Saeima supports Law on International Schools in Latvia

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On Thursday, July 2, the Saeima supported the draft Law on International Schools in the final reading, Saeima representatives said in a media statement on July 2.

The law aims to ensure access to general education for children of foreign and international organisations and persons in service, thus promoting the functioning of these institutions and organisations and international cooperation on economic, political and educational matters.

The organizations concerned are particularly, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the military personnel of the Member States of the European Union, the European Union diplomatic institution,  the consular service.

The law was adopted, with 79 members voting in favor and two against, no one abstained.

The purpose of the Law is to define the legal framework for the establishment and functioning of educational establishments, implementation of internationally recognized general education programs, in order to ensure access to general education for children of employees in foreign and international organisations.

“The offer of international schools and international education is essential for the implementation of successful international cooperation in Latvia, and the proposed regulation of international schools will help ensure the maximum integration of students in these schools in Latvia, including  the acquisition of Latvian language, Latvian history and culture. Students will have the opportunity to learn in one of the official languages of NATO and the Member States of the European Union while learning the culture and traditions of Latvia, thereby strengthening the sense of belonging and the possibility of getting into this environment," – said Rihards Kols, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission.

The authors of the draft law stress that, as the volume of international cooperation in Latvia gradually increases and the number of foreign companies and organisations and international organisations in Latvia, the demand for the acquisition of general education in foreign languages has also increased. Six private education programs shall be implemented in accordance with the information entered in the State Education Information System and the data at the disposal of the Ministry of Education and Science regarding the offer of international education in Latvia in 2019/2020. 

Anita Muižniece (New Conservative Party), co-author of the new law, said: “In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science, the Education Quality State Service and the National Education Content Center, as well as representatives of international schools in Latvia, we have been working on the draft International Schools Law for more than a year. There were many significant discrepancies between the laws governing our education and the functioning of international schools, such as, length of the school year, teacher qualification requirements, etc., and therefore this special law was created which will not only introduce legal clarity for the future of these schools, but will also lay down the conditions for new institutions of this type."

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