Access to education in Ukrainian, Crimean Tatar languages restricted in occupied Crimea - OHCHR
The introduction of Russian Federation education standards has limited the right of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars to education in their native language, says the report by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights titled “Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine).”
“The number of students undergoing instruction in Ukrainian language has dropped dramatically. In the 2013-2014 academic year, 12,694 students were educated in the Ukrainian language. Following the occupation of Crimea, this number fell to 2,154 in 2014-2015, 949 in 2015-2016, and 371 in 2016-2017,” the report reads.
OHCHR says that in April 2015, the long-time director of the only Ukrainian-language gymnasium in Simferopol left Crimea, allegedly due to threats and harassment.
Read alsoIn occupied Crimea 10 Ukrainian citizens remain missing – UN report“Between 2013 and 2017, the number of Ukrainian schools decreased from seven to one, and the number of classes from 875 to 28,” reads the report.
OHCHR considers that the main reasons for this decrease include a dominant Russian cultural environment and the departure of thousands of pro-Ukrainian Crimean residents to mainland Ukraine. Pressure from some teaching staff and school administrations to discontinue teaching in Ukrainian language has also been reported.
At the university level, the Department of Ukrainian Philology in the Vernadskiy Taurida National University was closed down in September 2014 and the majority of its teaching staff laid off. The departments of Ukrainian philology, culture of the Ukrainian language and theory and history of the Ukrainian language have been merged into one department, according to the report.
Read alsoCrimean Tatars' Ilmi Umerov: "Verdicts" cannot take our freedom“By the end of 2014, Ukrainian as a language of instruction had been removed from university-level education in Crimea,” the report concludes.