In line with the Education Law everyone has the right to qualitative and inclusive education, and the persons have the right to acquire education regardless of the material and social status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, religious and political affiliation, health condition, occupation, and place of residence.
Education Development Guidelines 2021-2027 is a medium-term policy planning document that defines a unified national policy and development strategy in education. The guidelines specify the overarching goal and goals of the education policy, the main directions of action and tasks for achieving the set goals, the results of the policy and performance indicators. The overarching goal of the educational development guidelines for 2021-2027 is to provide quality educational opportunities to all residents of Latvia in order to promote the development and realization of their potential throughout life and to build their ability to change and responsibly manage the constant changes in society and the economy.
In line with the Education Development Guidelines 2021-2027 “Future Skills for Future Society", inclusive education is a process that ensures that the diverse needs of all learners are met, maximising opportunities for each learner to participate in learning, culture and diverse communities and minimising exclusion from education and learning.
Targeted learners that are clearly identified in laws and strategies as groups in need of focused support and guidance are:
- Refugee students
- Migrant students
- Ethnic minority (Roma) students
- Students with special educational needs or disabilities
- Students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
According to the Education Law, a minor child of an asylum seeker and a minor asylum seeker has the right to qualitative and inclusive basic education and secondary education, and also the right to continue the commenced education after attaining the age of majority.
In line with the Education law, special education is general and vocational education adapted for persons with special needs and health problems, or with special needs or health problems.
Other binding laws and regulations:
National policy objectives
Support to students from lower socio-economic backgrounds
The State Education Quality Service is implementing a European Social Fund project Support for Reducing Early School Leaving. It aims to reduce the number of children and young people leaving school and dropping out before graduation. Municipalities provide individual support to learners who might quit education due to lack of private resources. This includes reimbursement of the costs of transport, meals, hotels or the purchase of individual learning materials. The project is not focused on providing short-term financial assistance, but on creating a sustainable, comprehensive mechanism for a supportive and inclusive school environment for all learners.
Support to students with special education needs or disabilities
Access easing, selection procedures and accessability and adapted infrastructure are regulated by the Cabinet of Ministers regulation Requirements for general education institutions to enroll students with special needs in their educational programmes.
Support to Roma students
Measures to support and involve Roma students in education are an important priority, reducing the number of Roma students who drop out of school, do not complete compulsory education and do not continue with general secondary education. It is planned to continue the started and successful implementations:
- to ensure cooperation between the municipality, school, educators and parents in order to identify Roma students in time, who might stop studying, and provide them with individual support (also in learning certain subjects);
- to provide support for Roma mediators;
- to develop the practice of Roma teacher assistants in educational institutions where a larger number of Roma children study.
Students at risk of drop-out and/or early leaving from education and training, and students at risk of bullying, which often coincides with a lower socioeconomic background. In 2022 the amendment to the General Education Law was adopted stating that the providers of general education programmes have to ensure systemic support to students for development of socio-emotional competence. The new competence based curriculum ensures that students also develop socio-emotional competence through the learning content (curriculum). Schools and teachers are offered a ready-made curriculum with lesson plans on socio-emotional learning. Various research findings, including OECD studies and reports, show that the socio-emotional competence of teachers and students reduces bullying situations in schools.
Support to Ukrainian refugee students
The regulation on support for the education of Ukrainian refugee children provides that the municipality and the school provide individualized support to Ukrainian students who are registered in a Latvian school.
In the summer of 2022, the Government has supported the solution proposed by the Ministry of Education and Science to organize summer camps for children and youth to provide psycho-emotional support, promote the learning of the Latvian language and promote integration for refugee children from Ukraine. The camps were organized for students of grades 1 to 12 and both Ukrainian and Latvian children participated in them. The camp programmes provided Latvian language lessons and various other types of events and creative activities for the youth of Ukraine and Latvia, which improved their communication skills. At the same time, it was a way to promote social-emotional skills and strengthen psycho-emotional well-being, which, due to the geopolitical situation, is important for both Ukrainian and Latvian children and young people.
In 2022, the Children's Hospital Foundation implements the Society Integration Fund project Psychological and emotional support for Ukrainian refugee children and their families, actively involving the Ukrainian refugees themselves - specialists in the implementation of the project, as well as volunteers, strengthening the solidarity and unity of society.