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Wednesday 18.07.2018 | Name days: Rozālija, Roze
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Parents: our children are not cows to be milked

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUA public initiative posted on manabalss.lv has received nearly 7,000 signatures in favour of preserving the current order and allowing parents to decide at what age to send their children to school – at six, seven or eight years.

It is noted that in many different surveys parents have said that they do not want a mandatory requirement to send their children to school at the age of six. Education and Science Ministry, however, continues promoting this idea in spite of protests from teachers and parents.

Reinis Ziļavs, a father and grandparent, says: «My youngest grandson has just turned six. He will go to school next year. I think it is wrong to start school at the age of six, because children that young are unable to understand the school regime. A 6-year-old is not psychologically mature enough to withstand such a load. Children of this age still have a mindset for fun and games.»

Continuing, he says: «This idea is a step back – it will only make children resist studies. This also means that neither children nor their parents will have a choice – education is mandatory; everyone will have to start going to school at the age of six. This will result in broken personalities. Perhaps that is exactly what our government wants – easily influenced personalities. I am definitely against this.»

Kristīne Krista Ežmale is a mother with two children. When asked if she would allow her children to go to school at the age of six, she said: «I am not convinced my children will have been prepared for school by then. The idea of sending 6-year-olds to school was rushed, and would not want my children to be used as test subjects. In our modern active era, a 6-year-old is not ready to go to school. Every child is an individual. It is for parents know when their child is prepared for school. This is why the choice should remain in the hands of parents. Children cannot be put in a single bunch and declare everything is good. Neither children nor teachers are ready for this idea. A school is like a conveyor belt, and even teachers with the greatest will cannot possibly provide enough attention to all children, who are often like bombs.»

Diāna Blūma is a mother to three – older daughter (21) is already on her own, son (9) is already in school, and the youngest daughter (2) is only just preparing for school life. «As a mother of three children, I have different experiences when it comes to school, but I am definitely not prepared to send my daughter to school at the age of six. My son’s birthday is in September. Because of that, he had to start going to school when he was six. I can say for certain that he was not prepared for it emotionally. Sure – some children do go to school at the age of six, but parents have a choice now. But making everyone do that is madness.»

She adds: «School like is a completely different experience – most children at the age of six still want to have fun and play games. I understand that the state wants to put children in schools as early as possible and then release them to the labour market, but our children are not cows to be milked. Someone should consider the consequences of this decision.»

Parents say there are exceptions – children who are prepared to start their school lives early. This is why they believe the current order is the most appropriate.

BNN had previously reported that the initiative to send children to school at the age of six is planned to be introduced one year later than originally planned – 2019/2020 school year.

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