Education and Science
The competence of Latvian fifteen-year-olds in mathematics and natural sciences is higher than the average level of OECD countries, but in reading – close to the average level, according to the first results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022, released on Tuesday, December 5.
In 2022, the EU spent €352 billion on research & development (R&D), 6.34% more than in the previous year (€331 billion) and 48.52% more than in 2012 (€237 billion)., according to Eurostat figures published December 1.
How to better integrate Ukrainian children into society – this issue is raised by the organization “I want to help refugees” (Gribu palīdzēt bēgļiem). Latvia is encouraged to choose a model practiced in neighboring countries, which provides for the mandatory inclusion of Ukrainian children in local educational institutions, Latvian Radio reported November 30.
Team Latvia-Riga picked up a gold medal at the Grand Jamboree, the final event of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) – the world’s largest synthetic biology competition. It also received a nomination in the category for the best simple genetic component, reports Labs of Latvia.
Sorting out the school network is an issue where there is traditionally a lot of friction between the Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) and the local governments – school founders. Now, to avoid causing anxiety, the Ministry has decided not to make the proposed school network change map public as usual, but it is known 60 schools could be affected by changes as early as next year, Latvian Television reported on November 14.
Some teachers' salary for October is likely to be lower than promised, and problems are in calculations at both national, local government, and educational institutions level, Inga Vanaga, head of the Latvian Educationa and Science Workers' Association (LIZDA), said in an interview on the Latvian Television morning newscast November 13.
Riga State Gymnasium No. 1, RTU Engineering High School, Riga State Gymnasium No. 2, Riga State Gymnasium No. 3 and Riga Cathedral Choir School showed the highest performance in the centralized exams, according to the rating of the Draudzīgā Aicinājuma Foundation published November 2.
In Rēzekne, teachers' salaries might not have been calculated as provided for in the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations, the Latvian Education and Science Workers' Union (LIZDA) has stated. The Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) has also added to the concerns. Rezekne Head of Education does not agree with the allegations, Latvian Television reported November 1.
On October 18, 2023, Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation signed a 10-point Memorandum of Cooperation with Latvia's Ministry of Transportation to support Ukraine in the immediate restoration of broadband internet as well as support the country's development of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and its integration into EU and joint projects.
The issue of teachers' salaries remains unclear, causing growing outrage among teachers - there is even a cut for some instead of the promised pay rise. Inga Vanaga, Chair of the Latvian Union of Education and Science Workers (LIZDA), said in an interview with Latvian Radio October 17 that salaries have not been calculated correctly possibly also due to staff changes at the Education Ministry.
While the issue of teacher salaries seemed to have been resolved this school year, disappointment set in for many teachers when payday came. For some, wages are even smaller than before. The Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) says financial resources have been allocated to local governments, while in local governments say the funds are not enough, Latvian Television reported October 16.
The Latvian State Radio and Television Centre (LVRTC) is collaborating with communications firm Tet, the Electronic Communications Office of Latvia and the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Latvia to begin work on the formation of a national quantum communications infrastructure system and network, reports Labs of Latvia.