Latviski English По-русски
Friday 26.04.2019 | Name days: Rūsiņš, Sandris, Alīna

Shortage of teachers means training should be made more flexible in Latvia

(+2 rating, 2 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«Education for children should be changed from the ground up so that teachers are able to play a new role – work as supporters and advisors to assist in the education process,» says University of Latvia Docent and lead researcher Ieva Margeviča-Grinberga. She is confident it is possible to train a new generation of teachers only with equal and close cooperation between education institutions, municipalities and universities. Because of that, work has commenced on a new education model.

Dramatic shortage of teachers

«Latvia has a catastrophic shortage of teachers, especially for exact sciences,» says Margeviča-Grinberga. Approximately 30% of teachers who worked in Latvia’s schools in 2016 were of pre-retirement and retirement age. The average age of teachers in Latvia has been rising since 2014 – 64% of teachers are aged 40 to 60. Only 8% of teachers in Latvia are younger than 30. There was no rapid change of the active generation of teachers in Latvia in recent years. This is why it is expected to happen soon. It should be said that this problem is present not only in Latvia – data for August 2018 shows that German schools are experiencing a shortage of 35,000 teachers. This is the worst index in the past 30 years.

«The situation in Austria is just as dramatic. We should also keep in mind that 22 education programmes aimed to train new teachers will be closed down in the 2021/2022 school year. Instead there will be seven new programmes in several of Latvia’s higher education institutions. The shortage of teachers is a signal that emphasizes the severity of the situation. This is why it is necessary to offer innovative teacher education.»

Teachers as 2nd level higher education

Experts are currently working on providing growing teachers education that can be acquired in parallel to working at a school. Britain, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland already use similar solutions. Single-year education programmes that offer people that already have higher education additional training in fields like chemistry, biology, philology in parallel to their work in education facilities, says University of Latvia docent.

Research performed in Europe shows that the old teacher education system has exhausted its usefulness. The time has come for schools to actively assist with teachers’ education. This work environment-based teacher education programme will be unique in Baltic States. It is expected to yield positive results. Experience of other countries shows that a chemist who has successfully finished his teacher’s training course will likely be able to help children study specific subjects.

«Combining theory and experience requires work-based education for teachers that motivates people to engage in independent studies. Knowledge presentation during the education process will be completely replaced with active training in groups, projects, and other activities.»

Work environment-based studies

University of Latvia decent says it is planned that specialists from different industries would engage in studies regarding work with children with consideration of different cultures and languages. People will be taught to resolve actual problems teachers face in schools, not imaginary situations. People will hone their skills when working with technologies, as well as ways to evaluate their own work and their students’ work.

Involvement of schools and cooperation with them

«In regards to teachers’ education in Latvia, we have to conclude that the time has come to change the way we think. The time has come for shared responsibility! If schools need teachers (and they do), they should become involved in education of said teachers. On top of that, they should get involved from day one – as soon as potential teachers apply for studies,» says Margeviča-Grinberga.

Ideas require funding if people want them implemented. In this case funding includes several aspects, because potential teachers will work at schools during their studies. This means funding will come in the form of Education and Science Ministry’s budget spots and scholarship, as well as wages in schools.

Education should be composed by us

«Latvia’s secondary schools are in dire need of teachers in different subjects. This programme will allow English language philologists to become English language teachers, lawyers to become history, politics or social science teachers, etc. We should be the ones to make education, and now is the time to do it!» stresses University of Latvia docent.

Leave a reply

70 000 air passengers affected by strike in Scandinavian SAS airline

Due to a strike by pilots of the Scandinavian airline SAS in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, on Friday about 70,000 passengers have been affected by over 600 cancelled flights.

Verbal terror in Ventspils City Council forces opposition to ask government to step in

«We have informed the government that as representatives of Ventspils residents we no longer have any moral and ethical reasons to participate in the work done by the illegal administration of Ventspils City Council. We have told the government that we will not participate in the work of the municipality until the government and authorities have performed measures to stabilize the situation in Ventspils City Council,» as reported by deputies of the opposition of Ventspils City Council.

Estonians worried about haze, smell of smoke, apparently from fires in Russia or Belarus

In central and southern Estonia, a cloud of bluish haze has made people and fire-fighters worried about possible wildfires, but meteorologists and NASA point to smoke coming from Russia and Belarus.

9th Youth Saeima to discuss the place of youngsters in Latvia and EU

The 9th Youth Saeima gathered for its first meeting on Friday, 26 April. The main topic of the meeting will be the place of youngsters in Latvia and Europe, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Video: Biden joins U.S. Presidential race, branded 'Sleepy Joe' by Trump

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has announced his candidacy for the U.S. 2020 presidential election. U.S. President Donald Trump has charactarised his potential rival as 'Sleepy Joe'.

Following Deglava Bridge closure, minister expects Riga City Council to regulate traffic

Following the closure of A.Deglava Street overpass, Latvia’s Interior Affairs Minister Sandis Ģirģens expects Riga City Council to become involved in regulating road traffic and actively informing society about alternative roles.

Ukraine's new language law seen as divisive by President-elect Zelenskiy

Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada has passed a law giving a special status to the Ukrainian language and making it mandatory for public sector workers. The measure has been charactarised as divisive both by President-elect Zelenskiy and Russia.

Meteorologists promise summer-like warmth up to +27° C in Latvia on weekends

On Friday, 26 April, weather in Latvia will be dictated by low atmospheric pressure area. Some local rain and even thunderstorms are expected in the afternoon, as reported by Latvia’s Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

National Media Council reduces LTV board to one

Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council has decided to change the status of the board of LTV, reducing the number of board members from three to one, as reported by

Latvia’s employment indexes exceeded average EU indexes in 2018

Last year, Latvia’s employment level for residents aged 20-64 years was 76.8%, which is higher than the average index in the European Union. Latvia was among 13 member states who had achieved employment goals for 2020 last year, according to data compiled by Eurostat.

Lithuanian teachers follow into their Latvian and Polish colleagues’ footsteps

Teachers across the Baltics, and in Lithuania too, are clamouring for higher wages. Encouraged by teacher strikes earlier the month in Poland, also by teachers’ growing dissatisfaction with the remuneration in neighbouring Latvia, at least one influential Lithuanian teachers’ trade union said this week it does not rule out streets protests if the restarted negotiations with the Ministry of Science and Education fail to produce desired results.

CIB: consumer lending in a rise, whereas mortgage lending is down in Latvia

The number of loan commitments among private persons has reached a number of 1.1 million loan contracts. The total loan burden for residents for both delayed and timely paid loans is nearing EUR 6 billion, according to data from the Credit Information Bureau.

Latvia’s Saeima supports publication of KGB expanded filing system

On Thursday, 25 April, Saeima deputies supported in the first reading amendments to the Law on Preservation, Use and Publication of Documents of KGB, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

First toast to Kim-Putin friendship made in Russia's Far East

In Russia, the first meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin has been held, followed by Putin's remarks that for Pyongyang to denuclearize, it needs legal assurances that its sovereignty would be respected.

Latvian Transport Ministry to focus on public transport service in 2020 budget

Latvia’s Transport Ministry’s priorities in the 2020 budget will be, like in previous years, public transport services and road repairs, says Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits.

Latvian Saeima proposes celebrating 13 May as State Language Day

On Thursday, 25 April, deputies of Latvia’s Saeima conceptually supported amendments to the Law on Festive, Memorable and Celebrated Days. Amendments provide for delegating to the Cabinet of Ministers the rights to set special holidays dedicated to specific jobs.

Friendship behind closed doors – «grey cabinet of ministers» and «good deed champions»

Einars Repše’s phrase – «How can you not promise?» – has long since become part of political folklore. The Union of Greens and Farmers is no exception – do one thing, promise another and focus on something completely different after elections.

Putin nearing eastern Ukraine to Russia by offering passports

An order to facilitate issuing Russian passports for residents of pro-Kremlin separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine has been signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, prompting condemnation from Ukraine's President-elect.

Swedbank’s profit in Q1 up EUR 29 million in spite of scandals

Swedbank’s profit in Q1 2019, compared to the same period of 2018, has grown to reach EUR 29 million. The reason for this was increased economic activity by the bank’s clients and therefore bigger income for the bank, as reported by the bank’s representative Jānis Krops.

New Estonian government appointed to office by Kaljulaid

The new Estonian government under Prime Minister Jüri Ratas from the Centre Party has been appointed into office by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.

Riga City Council hasn’t a clue how to prove safety of Deglava overpass

Riga City Council’s Transport Department has not been informed as to what documents regarding the safety of Deglava overpass are requested by State Construction Control Bureau, said the head of the department Emīls Jakrins during an extraordinary meeting of the Transport Affairs Committee.

Scotland seeking second referendum on independence from Britain

In order to determine Scotland's future after Brexit, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has voiced plans to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by 2021 if the country is pulled out of the European Union.

CC: Riga’s public transport company directed the nano-water procurement

Riga municipality’s public transport company SIA Rīgas satiksme was the director of the nano-water procurement, said head of the Competition Council Skaidrīte Ābrama during a press-conference.

Saeima paves way for full opening of «KGB bag»

On Wednesday, 24 April, Saeima’s Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee deputies supported in the first reading amendments to the KBG Law. This will provide the full publication of all KGB documents stored in Latvia’s National Archive, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Normunds Staņēvičs becomes head of Food Union in Europe

As of mid-April of this year, Normunds Staņēvičs, the European CFO of international dairy product and ice-cream group Food Union and CEO of JSC Rīgas piena kombināts, becomes head of Food Union’s European division.

Newest comments