Estonian language education in Latvia

The first Estonian-language school in Riga was founded at the end of the 19th century. It was a two-grade Peter-Paul church school intended for Orthodox believers. To improve educational opportunities a 6-grade elementary school was opened by the Estonian Educational and Relief Society, which from 1913 taught in the society’s building. In those days slightly more than one hundred pupils studied there. The school existed from 1922-1940 as a 4-grade elementary school and was reopened in 1989 as a two-grade school.

In the years 1906-1946 an Estonian elementary school worked under the aegis of the Alūksne Educational and Relief Society. The number of pupils averaged approximately 60-70, but in the 1920s reached over 100 students. Some 4-grade Estonian schools were also established in Ape (with approximsately 80 pupils), Ainaži and Veclaicene (some twenty pupils). These schools closed down in the 1920s due to a lack of pupils. In Ainaži a naval school was founded in 1864, where the curriculum was taught in parallel in Estonian and Latvian until the Russification period of the 1880s. Border area Estonians (for example in Valka and elsewhere) often sent their children to schools in Estonia.