Back to school for students

September 1st sees the long summer holidays drawing to a close and the start of a new school year.

Smartly-dressed pupils and students will be making their ways to schools and colleges, usually after contributing to a boom day at the local florist's shop with flowers for the teacher.

Also accompanying them are the good wishes of various officials, many of whom have released statements to mark the occasion.

"I have the great honor and real joy to welcome you to the first schoolday... Latvia needs
educated, thoughtful and ambitious specialists in order to jointly improve our country and
the welfare of each and every citizen," said Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis.

President Raimonds Vejonis took a similar line, but then branched out into a reminder that education should be not only for the young.

"All people, regardless of their place of residence, income level or social status, should have access to quality education. At the same time, we must not forget about individual excellence, because the most knowledgeable and their achievements will be those who will inspire others and will promote Latvia's growth," Vejonis said. 

Education Minister Karlis Sadurskis prepared a video speech directed at teachers and parents as well as students.

"Know that everything is possible -- don't listen to skeptics and those who say things will be the same as ever," he urged.

(If you want to watch it you can do so at the Education Ministry's website HERE)

As previously reported by LSM, this school year sees a small increase in pupil numbers, though the longer-term trend for enrollment is less encouraging. 

The national statistics office chipped in a with a nice infographic.

 

And those attending schools in central Riga will have to contend with considerable traffic problems on the school run caused by ongoing roadworks.

"People going to school will need to go somewhat earlier, as the repairs in the very center of the city - on Valdemāra Street, Brīvības Street, Stabu Street and Dzirnavu Street - will continue, which means that there are narrowed carriageways and a reduced number of carriageways in parts of these streets. Consequently, there will be a slower traffic movement," said Riga transport department spokeswoman Una Ahuna-Ozola.

On a more positive note, the weather forecast for September 1st is generally okay across most of the country with dry weather in the morning followed by possible rain showers in the afternoon.

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