One in three teachers has no computer for remote teaching

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Nearly one in three teachers and one in five pupils lack portable computers for access to remote schooling, Latvian Association of Local Governments (LPS) survey shows, Latvian Radio reported December 14.

The survey, launched in early November and now finished, concluded that the socio-economic situation of the family will play a major role in the acquisition of high-quality education this year.

“Every family, every pupil in communication with the educational establishment, looks for ways the pupil could learn. And we will be able to assess the impact in one or two years. When we move to the next class, we will see that the content of the previous year has not been learned at an appropriate level. We will develop a group of students with a weaker score, drop-out rate will increase,” said Ināra Dundure, LPS advisor for education.

Meanwhile, teachers are forced to work on outdated or incomplete technology, such as lacking a video camera.

Municipalities have bought new computers, but it is not possible to supply them all. By the end of the year, the Ministry of Education and Science plans to supply pupils with 6200 computers, and by the beginning of December approximately 20% of these computers were received. However, the shortage will not be covered by it.

Therefore, the ability of students to obtain quality education may vary depending on the family income.

"Teachers are worried, and they are also burned out by feeling that they will not be able to cover all the content. We often pretend, at the highest level of the country, that things are going on, everything is fine, but the quality of learning in my view is lower,” said Vija Ieleja, education department representative from Iecava municipality.

The results of the study show that a total of 86 896 hardware units, including 12 588 stationary computers, 20 561 tablets and 53 747 portable computers, were needed to provide high-quality education, LPS said in a statement.

Pupils in grades 1 to 6 need a total of 28 415 hardware units but pupils in grades 7 to 12 need a total of 19718 hardware units.

At the same time, survey data shows that teachers need a total of 10 741 hardware units, including 9214 portable computers and 1527 tablets.

A total of 3120 stationary computers are missing in educational establishments. 9468 stationary computers have deteriorated and are not fully usable in the learning process. 8186 portable computers and 7248 tablets are also missing, with a total of 28 022 technical units needed to provide high-quality education.

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