Protest in support of education reform gathers hundreds

Nearly 200 people were picketing in front of the Latvian parliament building on the morning of June 7 in support of reforming instructional content.

For Development/For! political bloc and the organization Parents for Better Education had each announced own picket but the protesters joined forces in chanting: "What We Want? The Reform! When Do We Want It? Now!" and other slogans.

Supporters of the New Conservative Party and the representatives of the Mission Possible education program also participated in the demonstration.

Education and Science Minister Karlis Sadurskis (Unity) spoke to the demonstrators and admitted certain omissions during the procedure to get the reform approved but blamed it on the lawmakers of the ruling Union of Greens and Farmers.

"Regretfully, some of the lawmakers could not be persuaded [to support the reform] but I hope very much that at least your presence will make them vote for what's logical and reasonable," the minister said.

As reported, the parliament on June 7 is holding the second reading of the bill over switching to a new, competency-based instructional content at schools.

The parliamentary committee on education, culture and science on May 31 reviewed all proposals for amendments to the General Education Law and rejected the proposal for lowering the school age from the current seven years to six years but backed introduction of the new competency-based instructional content, although a year later than planned by the Education and Science Ministry.

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