Mandatory science exam to be introduced in 2025 in Latvia

The government on Tuesday, September 27, backed the introduction of a mandatory centralized science exam from the 2025/2026 school year.

Previously, the question of exams had been postponed. The Latvian Education and Science Workers' Trade Union (LIZDA) objected at the time, indicating that teachers are lacking to introduce the exam.

This time, the head of the LIZDA, Inga Vanaga, pointed out that conceptually the exam was supported (though teachers are still critically lacking). Teachers are also concerned whether their salaries will be affected if the results of their pupils in the exam are not as high as expected. Therefore, LIZDA called for an entry in the decision that the results of the science test will never be taken into account in relation to wages.

The idea of introducing a mandatory science exam has been discussed for years. Employers are alarmed by the fact that there are very few people with knowledge of natural sciences in the labor market, and statistics also show that there is a relatively rapid decline in the number of high-school graduates who choose to take physics or other science subjects as a choice exam. Employers' organizations have strongly demanded the introduction of a compulsory exam on one of the science subjects, considering that they will then be taught at a higher quality and that pupils will be more motivated to understand it.

Until the mandatory exam is introduced, during the academic years 2023/2024 and 2024/2025, all high school pupils will be subject to a 'monitoring test' in one of the science subjects. The purpose of it is to acquire objective data regarding the quality of learning and content. The result of the monitoring test does not affect the outcome of the educational achievements, the Ministry of Education and Science said.


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