Rīga Council plans to reward schools for active vaccination

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Rīga City Council could pay money awards to Rīga schools where at least 80% of teachers are vaccinated against Covid-19, Rīga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis said in an interview to Latvian Radio July 8.

Currently, around 57% of Rīga teachers have vaccinated against Covid-19. A survey conducted by the Rīga City Council shows that some 15% of the city's teachers have expressed a desire to vaccinate. However, such indicators are insufficient to meet the criteria set by the Ministry of Education and Science for the teacher vaccination proportion (80%), which would allow for the resumption of safe on-site learning in September.

This is why the local government is thinking about paying bonuses to schools in which the teacher vaccination proportion would have reached 80%. Some schools have already reached that mark, Staķis said.

The Rīga City Council is prepared to allocate half a million euros for this purpose.

Funding is expected to be distributed according to the size of the educational establishment. Staķis said that the largest schools in Rīga could receive up to EUR 10,000, while smaller schools would receive EUR 7,500 or EUR 5,000.

He said that schools would be free to decide how the funding is used, such as for employee bonuses, raising qualifications for teaching staff, or purchasing new equipment. 

On the other hand, at schools where 80% of teacher vaccination cannot be achieved, strict epidemiological security measures will have to be followed when the school year starts.

Staķis said that an agreement had been reached with some of the school principals who support the idea. He also pointed out that the City Council coalition has the necessary support to approve such an idea and it could be adopted in the near future.

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