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Education and science workers trade union oppose sending kids to school at age of 6

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Because no answers have been received on multiple matters associated with starting school like at the age of six, Latvian Education and Science Workers’ Union opposes this proposal from the Education and Science Ministry.

The trade union mentions that the annotation for the legislative draft accompanying amendments to the General Education Law not only lack consistency, but also lack any references to studies mentioned in the document.

The annotation also does not detail results of studies of similar reforms performed in Latvia in the past, the union continues.

The trade union reminds that parents already have the option to pick at which age to send their children to school in 1st grade. Current regulations already allow sending children to school at the age of six.

The annotation mentions fewer arguments in favour of the reform than it does against it, the trade union says, adding that no benefits from starting school at the age of six are mentioned in the document.

«A situation in which Latvia’s general education is not detailed as compulsory in regulations provides the risk of some youngsters who have reached the age of 15 decided not to become engaged in the country’s labour market. This is already the problem in need of resolving,» said the trade union.

The trade union maintains the request to hold a discussion with all involved sides before making any important decisions in regards to this reform. The trade union invites representatives of the Education and Science Ministry, Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry, Healthcare Ministry, Finance Ministry, Education and Science Workers Trade Union, Latvian municipalities, Latvian Employers Confederations, Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, parent organizations, Association of Paediatricians and Latvian Association of Professional Psychologists.

In this discussion, Latvian Education and Science Workers’ Union proposes discussing different studies on the matter, experience of other European member states with similar situations, pre-school education guidelines, assessment of children’s psychological maturity to start school life at the age of 6, as well as other aspects.

As it is known, Latvia’s Education and Science Ministry has submitted amendments to the General Education Law that provide for sending children to school at the age of six.


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