"To: The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Central Committee of the LSSR Communist Party
The Education Ministry of the Lithuanian SSR
The Higher and Specialized Middle Education Ministry of the Lithuanian SSR
The Committee for Professional Technical Education under the LSSR Council of Ministers "Until now children attending general education secondary schools in the Lithuanian SSR were taught Russian from the second half of their second year. In schools of higher education they were taught mostly in their native language. The recommendations of the All-Union Scientific Conference entitled 'The Russian Language: The Language of Friendship and Cooperation between Nations' (held in Tashkent during May 22-24, 1979) suggest that Russian be taught in preschool institutions beginning at the age of five and that the upper grades of general education schools, all professional and special secondary schools, and the second and third years of higher education schools be taught in Russian if the school children and students request it.
"Because a child's orientation in his native language is formed in the elementary grades, a second language taught too early makes the child learn both it and his native language poorly. A less gifted child develops even more slowly. When taught or read to in a foreign language, all children have difficulties understanding and remembering.
"The constitutions of the USSR and the Lithuanian SSR guarantee all citizens the opportunity to study in their native language.
"Therefore, we ask that the system now in effect be kept: that Lithuanian children in nursery schools not be taught Russian, that Lithuanians in all educational institutions continue to be taught in Lithuanian, and that the publication of scientific, fictional, and children's literature in the Lithuanian language not be diminished."
Signed by 1,310 persons
Signatures were collected in Kaunas, Vilnius, Kapsukas, Kretinga, and various other Lithuanian locations. The original of this statement was sent to the Central Committee of the Communist party of the Soviet Union.