Executive summary

Building on the OECD Skills Strategy Assessment and Recommendations phase, the Implementation Guidance phase has supported Latvia in the development of the Education Development Guidelines 2021-2027 (EDG). A whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach has been applied in Latvia involving all relevant ministries and levels of governments, as well as a wide range of stakeholders in order to build a shared understanding of which policy actions and indicators should be included in the EDG. The OECD has used international, national and other data sources, information gathered from government and stakeholder representatives, as well as expertise from across the OECD, including the Centre for Skills team, the Indicators of Education Systems team and Foresight team. The project drew upon concrete examples of education strategy development from other countries to provide important lessons for Latvia. This process provided input and shaped the recommendations featured in this current report.

The findings and recommendations of the Implementation Guidance Phase, as featured in this “OECD Skills Strategy Latvia Implementation Guidance: Developing Latvia’s Education Development Guidelines 2021-2027” report, have been a major input to the development of Latvia’s EDG. As Latvia’s EDG was developed concurrently with the Implementation Guidance Phase, many of the findings and recommendations of this report have already been taken into consideration in Latvia’s EDG. Some recommendations also go beyond the development of the EDG and are relevant for the implementation of the EDG.

The OECD was asked to provide input to Latvia’s EDG in two key areas:

Latvia’s EDG is a strategic document that describes Latvia’s objectives for education and skills policy in the medium term, as well as the policy actions it plans to implement to achieve these objectives. The benefits of the EDG being well-defined include aligning policy actions with policy objectives, providing clarity about what needs to be done by whom and by when, communicating the priorities, and holding all relevant actors accountable for implementing the policy actions and achieving the policy objectives.

A number of trends shape the skills needs and opportunities of Latvia. Megatrends such as globalisation, technological progress, population ageing, and migration, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, are driving significant changes in skills needs in society and the economy. Given this context, the OECD provides guidance on the implications of this policy context for the selection of policy actions that advance the objectives of the EDG.

In developing the EDG, Latvia has considered the proposed policy actions of the “OECD Skills Strategy Latvia Recommendations and Assessment” report, which were developed based on input from a broad range of actors, as well as an in-depth assessment of Latvia’s education and skills system. As the context has significantly changed due to the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic, this report provides further complementary guidance on the policy actions that Latvia should consider taking to respond to the pressures that the pandemic has generated. This complementary guidance has also been considered by Latvia in developing the EDG.

This report also features four further suggestions for how Latvia could develop and implement its EDG:

  • Include policy actions at the system level. Give consideration to system level policy actions in order to address challenges that affect the entire education and skills system and not just a specific level of education.

  • Define responsibilities and timelines. Identify the responsible actors for a policy action based on their capacity and disposition towards supporting the policy action and collaborating in its implementation. Create a timeline with short-term and long-term policy actions.

  • Identify funding implications. For each policy action, estimate the required financial resources, identify the responsible funding party, and assess the funding source sustainability.

  • Strengthen strategic planning. Consider multiple possible future scenarios, assess their risks, and strengthen the overall resilience of the education and skills system to adapt to future changes.

Latvia’s EDG needs to be accompanied by a robust indicator system to monitor implementation progress. This would provide reliable, accurate and timely information on the human and financial resources invested in skills, how education and skills systems operate and evolve, and the returns on investments in skills.

An assessment of Latvia’s current indicator system reveals gaps in Latvia’s ability to measure progress towards the achievement of its objectives. For example, indicators could be developed to track funding for lifelong learning, distinguish between drop-outs due to emigration and for other reasons, monitor student progression through education, measure the quality of early childhood education and care, and provide additional background information on students, such as their home language and disability status.

This report presents a list of potential indicators for the EDG and an overview of further considerations. The OECD, together with government and stakeholder representatives, reviewed a total of 181 possible indicators and then prioritised between 10-12 potential indicators across each of the five levels of education, for a total of 54 potential indicators. Specific suggestions are made for improving certain indicators and developing alternative indicators. Many of these indicators have been adopted in the EDG.

This report features five further suggestions for how Latvia could strengthen its indicator system:

  • Link indicator databases. Facilitate data exchanges between indicator databases through a unique identification number for each individual, which allows data on this individual to be linked across various databases.

  • Improve the quality of indicator data. Strengthen data validation processes by conducting regular quality checks of the data collection system and adopting digital technologies.

  • Benchmark indicators. Set the target value to be sufficiently ambitious to inspire and mobilise action, but at the same time not so unrealistic as to demotivate actors. Consider adopting annual targets for some indicators.

  • Raise capacity to make use of indicator data. Support research institutions to provide capacity to fully use the available national and international indicators.

  • Improve the dissemination of indicator data. Improve the dissemination of information generated by the indicators through a user-friendly platform serving a wide audience of users.


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