Latvia spends more on education than EU average - study

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Latvia spends 1.5 times more on education than the EU average, suggests preliminary research about the school network in Latvia.

April 11 saw preliminary research presented over the state of Latvia's schools and education quality, reported Latvian Radio.

Economist Jānis Turlajs who heads the research group said that Latvia spends 1.5 times more on education than they do on average in the EU.

"The same number appears if we look how many pupils there are per one teacher," he said.

The study corroborates the belief that countryside schools have poorer education quality, however what's surprising, says Turlajs, is that schools in Rīga's 'microdistricts' - understood to be residential districts with Soviet-era mass housing - also have poor education quality.

Meanwhile parents choose schools not based on proximity but rather education quality. 

"Parents send their children to far-off schools that have high education quality. As a result there's significant stratification. Families are different, and the prestige education holds in each is different," said Education Minister Kārlis Šadurskis.

"As we're seeing that the most motivated young people go to schools located in the center, but the quality of education is very low in neighborhood schools, we basically condemn a large part of our children to being losers," he said.

The study, which is only halfway through, encompasses 700 schools with about 200,000 students.

Its results will be presented in full by October 1.

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