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Saturday 24.02.2018 | Name days: Diāna, Dina, Dins

Ministry of Education and Science violates the Constitution by not providing free education

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Ministry of Education and Science (MES) is aware of the possible dissatisfaction of parents due to the range of expensive textbooks that they will have to purchase for school needs. «The parents could file a petition in the Constitutional Court,» informs the newspaper Diena.

The Constitution of Latvia sets that elementary education is free of charge and obligatory, therefore the amount of textbooks that parents have to buy can be the reason for deep discontent.

The Minister for Education and Science Tatjana Koke (Tatjana Koķe) considers the issue of textbook and workbook purchase overexaggerated, as the amount of textbooks provided is sufficient, although the actual situation is that the state finances only 69 santims per pupil.

Government regulations set that the budget of the purchase of textbooks for each pupil is seven lats, although in this case the neighboring states are ahead of us. Namely, Lithuania and Estonia in funding educational materials spend correspondingly 14.3 and 12.6 lats per pupil.

Each book costs approximately 1.5-5 lats in the stores of Latvia, whereas workbooks are about 1-3 lats, after the observations of Diena.

MES State Education Content Centre representative Imants Vasmanis explains, «The saddest situation is with workbooks, because the institutions of education will not purchase them.» He also adds that workbooks are optional for the process of education and each school itself should evaluate whether they are needed. «We cannot say that the situation is a catastrophe, last year we surveyed school libraries and it was discovered that the funding had been satisfactional: on average parents had to buy about 4-5% of basic education textbooks, and about 10% of secondary education materials,» informs Vasmanis.


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