Latvia's students lagging behind in reading

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The performance of Latvia's 15-year-olds in maths and science is around the OECD average, however students are lagging behind their counterparts in reading, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 research encompassing 72 countries.

The research places Singapore, Japan, Estonia, Finland and Canada as having the best-performing students among OECD countries, while Latvia ranks around the middle.

"There are no statistically significant changes in the performance of our students. [..] We have to work differently with the excelling students and students that aren't that excellent," Andris Kangro, a professor at the University of Latvia and a participant in the research, told Latvian Radio Tuesday.

The link between a student's socioeconomic standing and his or her performance is becoming more pronounced in Latvia. Children of richer parents have a better chance of obtaining competitive education. 

The research also claims that students perform better in Rīga, which has more gymnasiums, while they perform worse in the countryside.

"There's still this divide between the city and the countryside. It's worrisome. Optimizing the school network is definitely a priority for us," he said.

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