Ready for challenges and difficulties. 129 schools and 136 kindergartens switch to teaching only in Latvian / Article


  • The transition to teaching in the Latvian language affected 129 schools and 136 kindergartens.
  • Until now, insufficient knowledge of the state language has been established among 3 directors and 119 teachers.
  • There are not enough teachers in Riga Secondary School No. 34, but there is a determination to overcome difficulties.
  • Director: The reform was needed 20 years ago.
  • In the 244th preschool educational institution in Riga, the transition period has already begun ahead of schedule.

The transition to teaching in the Latvian language takes place in all kindergartens and at the stage of basic education – in grades 1, 4 and 7, where students must study only in the national language.

Data from the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) show that about 600 full-time vacancies remain unfilled in the new academic year, which means that about 3% of the required number of teachers are missing, even despite the minimum wage for full employment. work has grown since September of this year to 1224 euros per month, representing an increase of approximately 13%.

To date, during inspections, the State Language Center has found insufficient knowledge of the Latvian language among three heads of educational institutions and 119 teachers.

Most of them are out of work. The Minister of Education and Science recalls that tests will continue throughout the school year, and support will also be provided so that in the near future all schools are equal and parents do not discriminate – this is a Latvian or former Russian-language school.

In the 34th secondary school in Riga, the determination to overcome difficulties

How many people will be affected by language reform in schools?

  • 129 schools;
  • 43,258 students;
  • 3876 school teachers.

Source: Ministry of Education and Science.

With a smile on their faces and autumn flowers in their hands, the youngest students are walking around the yard of Riga Secondary School No. 34, with their parents next to them. The Russian language is most often heard in mutual conversations. Anastasia and many other first-graders will be fully taught only in Latvian.

Svetlana and Anastasia decide – as it will be, so be it. At home, mother and daughter speak both Russian and a little Latvian.

Meanwhile, Julia, whose son Maksim studies at this school, admitted that there was a little excitement: “Well, let’s see how it goes. In the garden, he was bilingual. He spoke both Russian and Latvian. Last year he mostly spoke – in Latvian. I agree that it is necessary to learn the Latvian language – the national language.”

The solemn event of the Day of Knowledge was also held in the Latvian language. There is also a shortage of teachers in Riga Secondary School No. 34, and after a break at school, teacher Ilzite Dulbinska decided to return from work in the state administration and will teach in the 1st grade.

“Today is my first day at work. Today we will meet.

I understand that everything is only in Latvian. We will definitely make it. Let’s meet and see. There are many different methods,” Dulbinskaya said.

After solemn speeches, songs and dances, first graders, together with 12th grade students, ring the school bell and go to an educational lesson. Children are happy to answer the teacher’s questions in Latvian. Some do it better, some have to search for words longer.

Teacher Antra Purina noted that most of the children study in a kindergarten where they speak Latvian: “In the meantime, we will hold games and try to speak Latvian. If you already speak, then everything will work out.”

In September, personnel changes took place in many schools, and teachers with better language skills were transferred to classes that will be affected by the reform this year.

Principal of the 34th secondary school in Riga, Natalia Rogaleva, admitted that there will definitely be teachers who will have difficulties, but they also have to work with difficulties, besides, teachers also try to communicate with each other in Latvian: “All our meetings are held in Latvian language. And I think that gradually people will speak better. It will all come true. “

The principal of the school believes that the reform is long overdue. According to her, this should have been done 20 years ago.

“Until Latvians come to the former minority schools, while there was segregation, it will be the same. And I realized that the department, for its part, is trying to transform the neighborhoods so that the children are not told whether the school is a minority or Latvian. But it will simply be indicated – the school,” the director said.

This year there are also children from Latvian families among the accepted first-graders. Likewise in other classes.

Kindergarten in Riga ready for challenges

As of today, all kindergartens no longer have programs in Russian. All children study only in Latvian. There is also a big shortage of teachers in kindergartens, and this year the teaching staff trained by the “Possible Mission” is helping to partially solve it.

How many will be affected by language reform in kindergartens?

  • 136 kindergartens;
  • 13,345 children;
  • 1318 preschool teachers.

Source: Ministry of Education and Science.

This year, 281 children will study at the 244th preschool educational institution in Riga. Of these, 37 are young. Also in this educational institution all lessons will be in Latvian. The head of the kindergarten admits that the transition period in the institution began some time ago.

“All the time there were two groups – Russians, in which two teachers successfully worked – Latvian. They were so stubborn that they spoke Latvian with the children. Children hear, children see, children talk to each other. Outside, when they joke, then Naturally, they speak their own language, no matter what language they have in their family,” said Vaira Bogdanova, head of the 244th preschool educational institution in Riga.

However, the head of the kindergarten said that two years ago teachers were reprimanded by parents for teaching children in the national language. Now the mind of the parents has changed.

“They probably had no motivation. Now the motivation is this – your child will not be able to go to a Latvian school. What will you do then? Kindergarten is still perceived as a joke. Like a playhouse … But we teach children through games and build the foundation of the house,” Bogdanova stressed.

And teachers also agree that it is the children who learn the language the easiest. There are still two vacancies in the kindergarten, but this year, thanks to the Possible Mission project, three more new teachers are joining them. One of them is Rudita, who admits that the excitement is great.

“When I was on Opportunity Mission, I didn’t know that the target was minorities (educational institutions). But when I met with the manager, we talked, I told her frankly and wanted to understand if I fit in here with Everything. But she reassured me. A very good example was when she told me – imagine if a Chinese child comes … Exactly the same. We need to find this common language,” recalls a young preschool teacher, Rudite Liepiņa.

Groups specially created last year for Ukrainian children have also split up, and now they will study together with everyone else.

“There will definitely be a challenge – these children are different. Because age is also different, children are different. I judge by the fact that I have a three-year-old child, and everyone must understand and everyone must adapt. “, – said Rudita Liepinya.

“We are ready for all the challenges that we have to solve!” I am sure the head of the 244th preschool educational institution.


Starting this autumn, grades 1, 4 and 7 will be taught only in Latvian. A year later – in grades 2, 5 and 8, a year later – also in grades 3, 6 and 9. In preparation for this, seminars on the exchange of experience and advanced training courses were held for teachers.

According to the authors of the amendments to the law, the transition to teaching in the Latvian language will affect 17% of teachers and 24% of minority students in the main pre-school education programs.

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