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What is the language of tuition in Soviet schools?

Grigori Reznichenko ::: Young people in the USSR. Answers to questions

Each of the 15 union republics has schools with tuition in the native language. There are also Rus­sian schools, but not for Russian children exclusive­ly. In fact in such schools you will find children of ten or more different national origins. In Uzbe­kistan, for instance, in one class sitting side by side there will be Uzbeks, Russians, Tadjiks, Kirghizians, Tatars, Jews, Ukrainians and so on.

There are also bilingual schools, where some subjects are taught in the local language and others in Russian. Schools of this type are attended mostly by children of mixed marriages, where two lan­guages are spoken in the home.

The choice of language of tuition is purely volun- lary and is entirely up to the parents.

All in all, schooling in the Soviet Union is pro­vided in 57 languages of the peoples inhabiting it, including rather small ethnic groups. Some of these ethnic groups developed a written language only in Soviet years (Mansi, Khanty, Circassians, Adygeis, etc.).

textbooks for schools with tuition in languages oilier than Russian are published in editions vary­ing from a mere one thousand copies to many mil­lions of copies (as in the case of textbooks in Ukrai­nian). Each copy of a textbook published in a small edition costs the state a lot of money-20 roubles a book in the Eskimo language, for instance. But the children receive it free.