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Saturday 17.03.2018 | Name days: Ģertrūde, Gerda, Gertrūde

Minister: hard to work without support from parliament and Prime Minister

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Roberts Kilis

Roberts Kilis

After nearly one and a half years in service, Latvian Education and Science Minister Roberts Kilis sees a number of important tasks he has completed in different sectors of Latvian education. He also calls to change the status of the Higher Education Council (HEC) and criticizes Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis for not taking his side in this, Latvian Radio reports.

First of all – higher education now has a system that obligates Latvian universities to accredit their education programs on an international level. This makes it impossible to introduce low quality programs, Kilis says. Obstacles were also put in the way of the HEC and the approval of its organized education program evaluation project. “HEC’s project is a suspicious scheme”, – he added.

Kilis said that the status of HEC needs to be changed. He believes this institution is responsible for the failures of reforms in higher education.

He admits that it is hard to achieve changes in higher education due to the fact that the higher education sector has a lobby in the Latvian parliament: i.e., there are officials that lobby specific universities. At the same time, Kilis notes that universities are largely independent from the state. There is also an unwillingness to change anything in the teaching department.

As the second fulfilled task, Kilis mentions the setting of the foundation to improve the quality of professional education.

The third achievement is the newly developed teachers motivation program, which includes both teachers’ work quality and creativity improvement and salary increase.

Another important task was the improvement of the quality of work of the Education and Science Ministry. The ministry was weak when Kilis was appointed as minister. “It was the weakest in terms of its ability to act”, – the minister explains. Now, however, the ministry has a new state secretary with international work experience – Sandra Liepina. There are also new department managers.

Kilis also criticizes PM Valdis Dombrovskis for not providing support when the minister was carrying out the objectives stated in the government’s declaration.

Kilis said the ESM is currently performing the largest reforms in the government. He added that it is hard to work without support from the parliament and the PM.

It was previously reported that Roberts Kilis confirmed his readiness to resign from his post. Vyacheslav Dombrovskis is the most likely candidate to replace him.


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