April 26, 1958
Decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic dated August 12, 1954 No. 288 introduced the mandatory study of the Finnish language by Finnish and Karelian children. However, recently the majority of parents of pupils of the indigenous nationality of the Republic have rightly asked the question of stopping the studying of the Finnish language in schools as compulsory subject for children of Karelians and Finns.
The historical development of the Karelian people took place in close relationship with the Russian people. The highly developed advanced Russian culture has had and is having a fruitful influence to the culture of the Karelian people. Now the Russian language has firmly entered into all aspects of the social, industrial and cultural life of Karelia, becoming a widely available tool for learning of knowledge, for communication between all nationalities living in the Republic; at the same time the Finnish language in the Karelian ASSR does not have a wide practical usages. In addition, the Karelian and Finnish languages, along with certain similarities, have significant differences in vocabulary, which are especially important for the dialects of the Middle and Southern parts of Karelia. Therefore, for Karelian children who do not know the Finnish language, its learning causes difficulties, great overload; and this overload of pupils, in return, damages the study of other subjects.
The Council of Ministers of the Karelian ASSR decides:
1. From the 1958/1959 school year, the compulsory study of the Finnish language by Karelian and Finnish children should be abolished, leaving the studying of the Finnish language to children whose parents wish it.
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Karelian ASSR
Chief of Bureau of the Council of Ministers of the Karelian ASSR
Central State Archive of KASSR, F.690, L.11, F.225, P.196—197. Original.