On August 12, President of Latvia Egils Levits met with the Board of the Association of Teachers of Latvian Language and Literature in the Riga Castle to discuss the position of the Latvian language in the forthcoming “Skola2030” curriculum and the opportunity to strengthen the Latvian language at the national level.
Egils Levits was interested in the progress of the “Skola2030” project implemented by the National Centre for Education (VISC), the role of the Latvian language in the curriculum, and the success of the communication among VISC, schools, and teachers not directly involved in the working group of the project.
“The role of the Latvian language as the only official language should be strengthened not only in the curriculum but also its use should be discussed in the community. It is absurd that the use rate of the official language is 60%. The Latvian language is a symbol of our country that needs to be nurtured and strengthened in the long run, because stable, literally rich Latvian language is the foundation of a strong Latvia,” emphasises Egils Levits.
During the meeting, the Board of the Association outlined several challenges by requesting to pay the President’s attention. Namely, the results of the centralised examinations (CE) show that the Latvian language skills among students are critically low, that is, the results of CE show only 49% achievement in 2018/2019 school year. Similarly, the issue of generational replacement of teachers is becoming increasingly topical, because approximately 1/3 of working teachers are of post-retirement age. Both parties agreed that the work of teachers should be promoted by explaining its significance both on a practical level and in general from the perspective of national development. They also discussed the role of the Latvian language in areas important for Latvia such as entrepreneurship and science.