There is almost no Russian taught in Scottish schools nowadays and there is a danger it will disappear for good once the SQA drops exam provision after this summer.
The Scotland-Russia Forum, an independent voluntary organisation based in Edinburgh, believes it is damaging to Scotland to raise a generation of children unaware of Russia’s rich cultural heritage, its huge contribution to space exploration, wonderful folk tales, dramatic history, beautiful language, and other aspects of Russian life. Without this knowledge how can they, and the adults they will become, make sense of current affairs in Russia, or seek to do business there in later life?
The Forum offer taster language and culture presentations in schools, particularly primary schools since they will have the opportunity to offer Russian from P5 under the Scottish Government’s 1+2 programme. The tasters are very popular with children who are always delighted to find they can decipher words in the Russian alphabet.
The Forum has now also created a website for children called Find out about RUSSIA with sections on the Russian language, space, history, science, ballet, food and others. Each section has been written by SRF volunteers, some specialist in their chosen subject, others students and even one school pupil.
To launch the website they have announced a competition for primary school children aged 5-12: children are invited to illustrate a folk tale, to write their own version of other Russian tales, or to suggest activities for the website. There will be prizes for all categories and all age groups and some of the competitors’ material may be included in the website.
Follow on Twitter: @ScotRussiaForum