Many teachers leave jobs during pandemic in Latvia

Unable to cope with the increased workload caused by changes of management of education institutions due to COVID-19, more teachers than ever have resigned since September, Latvian Television reported November 3.

Schools are facing constant changes and uncertainty - learning process is taken on-site, then remotely, rules are changed frequently. For example, November 3, Health Ministry decided that teachers and pupils over 13 would have to wear face masks at school when using shared spaces - hallways, cloakrooms.

Parents are concerned about both the remote learning process and its quality and the safety of children learning on-site. State Service of Education Quality receives around 20 calls a day, mostly from parents. Mostly they ask for advice or complain about irregularities regarding safety rules. The Service checks complaints and asks schools to prevent those. 

Apprehension also prevails among educators.

The more restrictions, the more calls are made also to the Latvian Education and Science Workers Union (LIZDA). The focus of issues is mainly related to the organization of the learning process and the lack of technical provision for both children and teachers. If a teacher is in self-isolation, it creates more tension and loads for other educators. 

“There are more and more resignations, more and more illness, and it is felt more strongly than all the previous years. Those signals were already at the end of September, early October,” said LIZDA Chair Inga Vanaga.

The reasons for the resignations are linked to a set of reasons, but the increase in workload, insecurity and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic is an extra push for some educators to decide to stop working.

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