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Dr.hab.paed., prof. Tatjana KOKE Minister of Education and Science Republic of Latvia - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Education al Reform in Latvia since the Collapse of the Soviet Union and Integration within the European Union. Dr.hab.paed., prof. Tatjana KOKE Minister of Education and Science Republic of Latvia Teachers College, Columbia University September 23, 2008. Ministry of Education and Science.

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Educational Reform in Latvia since the Collapse of the Soviet Union and Integration within the European Union

Dr.hab.paed., prof. Tatjana KOKE

Minister of Education and Science

Republic of Latvia

Teachers College, Columbia University

September 23, 2008

Ministry of education and science
Ministry of Education and Science

  • Education: pre-school, interest education, compulsory, secondary, special, vocational, higher, life-long learning

  • Science: fundamental research, market orientated research,applied research, scientific institutions

  • Sport: sport for children and youth, sport for all, sport for people with disabilities, high performance sports

  • State language: language policy, terminology, language learning/teaching, multilingualism

Main issues
Main issues

  • From where we started?

  • What was the direction to proceed?

  • Major reforms in education

  • Gains and losses

  • Way forward

Where is latvia

General facts:

Capital - Riga

2,3 million inhabitants

64 589 square km

982 basic & secondary schools

82 vocational schools

64 HEI

552 students per 10 000 inhabinats – 2nd place in the world

Where is Latvia ?

Main facts of latvia history
Main facts of Latvia history

  • First inhabitants in the territory of Latvia: 9000 B.C.

  • 12th Century – 1918: the Age of German, Polish, Swedish, and Russian rule in Latvia

  • Republic of Latvia:

    • 1918-1940

    • regaining of independence in 1991

  • Soviet period:

    • 1940-1941

    • 1945-1991

  • Nazi German occupation: 1941-1945

  • Joining NATOandEuropean Union: 2004

Small size great achievements
Small size, great achievements

  • Nobel Price and Latvia:

    • Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1932),chemist, awarded 1909

    • Paul Walden (1863 – 1957),chemist, nominated several times. Walden’s Medal was awarded in Riga, 2008 to Dr.Kurt Wuthrich (Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA)

  • Complete set of Olympic medals in Beijing 2008:

    • Gold: BMX, Maris Strombergs

    • Silver: javelin-throwing, Ainars Kovals

    • Bronze: weight-lifting, Viktors Scerbatihs

  • Cultural heritage:

    • Song and dance festivals

    • Architecture



















Other nationalities


Main differences between soviet system ss and democratic society ds in latvia


One party system

Planned economy

Closed society

Occupied country


Multy-party system

Market economy

Open society

Independent state

Main differences between Soviet System (SS) and Democratic society (DS) in Latvia

What wa s the soviet h eritage at school
What was the Soviet Heritage at School?

Total centralization characterized by:

  • Traditional lesson routine

  • Structured time table “for all”

  • Lecture style teaching with emphasis on subject-centered knowledge

  • Censorship, ideologically based indoctrination

  • Belittlement of global and national values

F rom authoritarian to democratic school
From authoritariantodemocraticschool

To foster decentralization in order to:

  • Promote initiative and responsibility

  • Increase choice of opportunities

  • Focus on autonomy and human rights

  • Widen understanding of values

Policy pushes i
Policy pushes (I)

Law on Education, 1991:

  • Competence-based curriculum according to standards

  • Diversification of teaching methods

  • Centralized national assessment system – 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th grades, gradually from 1997

  • Free option for high school students

  • Private educational institutions

  • Regional university colleges

    Decentralization of education management: from state to municipalities, 1994

Policy pushes i i
Policy pushes (II)

Bilingual educationreform: to strengthen the position of state language in line with widening opportunities for studies in mother-tongue, 1998-2004:

  • ethnic minority schools:

    • 132 Russian

    • 5 Polish

    • 2 Jewish

    • 1 Byelorussian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Roma programs

  • Sunday schools: Liiv, Armenian, Azerbaijan, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Jewish, Ukrainian


Policy pushes i ii
Policy pushes (III)

Law on Higher Education Establishments,1995:

  • State budget funded study places

  • Invention of study fees

  • Loan system

  • Transformation of structure

    Bologna process in higher education, 1999

Dynamics of students enroll ment in universities 1990 91 2007 08 academic years
Dynamics of students enrollment in universities,1990/91 – 2007/08 academic years

Source: Overview on Higher Education-2007, Ministry of Education and Science,

Ratio of student academic staff 2003 04 academic year
Ratio of student/academic staff 2003/04 academic year

Source: Key Data on Higher Education in Europe, 2007 Edition, European Commission

P rofessors out of academic staff
Professors out of academic staff

41%- 50% – Belgium, Canada

31%-40% – USA, Japan, Germany

21%-30% – Latvia, France, Italy, Ireland

11%- 20% – Finland, Sweden

less than 10% – United Kingdom, Spain

Source: prof.Juris Krumins, Association of Latvian Professors, Riga, February 7, 2008

What are the outcomes of the reforms i
What are the outcomes of the reforms? (I)

Competence for sustainability, including – labour market, active citizenship and personal fulfillment:

  • Pre-school: compulsory for 5 and 6 years old

  • Compulsory: standards and curricula towards acquisition of skills (OECD, PISA)

  • Secondary: changes in philosophy - from subject matter to analytical and cooperative skills; improvement of educational environment (EU support)

  • Special: inclusive education

What are the outcomes of the reforms ii
What are the outcomes of the reforms? (II)

  • Interest education: involvement, participation and individualization

  • Vocational: involvement of employers, changes in curricula towards needs of labor market

  • Higher:

    • Internationally valid quality assurance system

    • Support of doctoral and master studies and post – doctoral research

    • Performance of HE including introducing the Bologna principles

    • Renovation and modernization of HE infrastructure

  • Life-long learning: overall framework for Latvian education, e-learning

D rawback s of changes
Drawbacks of changes

  • High intensity of changes in short period of time brings uncertainty and dissatisfaction

  • Consequences of totalitarian way of thinking – lack of ability to accept diversities and cope with them

  • Tension between education and labor market needs

  • Insufficient financing

  • Aging population, incl. educators

  • Prestige of teacher’s profession (T.B.C.)

Correlation qualification and salary
Correlation: qualification and salary

Source: prof.Juris Krumins, Association of Latvian Professors, Riga, February 7, 2008

Way forward
Way forward

  • Talent. Technology. Tolerance

  • Strengthening autonomy and openness for diversity based on and for human values

  • Emphases on responsibility and evidence-based decision making for better civil society

  • Widen financing mechanisms, including PPP

  • Widen accessibility for Learning society

  • Foster students’ and professionals’ mobility


The Essence of Learning Experience:

develop ability to convert uncertainties and challenges of the society into priorities and benefits of the individual

Thank you tatjana koke@izm gov lv http www izm gov lv

Thank you!

[email protected]