Education in Latvia

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How can Latvia improve the quality and equity of its education system and realise long-term efficiency gains? This report covers the whole education system from early childhood education and care to tertiary education and provides an assessment of Latvia’s policies and practices against the best approaches in education and skills across the OECD. This international comparison brings to the fore the many strengths of Latvia’s education system, but also highlights the challenges it faces and provides a number of recommendations in response. This report will be of value to Latvia but also policy makers in other countries looking to raise the quality, equity and efficiency of their education systems.



Primary and lower secondary education in Latvia

This chapter reviews primary and lower secondary education. Here spending is relatively low as a share of GDP, mainly due to the low teacher salaries. Student performance is below average by international standards, with rural schools performing particularly poorly. Latvia has also struggled to offer a truly inclusive education to students with special education needs or disadvantaged backgrounds. The ageing teaching workforce and falling student numbers offer an opportunity to make the teaching profession more respected and competitive. This requires higher salaries and better training and career-long development. Latvia should focus on improving the quality of rural schools, freeing up resources by consolidating smaller schools and promoting greater collaboration between them, and on improving teachers’ ability to identify and support children at risk of exclusion. Finally, Latvia needs a comprehensive system of assessment at all levels and needs to improve the effectiveness of municipalises at supporting their schools.


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