Parliament rejects proposal on lowering school age to six years

The Latvian Saeima on June 7 rejected a proposal to lower the school age in Latvia from the current seven years to six years, reported LSM's Latvian-language service.

The Saeima rejected the initiative while supporting amendments to Latvia's Education law in the second, non-final reading. The bill proposes a switch to new, competency-based instructional content at schools.

Latvia's ruling coalition has agreed to introduce the reform starting 2020, a year later than planned. It does allow, however, for young people to start school at the age of six provided their parents want the child to do so and the child is healthy and ready for instruction.

During the parliamentary session, Education Minister Kārlis Šadurskis said that competency-based learning means children study specific skills useful in real life.

"They'll be asking, 'What do I need to know to solve this problem?'," the minister said. 

Meanwhile opposition MPs criticized the reform as being rushed. 

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