Outdoor classes at schools to be discussed in Latvia

It is not acceptable that the psychological health of children and adolescents is at stake, said Ilga Šuplinska, Minister for Education, at the meeting of the Song and Dance Festival Council on Wednesday, March 3.

She said that grades 7-12 have not been in school since the autumn holidays and grades 7-9 have not been in remote learning anywhere else in the European Union for as long as in Latvia.

The Ministry of Education has therefore encouraged the Operational Management Group to discuss a proposal to allow up to 20 children in outdoor classes: up to five classes  of formal education and up to two non-formal classes weekly.

"The fear that any movement may contribute to infection spread is stronger than the psychological and mental health of teens and young people. To me, honestly, it's not acceptable.

"Of course, also on March 8, I will defend exactly this position. I very much hope that the Minister for Culture will support me in this fight. Because I think it's the only thing that will be possible for us until the end of the [school] year," the education minister said.

The head of the Latvian Education and Science Workers Association (LIZDA), Inga Vanaga, told Latvian Radio that, in general, the union would support outside lessons if weather conditions allow it, but the situation with Covid-19 in the local government and the readiness of each teacher to do so should be assessed.


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