KAZAN, Russia -- The president of Russia's Tatarstan republic has appointed a new minister of education against a heated public debate over the teaching of the Tatar language in secondary schools.
Engel Fattakhov, 51, previously served as a district governor and has no direct experience in education or science.
Some ethnic Russian residents, who make up almost half of Tatarstan's population, have recently protested against the mandatory teaching of Tatar in Russian schools.
Both Russian and Tatar are official languages in the republic.
The deputy minister of education, Lyudmila Nugumanova, resigned last month over the issue.
With additional reporting by tatar-inform.ru