New rules force ten schools to go remote

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Schools are trying to adapt to the new space requirements in different ways, some are forced to switch to remote learning, Latvian Television reported November 30.

By November 30, schools had to introduce additional rules: face masks for teachers and at least three square meters per pupil in classrooms. Schools say that they are prepared to adapt to allow for some classes to be held in person. Of the 583 educational institutions in Latvia, 10 have chosen the remote learning process, while more than 500 have found the possibility to hold on-site learning, a few dozens - partly remote.

Schools have come up with a variety of solutions to comply with the rules. For example, in Bauska City elementary school, the classroom is divided into two rooms and the teacher walks from one class to another. While one does the tasks, others learn theory.

Teachers told Latvian Television that they are prepared to comply with these requirements. On-site learning is more effective, particularly for junior pupils, for whom human contact, socializing and time-management assistance is crucial.

Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska (New Conservative Party) agreed that the new rules put an extra load on teachers, but that some schools, for example, allow certain subjects to be taught by extra-curricular activity teachers. 

On Tuesday, the proposal will be considered for junior school pupils to start their winter holidays from next week. That would be compensated by longer learning in the summer. Šuplinska doesn't support it. In her opinion, municipalities should be allowed to take decisions on how to organize learning.

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