President Nazarbayev on languages in Kazakhstan02 april 2014, 23:29
Measures should be taken to calm down the excessively ardent public servants discriminating against candidates seeking public service on the basis of the language the latter speak, a Tengrinews.kz journalist reports, citing President Nursultan Nazarbayev as saying at a sitting of the country’s Majilis (lower chamber).
“Some zealous public servants claim knowing a certain language is a major prerequisite to be hired to fill in a vacancy. The General Prosecutor’s Office should make sure these public servants no longer show the excessive zeal. The Constitution once and for all set all the language-related norms. And set equality of ethnic backgrounds. There’s nothing to add”, he said.
“The Constitution clearly stipulates that any discrimination because of a person’s religion, ethnic background or language is prohibited. Let it be written everywhere as a reminder”, he said.
“When it comes to Kazakh language, it is the official language. According to recent polls, 76% of people have a positive attitude to the language (…) children are fast at picking up languages. When we have had a generation of children taught the language by 2025, requirements to language competency may be toughened. We should be cautious. Interethnic relations are a thin membrane. Superiority of one group over another has never brought anything good. We’ve seen that many times from history”, he said.