Policy issue 2: Disparities in equity across the Latvian school system
The highest-performing education systems across OECD countries are those that combine excellence with equity. A thriving education system means that the level of skills and knowledge students attain depends on their ability and drive, not their social background (oECD, 2012). Latvia is committed to an education system that provides all its citizens with a “quality and inclusive education for personal development, human welfare and sustainable development of the country” (MoES, 2014). The government realises that it cannot afford - socially or economically - to leave large numbers of students behind.
It also recognises that it needs to make further efforts to realise its ambition of truly inclusive education. There are marked differences in student performance between rural and urban schools in Latvia, while students with special education needs and/or at risk of social exclusion do not equally benefit from quality learning opportunities. These complex policy issues may require additional or refined policies and more targeted policy responses than those currently in place. Holding municipalities more accountable for the quality and efficiency of their local school systems would seem key to moving the school system forward.