a backlash, the latest flashpoint in a tense struggle over the status of Russian in the country.

The proposal by Armenia's Ministry of Education and Science, developed on behalf of Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, was published on e-draft.am, a government portal allowing public scrutiny over legal drafts prior to their adoption.

The policy doesn't necessarily change anything about the way foreign languages are taught in Armenia, but it does restate the primary place given to Russian. “[T]he educational system of the Republic of Armenia needs reforms that will enable citizens to master several foreign languages such as Russian, one or more European (English, French, German, etc.) and Eastern (Arabic, Persian, Chinese, etc.) languages,” the policy statement reads.

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New Language Learning Policy Revives Controversy Over Russian in Armenia

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