Egils Levits
Valsts prezidenta Egila Levita uzruna Zinību dienā Kauguru vidusskolā

Dear students, teachers and parents of Kauguri Secondary School,

Ladies and gentlemen,

This 1st of September or the first school day of the new academic year is a beautiful and sunny day, but it is overshadowed by some very real concerns. This spring has shown that remote learning can be arranged efficiently, but it still is not the same as learning in school. I think everyone here agrees that it is better to celebrate the beginning of the new school year together. Students are happy to be back with their friends and teachers can again build closer rapport with their pupils, which is absolutely crucial. No technology can do what a man can. I think we will need to find more flexible ways to do things, and I hope we will end the school year together as well, just like today.

Kauguri Secondary School is one of 100 Latvian schools that have either fully or almost completely transitioned to the new learning model before it is required. Other Latvian schools will have to completely switch to skills-based learning by the end of this year. Nevertheless, you are one of the frontrunners, a school that has piloted the model before everyone else. You know its strengths and maybe even some weaknesses that need to be addressed. You already have that experience and this academic year will be easier for you. Thank you for joining this – may I say – experiment before many others.

Latvian schools are not just a place where children learn. This is where their character is built. Through skills-based learning model they access essential skills and competencies. However, personal development is just as equally important as those skills and competencies, although it is not so pronounced in formal programmes. It is the duty of teachers and, of course, parents themselves to take care of that.

Latvia is a democratic country. Anyone living here has the freedom to practice their cultural traditions and national language. We truly encourage it. I am happy that this is also what you do here. There are different ways in which state can support it and facilitate it, but there will always be that bigger goal: to build a common environment in the form of democratic, rule-of- law, socially responsible nation state with Latvian as its official language. That is important for guaranteeing that every Latvian inhabitant is equally valued, no matter what their home language or ethnic background may be. We all are a part of Latvia!

Dear students and teachers,

I wish you plenty of courage and determination, luck and success in providing and learning essential knowledge. Let me reiterate, you are one of the schools that is leading the way towards the new skills-based curriculum. You are ahead of others and it means that you can look at the future calmly, with steady heart and steady optimism.

Enjoy and have a good school year!

01.09.2020. Valsts prezidents Egils Levits Zinību dienā viesojas Jūrmalas pilsētas Kauguru vidusskolā