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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational variations and alternative structures in single-structure education


5.Single-structure primary and lower secondary education

5.4Organisational variations and alternative structures in single-structure education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Language of instruction

The Parliament of Latvia on March 2018 passed in the final reading amendments to the Education Law and the Law on General Education under which education programmes of ethnic minorities started gradual transition to Latvian-only upper-secondary education in the 2019/2020 school year. A new bilingual education model was introduced also in grades 1-6 of ethnic minority education programmes, ensuring that at least 50% of the education content is taught in Latvian, and in grades 7-9, ensuring that at least 80% of the education content, including foreign languages, is in Latvian with the school year 2019/2020. The final exams for the 9th grade pupils now are held entirely in Latvian.

Several schools with Latvian language of instruction specializing in foreign languages teach several subjects in a foreign language, for example, Rīgas Franču licejs (French), Rīgas Valsts vācu ģimnāzija (German), Ziemeļvalstu ģimnāzija (Nordic languages).

Organisational variations

In accordance with the Education Law, there are four forms of education acquisition:

  1. full-time education;
  2. extramural education; a sub-category of the extramural education method – distance education;
  3. self-education, and
  4. education in the family.

Basic education pamatizglītība is provided in evening schools also in extramural form. Besides basic education pamatizglītība can also be acquired in the form of distance learning, for instance, at Riga Distance Education School.

Persons who have passed the minimum permitted school-leaving age and have not acquired lower-secondary education may acquire lower-secondary education in the form of evening schools or distance learning, and graduate from school as external students.

Various general education schools provide with the opportunity to acquire their implemented educational programmes for external students (self-education).

In the first four years of integrated primary and lower-secondary education there is a possibility for parents to organize learning at home if a child has difficulties to communicate with classmates, or is at bad health, or the school does not have a possibility to ensure the necessary specific learning conditions. At the end of each school year such a pupil has to pass a test in order to transfer to the next class.

Boarding schools

Boarding schools and custody places where children up to 18 years of age reside permanently should provide possibilities to acquire integrated primary and lower-secondary education. Children hospitalized protractedly also should receive tuition. Children staying at home because of sickness are subject to schooling at home as well.

Social correction programmes

Social correction programmes are offered at social correction educational establishments. These programmes provide for the organisation of the values education for students and their preparation for social reintegration. Knowledge and skills required for independent life within the society are provided to minor law-breakers. Minor law-breakers are also given an opportunity to master professional skills.