Latvia's schools short of math teachers

Many schools lack mathematics teachers. At Rīga Secondary School No.40, not a single math lesson has taken place for the sixth-graders this year, Latvian Television reported September 17.

Math classes do not take place for sixth-grade students at Rīga Secondary School No.40 - there is nobody who teaches them. Pupils are delighted. Parents are angry and looking for solutions, worried that there will be gaps in education..

“Some are looking for a private tutor, others attend extra-curricular math. But everyone has the right to education, it is stated by the Constitution, and free of charge. You don't have to fight for it,” said a pupil's mother Vita Ozera. 

She added that grade 6 pupils are expected to undergo state testing, and these results are also important if it is planned to change school later.

"It is important that pupils have the opportunity to learn the subject in a timely manner. No stress. Without haste, and participate fully in testing on 25 February! That's what we want,” said the mother.

The school's principal, Jeļena Vediščeva, said it was unlikely that the missed classes would have any impact.

“Math won't be learned in one month. The state test covers six years, and it would be demagogic to say that the shortage will have an impact on the whole result,” Vedichev says.

Lack of educators is not just a problem for this school. In Rīga, 12 schools are looking for math, as well as music, informatics teachers and other educators.

A temporary solution has been found, and for Class 6, math will be taught by a pupil's father.

According to the Ministry of Education, the main problem of the inability to find an educator is that a full-time job cannot be provided. The solution is either to divide these hours among teachers already working or to train teachers for new qualifications.

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