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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

“Disloyal” Latvian teachers want to give “wolf ticket”

The Latvian authorities have come up with a mechanism to punish teachers, “disloyal” to the state. The ruling elite deliberately supported in the country feeling “besieged camp”, and in this logic, the struggle against “fifth column” has become one of the most first-class task. Now Russian-speaking teachers are afraid of the actual ban on the profession.

The initiator of the draft law on “disloyal teachers,” is a member of the coalition party “Unity”, the Minister of education Karlis Shadurskis. Is a person, ominously known in Latvia for many years, local Russians call him “Black Karlis”. It was he who in 2004 carried out a controversial “reform” of Russian schools. Her initial plan was to fully convert the educational institutions of national minorities (Russian-speaking and are in the state about 35% of the population) in the Latvian language. Then the Russian community rose up for their rights – politicians, social activists, teachers, parents and students. People came for a rally, chanting: “Hey, Karlis, this is not a joke, hands off Russian schools”. In the end, managed to wrest power of a partial assignment: teaching in Russian schools on the Latvian transferred not completely, but a little more than half.

“I am ready to honestly say that this state is disloyal. I despise this mode simply. He rejects, in particular, and my children and provides them lots of problems”

When at the beginning of this year, “Black Karlis” again headed the Ministry of education, Russian tense – had expected more intrigue and dirty tricks. Indeed, Sadurskis developed a newfound post a flurry of activity, one of the vectors of which was the desire to deal with “disloyal teachers.” However, he was not the first who has attended to the question “what if Russian teachers behind the closed doors of the schools teach their pupils not to prescribe the regulations?” Latvian and Russian community is beset with contradictions related to the different vision of how the recent history and current state of Affairs in the country. In these circumstances, the ruling circles considered essential “unity of ranks”.

For example, an employee of Riga’s “Museum of Soviet occupation” Danute Dura in an interview with Diena official once complained to an outside observer it is impossible to know what is actually taught in history lessons in Russian schools. They say when there come the representatives of the monitoring organizations, the lesson immediately “turns into a performance.” According to Dura, who taught “the practice of Brezhnev”, and the students learned how to answer questions “as needed” at the time, as their view of the past, they say, completely different from the “official version”. Supposedly, this was confirmed by the results of the survey conducted in Russian schools in Riga district Imanta. So, 91% of local students said that their family celebrated the independence day on November 18 (in Latvian schools, the figure was only 78%). On the question of who considered the Soviet army, the liberators from the Nazis or invaders, 70% of non-Latvian school students choose “occupiers”.

In other words, Russian-speaking students are accustomed to hypocrisy and, in order not to complicate your life, automatically give to the “slippery questions” answers, in the spirit of “loyalists.” A new generation of Russian in Latvia is learning to “mask” and to live by the principle of doublethink. As a rule, these people are proficient in the state language and is not particularly susceptible to propaganda, passing it by ear, but, if necessary, reproducing her stamps. In the shower they often refer to the state of residence hostile or purely practical, seeing it as a “launching pad” before, in more successful countries.

But the authorities would like Russian students not of hypocrisy, but sincere devotion to the ideals of the Latvian state. Therefore, officials are carefully eyeing the teachers.

Four years ago, speaking on the radio, a teacher of Russian language and literature Riga 40th school Vladislav Rafalski said: “I am ready to honestly say that this state is disloyal. I despise this mode simply. He rejects, in particular, and my children and provides them with a lot of problems.” The teacher added that the government must earn the loyalty of its inhabitants. Later, Rafalski explained that he had expressed disloyalty to the country and its people, but only to the ruling regime. After that, members of the right-wing party VL-TB/LNNK held a picket, demanding the dismissal of the teacher. To expel him from school recommended, and the state Service of education quality control. However, defiant of the teacher, the school managed to defend.

The teacher Tatiana Arsentjeva – colleague Rafalski for the same 40-th school – was less fortunate. In 2014 the time came the harsh Ukrainian crisis in full swing, the Baltic States actively preparing “to repel a possible attack at the Eastern aggressor”. In such circumstances, him, inadvertently put “like” on “Facebook” under the cartoon, making fun of the public holidays of Latvia, was forced to submit a letter of resignation. Earlier alert “patriots” tracked criminal, like, dropped a dime to the right place – and Arsentieva is strongly recommended in order to avoid the greater trouble to leave the school independently.

“Even one disloyal to the state teacher can ruin the lives of dozens of young people,” said Sadurskis this year. Developed and adopted by the government in October, the amendments provide that in the event of signs of “disloyalty” of the teacher in relation to the state, the employer should immediately fire him. Moreover, in the next five years, the teacher who received the mark will not be allowed to work in the specialty. How disloyalty can be considered actions that “during the learning process form the wrong attitude towards self, others, work, nature, culture, society and the state.” “Disloyal to Latvia, the teacher, the purpose of which is to undermine the state, at the time when the inspector is in the classroom, will present everything as needed. But there are tools that allow you to understand the difference between “front” and the real situation in the school. This will require amendments,” concluded Karlis Sadurskis.

Developed by his Ministry, the bill does not impose any specific order of evaluation of the loyalty of teachers. As explained Sadurskis, “in such a delicate matter as education and training, often we will not be able to find such a precise language, as in physics or mathematics.” And now the teachers fear that the criterion for identifying “undesirable element” can be anything, from told in a close circle of political joke, to the volume of “disgraced,” now in Latvia Vilis Lacis on the shelf.

By the way, not even all party members “Sadurskis “Unity” supported the amendments on the “disloyal”, but the opposition and generally does not hesitate in expressions. “One is not quite healthy Minister can ruin the lives of tens of thousands of children, and along with the teachers,” says the mayor of Riga nil Ushakov.

The controversial amendments still should pass approval in the Parliament. And not the fact that the diet will approve the bill in the form in which it is offered. This has happened many times: Parliament gave approval to various projects to tighten state control over society, but those under the influence of public indignation to them gently “wrapped”. Another thing is that the proscription lists drawn up now. The right-wing publication “the Latvian newspaper” writes that it is known at least about thirty school teachers and Directors, which give reason to doubt his loyalty. Can hurt not only individuals, but entire schools. So, in the spring, officials refused to renew the accreditation of the Riga private school Innova and 30 September, and deprived of the license.

Led by the famous educator Bronislaw Zeltserman school has long been considered “unreliable”. Being not only a practitioner but also a theorist, Zeltserman has managed to create a copyright system of holistic developmental education. He founded the school and Innova educational centre “Experiment” has produced several thousand students. On account of his cooperation with scientific centers of Russia, USA, Germany, and educational organizations in many other countries, participation in several international and Latvian studies. The state is interested in the centre “Experiment” and the school Innova in 2011. Then there was a program “Leader of civil society”, consisting in the attraction of talented representatives of Russian youth from different parts of Latvia – in the course of a series of sessions, they developed skills that enabled them to realize their leadership abilities in the culture, business, politics. In parallel Zeltserman and his assistants were seen in the number of activists who took part in the training held in 2012, a referendum for the recognition of Russian as the second state language in Latvia. And recently, the semi-official media “exposed” one of the teachers Innova Margarita Dragileva – it turns out, the young mother participated in the preparation of the action “Immortal regiment-2016” in Riga. And how on earth do you afford to run the school, which are employees of such unreliable troublemakers?

He Bronislav Zeltserman grimly told the newspaper VZGLYAD the following: “In my opinion, between the us refusal to extend the accreditation and the bill Sadurskis is a direct connection. Moreover, already there were accusations against me that I say recruit disloyal teachers. Now we will try to prove in court the illegality of the deprivation of our accreditations and licenses. Lawyers believe that this process we have to win. However, until the court case, the school may simply cease to exist.”


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