Education Minister-designate promises speedy reform

Kārlis Šadurskis (Unity), slated to become the next Education Minister, promises to finish the teachers' wage reform "very quickly" and to make the controversial morality amendments correspond to this day and age, reported Latvian Radio Wednesday.

Šadurskis said that the reform has to be carried out this spring so that teachers learn before the summer break what expects them in the new academic year.

As for the controversial morality amendments okayed by Saeima last summer, the likely next Education Minister said that he'd called the amendments 'a return to medieval times' when they were first discussed.

(The Re:Baltica Investigative Journalism Center has published research on how these amendments came about.)

Although he did not say the upbringing guidelines should be cancelled, Šadurskis thinks that they should at least be made more contemporary. "[Modernizing the amendments] will allow understanding that it is neither censorship, nor something that makes teachers weigh out their every word," he said. 

In the interview, Šadurskis said he hopes that the upcoming audit of the Latvian tax system, carried out by World Bank experts, will help find the necessary funding. 

Inga Vanaga, the head of the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA), previously told Latvian Television that Šadurskis' candidacy is the one that corresponds to education organizations' criteria over who should be the next minister.

LIZDA staged a one-day strike in November 2015, demanding better pay for themselves and better funding of the entire education sector.

Šadurskis, a senior politician, was on February 1 put forward by Unity as its candidate for the post of Education Minister. He had headed the ministry several years ago. 

Prior to Māris Kučinskis (Greens and Farmers Union) being nominated, Šadurskis was believed to be one of the likeliest potential candidates to become Prime Minister. 

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