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Russian schools in Kazakhstan dwindle

Wednesday 6 July 2011

TEMIRTAU, Kazakhstan – The number of Russian-language schools in Kazakhstan is declining, arousing some concern among ethnic Russian residents, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported July 5.

Although exact numbers are unavailable, recent years have seen a slow but steady rise in the number of Kazakh-language schools.

Two schools with a combined 1,200 students in Temirtau are scheduled to convert to Kazakh starting September 1.

Russian parents in Temirtau have demonstrated and complained to the president and parliament; however, Deputy Mayor Yury Zhulin replied that 50% of the city’s Russian-language schools are half-empty, while Kazakh-language schools sometimes have to hold lessons in the hallways.

The number of Kazakhs in the nationwide population has risen by 26% since 1999, while the number of ethnic Russians has fallen by 15%.

Temirtau presently has three Kazakh-language, 16 Russian-language and 12 bilingual schools.

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