KAZAN, Russia — Results of unified state exams in Russia (EGE) indicate that knowledge of the Russian language among students in the ethnically divided republic of Tatarstan is higher than the national average, RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.
The statistics follow recent protests in Tatarstan organized by pro-Russian groups that claimed the teaching of the Russian language in Tatarstan is being neglected and obligatory Tatar-language classes prevent students from properly learning Russian.
Albert Gilmutdinov, Tatarstan’s education and science minister, told RFE/RL that the overall score on the Russian language for students in Tatarstan this year was 62.4 points, while the overall Russian average is 60 points (on a 100-point scale).
Tatar and Russian are the republic’s declared state languages.
The EGE is an exam that any student wishing to enroll in a university or professional college in Russia must pass after graduation from high school.
Exams in the Russian language and mathematics are obligatory. Unified state exams were introduced in 2009.
About 2 million ethnic Tatars and 1.5 million ethnic Russians live in Tatarstan.