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Coalition proposes discussion about optimizing existing school network

Raivis Dzintars/flickr.com.
Politicians of the ruling coalition in Latvia expect expansive discussions about the necessary reforms for the education sector to help restructure the school network.

It is concluded in a study performed by Education and Science Ministry’s order about the creation of an optimal general education institutions network in Latvia that at least 25 pupils should undergo education in 10-12 grades in school, whereas primary school classes should have no fewer than six pupils.

Commenting of the ministry’s study, Raivis Dzintars, co-chairman of the National Alliance, said the ratio of teachers and pupils is on a level when it is not possible to ensure appropriate wages. And this is a problem, admits the politician. At the same time, he added that primary schools must not be touched. Still, he said there should be stricter requirements for the number of pupils in secondary schools. Specific standards should be discussed in detail, and the study itself is one topic for discussions, added Dzintars.

He agrees that the government has the opportunity to come up with requirements, but at the same time reforms have to be considered very carefully if they are aimed at affecting a specific place. Discussions should also take into account opinions of different municipalities, said Dzintars.

Unity’s Saeima faction leader Solvita Āboltiņa emphasized that the party supports Education and Science Minister Kārlis Šadurskis. She also welcomed the use of studies in official activities. ‘It is good that decisions are made not just from a political standpoint, but also a professional one as well,’ said the politician.

She also emphasized that reduction of the number of schools is not the main goal; it is about providing quality education. The state has to make sure children can get to schools that have good teachers.

Union of Greens and Farmers has yet to look at study results, said UGF chairman Armands Krauze. This is why he decided not to comment the matter regarding his party’s position on recommendations for ensuring specific numbers of pupils in schools, which would likely mean reorganization of the network of schools. Education and Science Ministry’s objective is ensuring that pupils are able to learn in modern schools with qualified teachers, said the politician.


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