Government postpones decision on mandatory STEM exam at school

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On Tuesday, September 20, the government postponed viewing the issue of setting a mandatory science exam for high-school graduates. The government plans to view it again in two weeks' time, it being after the new parliamentary elections.

The Latvian Education and Science Workers' Trade Union (LIZDA) objected to the decision on introducing a compulsory STEM exam prepared by the government, indicating that teachers are lacking to introduce the exam.

In the union's view, the current teachers' loads are not balanced. This prevents teachers from devoting the necessary time to all students. The trade union explained that in other countries whose education systems are considered to be good, they are mainly based not on the principle of obligation, but on the interest of pupils in certain subjects.

“We are very much looking forward to talking to all parties involved over the course of these two weeks to look for solutions to the issue of teacher shortages as soon as possible. Because with a forced exam, we will not solve the causes of the lack of interest in selecting STEM subjects,” said LIZDA Vice-President Irina Avdejeva.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) believes that an examination is necessary due to the demand in the labor market, but in his opinion, the exam should only be introduced when schools and pupils are ready for it.

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