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Status of TTT institutions, research network, budget and qualification of staff

Main features of TTT .

  • structures and responsible bodies
  • types of organisation - centralised/decentralised
  • main TTT establishments
  • status - university/non-university
  • compulsory and voluntary TTT

As already mentioned in 2.3. and 2.4., although TTT is within the scope of MoES, field ministries and their subordinate institutions, there still is no fully established and stable TTT structure. It could be indicated, that currently only the teacher’s education , which takes place at universities, is more or less organised. The education of pedagogues, who have got only a vocational education, on the contrary, currently lacks overall organisation and is rather chaotic. It is extremely important to start implementing the conception mentioned above (see 2.2.) conception regarding the vocationally oriented pedagogical education, which was developed in the DELATE project.

At present upgrading courses of VET teachers still take place at the level of courses and seminars. It can be considered as rather centralised. For instance, if the Professional Education Centre organises courses for teachers of woodworking, then pedagogues of all schools dealing with woodworking are invited to participate in these.

A more systematic and qualitative training of teachers takes place in terms of various international projects. The training however usually is limited to the pedagogues from these schools which are involved in the projects.

Although participation in any training activity is voluntary, teachers’ interest and activity is rather high.

The support network of TTT.

  • research institutions on VET
  • research on pedagogic (theory of teaching) and didactic ( practise of teaching)
  • methodological centres
  • organisational development of schools (institution building)
  • media development and producing organisations
  • school book publishers

At present there are no education research institutions in Latvia whose tasks would involve a systematic VET research. At present, Latvian National Observatory is the institution, which gathers and analyses the greatest amount of information on VET. The VET Development Department, the Professional Education Centres and the Professional Education Development Agency (which carries out PHARE VET program in Latvia) carry out narrower studies in the fields related to their activities.

Research in the field of pedagogic and didactic has old traditions in Latvia. Faculty of Pedagogy of the University of Latvia carries out research in that field. These teachers who study in this faculty for Master’s degree write their Master papers on pedagogy and didactic. Similar research is carried out also at other universities (Liepaja Pedagogical Academy. Daugavpils Pedagogical University etc.)Unfortunately the share of VET teachers who come to study in these Master’s programmes is small.

The newest methods in pedagogy and didactic also come from various international projects in which competent foreign experts are involved. The teachers trained within these projects further act as trainers of other teachers.

Financing of TTT.

In terms of sources of income, of institutions (or parts of institutions) providing TTT (national support, other public support, private support, etc.: for what purposes? What proportion?). If necessary, please provide estimates. If applicable, provide information for each of the various types of TTT according to each type of establishment (national, other public, private non-profit, private commercial, etc.).

National: the only regular source of income of state institutions is the funding allocated by the state. However, it is impossible to provide which most often does not correspond with needs.

Estimated financing of teacher’s education:

!996/97school year:

  • Total number of students – 64204
  • Financing of education – 179,5 mil Ls
  • Financing of higher education – 31.5 Mil Ls
  • Financing of Higher education from state budget- 23.1 mil Ls
  • Average financing for student – 775 Ls
  • Number of students in teacher’s education and education science study programmes – 9566
  • Financing of teacher’s education and education science (estimated) – 7.41 Mil Ls

International: Some TTT courses are organised in terms of international assistance projects and have international funding (bilateral, Phare) see chapter 7..

Private: It is evident that there is some private funding spent for VET TTT. On one hand, the private providers of VET (usually in the form of continuing training) provide some training to the teachers/trainers they use, on the other hand, these companies, which carry out in-company training of their employees, also provide some training to the trainers. Unfortunately, here again no data is available on the size of funding and there is even no possibility for any estimation.

Regular teaching staff in TTT.

  • Their training and qualification,
  • their status, careers and assignments, and
  • their remuneration
  • sabbaticals

Regular teaching staff in teachers training exist only in higher education institutions , where teachers’ qualification corresponds with their position. Teaching staff of the higher education institutions comprises:

  • professors and associate professors;
  • docents;
  • lecturers;
  • assistants.

The academic personnel of the higher education establishment carry out academic activities and research. The academic position is obtained by being elected. Persons with the degree of doctor habilitatus can become professors, but persons holding the first doctoral degree can be elected to the posts of associate professor or docent.

On the average 49% of the total academic personnel have the scientific degree doctor habilitatus or doctor.

The remuneration of teaching staff at higher education institutions (except full professors since very recent time) and even more at secondary VET institutions is ranking low in the scale of the whole society therefore the teaching staff positions can not be considered as materially attractive.

As regards different shorter VET TTT courses, the teaching can often be delivered by teachers-trainers, staff of universities/colleges, entrepreneurs - representatives of firms.

As the remuneration for a pedagogical work in Latvia is very low in general, also the funding allotted for organisation of courses at state institutions is very small, for instance, a university professor receives approx. ECU 9 per hour, other lecturers - ECU 4 per hour. Consequently, involvement of the necessary lecturers is often based on enthusiasm and mutual acquaintance. Of course, the situation is much better in international assistance projects.

Higher education establishments. The members of academic personnel have a right to a paid 6 months sabbatical leave for upgrading outside their own higher education institutions once every 6 years.

At VET institutions. A state system for upgrading the qualification of teachers is worked out and its implementation gradually begins. A special program has been worked to upgrade teachers’ qualification where the upgrading courses last at least 12 hours once a year or 36 hours once in three years. These upgrading programmes are financed by the state budget. According to their own initiative the staff members improve their professional qualification in the study programmes , which are offered by the higher education establishments (state or private) or courses provided by state or private institutions, organised by international organisations etc..

Facilitations defined in Labour Code of the Republic of Latvia envisages are important for teachers who study in graduate programmes. The Labour Code stipulates the following facilitations for employees who combine work and studies.

  • 191st paragraph from Labour Code stipulates that the it is employers obligation to create the necessary conditions (foreseen in collective work agreement) for combining professional training or studying in education establishments and regular job without interruption of work ,
  • 192nd paragraph of the Labour Code stipulates that theoretical and practical in-company training can be organised during working hours or outside working hours in accordance to the statutes, collective work agreement or common understanding from both sides.
  • 193rd paragraph of the Labour Code stipulates that employees receive category, working title and job in accordance to the qualification and speciality awarded after the professional training according to collective work agreement or common understanding from both sides.
  • 201st paragraph of the Labour Code stipulates facilitations for these employees who have successfully studied in any type of education establishments.

    Employers can grant them a study leave during which their salary can be paid or not paid in accordance to collective work agreement or common understanding from both sides, as well as other facilitations.

    Employer must grant a study leave for passing State exams or for preparing a thesis/diploma project. The leave should be no less than 20 calendar days paying at least the state-fixed minimum salary.

Provisions and activities of in-service training for teachers and trainers in schools and training centres.

About how many teachers and trainers participate, how often?

There are not too many in-service training activities to tell about. the main form of these exists as activities of the "methodological associations" of teachers – inside one school or in a wider scale. Through these activities the VET teachers exchange the experience and learn from the most advanced ones. As well, they develop teaching aids for their subjects. An annual exhibition of teachers works called Experience (teaching aids, tests, sets of exercises, exercise books of practical work etc.) is organised by CPE.. Before this event, similar activities take place in schools when the best works for the exhibition are chosen.

The amount of this work however is not regulated by the state, therefore its intensity depends very much upon the activity and good will inside each particular school.

Activities of exchange of experience (this work is also co-ordinated by CPE), organised by methodological councils of various subjects regularly take place.

Entry requirements for teaching/training and admission

Definitions: Entry requirements: schooling or other training/experience required for being eligible for entry/application to TTT. Admission includes possible selection criteria and processes as well as additional entry requirements in certain fields/at certain institutions in order to determine those admitted among those fulfilling entry requirements.

Prior years of schooling.

Eventually training and practice - are typically required for entry requirements?

Initial training at higher education institutions. In order to participate in pedagogical study programmes the applicant has to hold a certificate of general secondary education .No previous work experience is required. Total duration off general secondary education is 12 years (9 years of basic plus 3 years of upper secondary schooling). General secondary education is also completed in vocational programmes if the duration of the latter is 4 years after basic schooling.

Masters’ programmes in pedagogy. Access to these is for holders of bachelor degrees, diplomas awarded after completion of 4+ year teacher-training programmes and the 5-year higher education diplomas of the soviet period. Previous experience in teaching is a favour.

Pedagogical (non-degree) programmes for existing VET teachers. This form is rather a continuing training taking place at a higher education institution. Access is given to these VET teachers who work at VET schools having a higher non-pedagogical or non-higher ("secondary professional") education.. They receive pedagogical training and a teacher’s certificate. The training does not however include an upgrade to higher education level to these teachers who hold secondary professional education diplomas.

Courses and seminars have no specific access/admission requirements except that the participants should be working as VET teachers.

The typical entry requirements for (the various types of) teachers and trainers.

Is, for example, prior vocational education and training, on-the-job-training or work experience a mandatory requirement?

Entrance requirements to programmes TTT programmes at higher education institutions generally don’t differ from those for the other higher education programmes.


Regarding the initial training (with admission after secondary school).

The admission regulations consist of two parts:

  • the regulations of MES referring all professional/ vocational/HE establishments,
  • the regulations laid down by the senate of the Higher Education Institutions.

These determine:

  1. which particular elective subjects have to be taken at secondary school in order to qualify for entrance to each study programme;
  2. if and what kind of entrance exams or other sorts of assessment of the applicants shall be used;
  3. (if necessary) additional requirements such as a specific previous education/training, specific suitability requirements etc.

Although the access requirement is just holding of a general secondary education certificate (with marks in the subjects relevant to the programme), the practical selection procedure to state-financed study places normally includes either one to four competitive entrance examinations or a ranking according to the marks in secondary education certificate. The latter can be accompanied by an interview. Professional experience can be seen as a favour but is not a requirement.

Regarding the teacher training programmes for holders of Bachelor degree or professional higher education diploma. Admission procedure may include examinations, especially for those applicants whose previous education differs from the selected field. It usually does include discussion of an essay written by the applicant on the topic of his/her further studies and there a previous professional experience is, of course, a serious advantage.

Alternative entry routes.

For example via evening schools for adults, exams of highly talented candidates etc.

Holding of a certificate certifying completed general secondary education (please note that it is also obtained at the end of secondary VET programmes having duration 4+ years after basic schooling). Such a certificate can be obtained as a result of evening studies for adults. As well, highly talented candidates can obtain it if they pass general secondary education completion examinations as externs. The latter however requires a permission of the regional school board. To obtain such a permission, it should be proven that the candidate has really demonstrated an outstanding performance in his/her previous studies.

Rate of selectivity.

If selective admissions is undertaken: is there information available regarding the (i.e. the ratio of applications to those being admitted or to those eventually beginning to study)?

The average competition ratio to the state-financed study places at state higher education institutions (admission to undergraduate studies) in the whole higher education system is the following:





Average ratio




The average competition ratio to undergraduate pedagogical studies in 1997/98 was only 1.2 taking together the state- budget study places and study places with tuition fees.

Students’ options and choices at entry to teacher study

Please characterise briefly and generally the (e.g. seldom/often reversion of career after vocational or alternative choice after secondary education, highly attractive option, choice for socially disadvantaged students, etc.).

NB Please note that, as mentioned above, no separate VET TTT programmes exist therefore the answer to the question regards teacher training as a whole!

Enrolment to teacher training programmes is not among the most popular options, although TT programmes are more popular than, for instance some technical fields. At several regional higher education institutions (Daugavpils pedagogical University, Liepaja pedagogical Academy, Riga Higher School of Pedagogy and School management, which has branches at several regions) most of the programmes are TT. programmes. Since the students still prefer to study near to home (in many cases because of economic reasons), there is observed even an overproduction of teachers in these regions.

Because of the low wages of teachers, enrolment to TT programmes is not a very attractive option, at least not ion the cities. In the countryside the situation may be a little different. Taken the rather high overall unemployment level in the rural areas, teacher’s profession with a regular and stable income is attractive for part of people.

In former days there was a practice to involve the best students after vocational schooling in pedagogical work, usually in the same school. These persons who still work as VET teachers without a higher education diploma, quite often use the possibilities for upgrading at higher education institutions (usually in the form of continuing training, thus not completing a full course of higher education).

Number of students, who after finishing a secondary school would like to enter pedagogical universities/ colleges, is decreasing year by year.

It is a problem for socially disadvantaged students to acquire any degree of education in Latvia.

Curricula, teaching and learning, examinations

Period of study.

What is the required overall (in years) of TTT?

Initial TTT at undergraduate programmes of HEI.. Duration of Bachelor programmes related to TTT is or 4 years. Professional teacher training programmes with no award of Bachelor degree are usually 4 to 5 years long.

Professional teacher training programmes on top of a non-educational Bachelor degree are usually 1 year long. As well, there are Master programmes in pedagogy . According to a Governmental decision the professional qualifications of engineer, doctor, teacher, lawyer and some more - can be conferred by higher education institutions only and the duration of professional higher education studies can not be less than 4 years for holders of non-educational bachelor degrees or soviet-time 5-year higher education diplomas. These Master programmes are 1-2 years long.

The period of studies within various continuing training courses is usually 36 or 72 hours. Seminars may take place for one to three days.

Major phases and activities during the course of study.

Please describe the major phases and activities during the course of study (periods of study, periods of practical work, eventual periods of in-services are not training in enterprises or industry, interim and final examinations etc.).

For the reasons described above (non-existence of separate VET TTT programmes) there are again difficulties in answering this question. Thus, the answer regards the whole TTT and is not VET-specific.

Each study year is usually divided into two semesters (more seldom- into three trimesters), with an examination session after each of them (usually up to 5 written or oral exams). Course projects or papers are usually to be written/elaborated both in relation to the subject to be taught at school and in the subjects of pedagogy/psychology block. A Bachelor or Master thesis or a Diploma paper (in Bachelor/Master/ professional programmes as appropriate) is required at the end of studies. Final (State) Examinations are usually required in speciality subjects and in pedagogy/psychology.

According to the regulations of the Ministry of Education and Science at least 8 weeks of a practical placement at school is required in TT programmes. At some HEI this period can be longer and it can also be divided into several shorter practical placement periods taking place at different study years.

Since the teacher education is so far not VET-specific, the practical placements at industry are not foreseen, at least in the initial TT programmes.

Course programmes.

What course programmes are provided:

  • curricula and teaching methods
  • school organisation and management,
  • educational and psychological questions
  • sociological issues and areas of innovation

The provided course programmes to a great extent depend on their themes. For instance, in course programmes for further education, the main attention has been paid to:

    • methodologies of teaching subjects;
    • evaluation methods of education results;
    • philosophy of education;
    • development of educational programmes;
    • methodology of practical work;
    • mutual integration of subjects etc.

At these courses in addition to perfection of a professional skills of teachers, their professional independence, an ability for planning the pedagogical process and to assume responsibility for the achieved result have been stimulated.

Teaching and learning modes in TTT.

Please characterise the dominant teaching and learning modes in TTT

It must be admitted that the dominated teaching mode also in TTT is still a lectures and seminars, work in groups, simulation of situations, individual and group projects, course papers, final projects resulting in thesis, etc.

This true for all types of programmes: bachelor, professional or Master level.

Assessment and examination modes in TTT.

Please, characterise the dominant assessment and examination modes in TTT (e.g. credit system, dominance of oral/written examination, final thesis based on x months work, etc.).

There is no essential difference in the assessment and types of examinations in the programmes meant for professional higher or academic education. A credit system rather similar to ECTS is being introduced.

So far oral examinations are the dominant examination form, although the share of written examinations is growing. In most cases there are two examination sessions each year with up to 5 examinations each. Smaller exams/tests (sometimes pass/fail) may take place after acquiring of a part of a course within the semester.

The different course projects as well as the final thesis/papers are to be defended and the marks obtained are usually treated same level as examination marks. It is more difficult to specify the workload for the preparation of thesis.

It can be from some weeks (course papers) to some (usually up to 6) months (Bachelor thesis/diploma paper) or even more for Master’s thesis. In many cases the elaboration of thesis takes place in parallel to regular studies and in that case it is somewhat difficult to estimate the workload proportion.

For Master’s these at some HEI the theme for thesis may be chosen and the work at thesis begins from the beginning of Master studies.

Day-to-day activities, quality assurance, evaluation, accreditation.

What day-to-day activities exist in TTT for enhancing the quality of teaching and learning?

What regular and systematic mechanisms of quality assurance, evaluation, accreditation etc. are established for assessing and reinforcing the quality of teaching and learning in TTT?

Regarding even a near past, the main activity to be mentioned under this point could be the co-operation between the division of Teacher training at the ministry of Education and the HEI.

At present, due to the fact that the assessment of the assessment/accreditation of TT programmes has begun at state level. For this reason, self-assessment takes place at al TT programmes, which, as it is widely known from the international experience, always brings a clearer vision to the teaching staff of HEI and usually a massive work towards quality improvement begins even if the results of assessment are positive.

State-recognised diplomas can be issued by the accredited higher education establishments only. The decisions of accreditation of higher education establishment or study programmes are adopted by the Council of Higher Education that is approved by the foreign expertise opinion.

In higher education, the quality assessment is based upon a self-evaluation of the programme given by the Higher Education institution plus an expert visit by international peers (according to the regulations peer groups are formed in co-operation with other two Baltic States. They should contain not more than one expert from Latvia. Besides Baltic experts Western experts are involved where possible. The results of peer evaluation are then forwarded to the Accreditation commission that takes the decision. The difference in evaluation of academic and professional programmes lies in both selection of famous academics for academic programmes and high-level practitioners for professional ones) and in the different quality criteria applied. The process of accreditation is equal for both - state and private higher education institutions.

Regarding the continuing training TTT courses so far there is no regular and systematic evaluation of quality in TTT courses in Latvia. Of course, more or less this process takes place at every concrete institution, however in most cases there are only questionnaires and polls whose results not always are processed in the proper way and taken into consideration in the further work.

Links between TTT and the employment system

Please state links between TTT and the employment system, referring to public and private employers, professional body’s etc.

Link between educational system and employment system develops in the framework of activities regarding new law on professional education. The involvement of employers and representatives of employer’s organisations in vocational education is just at its initial stage. It should logically come up to VET TTT as well, however, so far there are not too many evidences of existing activities.

At present a conception and a Law on Vocational Education has been submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for consideration. These documents will form a real legal basis for involvement of social partners in the field of vocational education.

There are representatives of employers’ organisations in the VET reform Council, (established in 1998), thus they will be involved in the decision making upon VET TTT as soon as the Council begins activities in this field.

Role of employers in national debates and decision-making regarding TTT.

What role do employers (including governmental agencies in charge of employment in the public sector) and their associations, chambers of industry and commerce, professional bodies, unions etc. play in national debates and decision-making as regards TTT?

All the above bodies are involved in the discussion on current VET issues. However, the discussion is not VET TTT specific.

Communication on the regional and local level.

How would you characterise the communication on the regional and local level between the employment system and the institutions providing TTT?

Such activities just begin. However, one has to take into account that Latvia is a small country and that higher education is mostly concentrated in the capital Riga. Thus, not every region can have a co-operation between TTT institutions and employers. There are evidences that in Liepaja region such links start to form, but again – not VET-specifically.

Involvement of employers in the daily life of TTT.

To what extent and in which ways are representatives of the employment system involved in the daily life of TTT? For example in relation to:

  • regular consultation and decision-making (e.g. membership in boards or advisory commissions),
  • co-operation regarding internships or other modes of work experience during the study period,
  • curriculum development,
  • part-time teaching,
  • assessment of students,
  • counselling and professional information for teacher students,
  • others (please specify).

Please see above.

Relationships between the employment system and TTT.

How are the relationships between the employment system TTT in vocational education and training generally assessed in your country? What are the major strengths and weaknesses? How did they change over the years since the early 1990s?

They have never existed. their formation is a logical next step since the employment system starts getting involved in VET as such.

Implementation of reforms since the early 1990s

Situation in country.

In what respect does TTT trace back to the situation in your country in the 1980s, and in what respects have major innovations been undertaken in the 1990s?

Till the end of 1980s Latvia was entirely integrated in the soviet economic system. Education, like economy, was centralised, everything was co-ordinated through Moscow. The qualification system of pedagogues seemed to be very systematic.

Traditionally the study programmes for teachers were common for all secondary school level teachers and were not VET-specific. This model has remained until now. Some changes could start in the nearest future – it is foreseen that the Declaration of the new Government (which is being prepared these days) will contain a clause on beginning of higher education TTT programmes specifically for VET schools.

Major contributing factors for the establishment or reform of TTT.

What were the major contributing factors for the establishment or reform of TTT in your country since the beginning of the 1990s?

(Answer is not VET-specific) A great demand for retraining and upgrading from the side of existing teachers which resulted in establishing of new Master programmes or professional TT programmes at HEI, measures taken by the state in order to stimulate teacher education (re-organisation of Daugavpils Teacher training institute into a university, establishing of Faculty of Pedagogy at University of Latvia, creation of teacher-training units at Riga Technical University and Latvia University of agriculture. As regards international assistance, TEMPUS programme, some activities in terms of PHARE VET reform programme, Danish and other bilateral assistance projects have played a certain role.

The main contributing factors for the TTT are :

  • changes in the education are demanding new personal qualifications for the teachers.
  • new international relations - in 1995 Latvia became a EU associated country, which sets an obligation for Latvia to develop the human resources according to the tendencies set by the EU.
  • new philosophy on the lifelong education.
  • the development of partnership between the Latvian educational institutions and the similar institutions of EU and CEE countries.
  • international projects for the development of new curricula, development of teaching aids, teachers training.
  • more intensive learning and using the information acquired at international seminars, conferences .
  • students` and teachers’ exchange in the EU and other countries.

The major contributing factors were the various international assistance projects, which started in Latvia after 1990. Within these projects attention was paid to education of teachers (mastering of active teaching methods, evaluation methods of quality of education, methodology of development of teaching aids, development of tests etc.)

Major impediments.

What were the major impediments as regards the establishment or reform of TTT since the beginning of the 1990s?

Main reason for impediment of realisation TTT are:

  • absence of short and long-term strategy for education reforms in general on the state level and complete ignoring of the fact that VET TTT has to be organised separately and on different principles compared to TT for general education subjects;
  • frequent changes in the structure and personnel on the state education steering level;
  • insufficient financing of educational system on the whole, as well as for the TTT;
  • the collapse of the labour market at the beginning of the 1990;
  • unemployment of vocational school graduates, with a following decrease in popularity of vocational education,
  • lack of understanding on important role of professional education. among social partners, educators, society as a whole.

All the above reasons reduced the popularity and importance of training of vocational school teachers.

Models for establishment of TTT.

Did EU countries or other countries serve as models for the establishment or restructuring of TTT in your country in the 1990s? If so, which country(ies) served most strongly as model(s)? To what extent has your country adopted this model (these models), and in what respect do your options differ?

International assistance projects in Latvia are mainly from the EU countries, however, education of teachers is usually only a sub-issue in these projects. For this reason it is difficult to talk about a concrete TTT model. The only project fully dealing with education of teachers, is the DELATE project mentioned in point 2.2. There has never been a tendency in Latvia just to copy something from others. On the contrary, we have tried to use good advice and develop our own system. Reforming VET system as a whole , the main VET systems studied so far have been Dutch, German and Danish systems, also Finnish in the recent time.

Co-operation with other countries.

Did you co-operate with representatives from other countries in the establishment or reform of TTT? If so, please name the major countries of co-operation and the major modes and directions of co-operation.

As already mentioned in previous points, within international assistance projects Latvia collaborates with other states and these projects partially include also TTT. The main project linked with TTT was the DELATE. Accordingly, the main country of co-operation was Denmark. The Netherlands has supported the PHARE programmes "Vocational Education and Training Reform" and "Higher Vocational Education and Training Reform" by its experts. Denmark was also the main country of co-operation for the PHARE programme "Network of Business Education". There have also been several collaboration projects with Germany. In all these projects big attention was paid to education of teachers.

Assistance from other countries.

In what way did assistance from other countries (through Phare, national support schemes, international organisations, or other channels) play a role in the establishment, reform or enhancement of TTT?

A lot of international organisations working in Latvia (the British Council, the Nordic Council) have given their contribution in enhancement of TTT. These projects are more linked with education of teachers of English.

1. Teacher training in the framework of Phare project:

Teacher training in the framework of the Phare BERIL programme.

PHARE programme "Business Education Reform Programme"

Programme period: August 1996- December 1998

Programme budget: 1 MECU

The Business Education reform in Latvia has been initiated under a Latvian- Danish bilateral project. During the period from autumn 1994 till spring 1997 3-year business education curricula for 9th grade graduates and a 1-year curriculum for 12th grade graduates have been developed under this project. 15 schools are running these programmes. All of them have implemented and continue 3-year curriculum, 6 of them are running 1-year curriculum.

Aim of the programme: To help the Latvia Government to reform and develop business education system, including secondary and higher professional business education and further education.

Programme tasks:

  • To develop 2-year business curricula at college level according to the requirements of labour market with specialisation in 4 profiles: 1. Economy. Accounting and taxation; 2. Marketing and sales; 3. Transport and logistics; 4. Marketing and advertising.
  • To develop programmes for adult vocational education
  • To prepare proposals for the introduction of multi-level business education into vocational education and training and to commence its implementation
  • To train teachers, to provide consultations in curriculum development methodology and in the development of teaching materials
  • To provide training for school managers and administrative staff
  • To provide pilot schools with the necessary technical equipment and teaching materials, to train teachers for the effective use of the new equipment in the teaching process
  • To expand the network of schools providing business education to be equally spread throughout the territory of Latvia
  • To popularise business education

Results of the project:

Draft concept for professional business education is developed, 2-year business curricula at college level and programmes for adult vocational education are created, teachers and school managers have been trained, pilot schools are provided with the necessary technical equipment and teaching materials, the network of schools providing business education is expanded.

In the framework of this programme 77 teachers of professional education establishments was trained. The teachers was involved in following seminars:

  • Marketing and business. Marketing and advertising.01.10 - 04.10.97
  • Economics. Accounting and taxation. 19.11 - 21.11.97 ; 24.11 - 26.11.97; 18.05. - 21.05.98
  • Transport and logistic. 13.10 - 17.10.97
  • Organisation and management of enterprises.20.10 - 22.10.97
  • Communication. 27.11 - 28.11.97
  • Establishment of student consulting centre.13.10 - 17.10.97; 10.06 - 12.06.98
  • Project management. 19.11 - 21.11.97
  • Accounting and taxation.16.03 - 18.03.98
  • Management of human resources. management of quality.11.03 - 13.03.98
  • Methodics of adult education.27.04 - 29.04.98 ; 13.05 - 15.05.98

2. teachers training in the framework of Phare Vocational Education and training reform programme.

PHARE programme "Vocational Education and Training Reform"

Programme period: May 1995- December 1997

Programme budget: 3 MECU

Aim of the programme: To stimulate the reform of VET system, structure and content, modernisation of education process and improving of the education quality.

Programme tasks:

  • to develop modern curricula for 10 profiles for secondary level vocational education and training according to the labour market requirements (tourism- hotel and restaurant services, rural tourism; agriculture: agribusiness, forestry, meat and milk processing; building and construction; heating, water supply and sanitation, interior/exterior works; metal work; car mechanics; health care: nursing education, social care) and 5 general education subjects (applied informatics, English language, communication skills, environment sciences, small business development)
  • To commence the implementation of new curricula in 18 selected pilot schools
  • To train teachers, to provide consultations in curriculum development methodology and in the development of teaching materials
  • To organise the development of new teaching materials
  • to organise partnership for pilot schools with schools in EU member countries
  • To provide pilot schools with the necessary technical equipment and teaching materials, to train teachers for the effective use of the new equipment in the teaching process
  • To promote the improving of vocational education development strategy and policy

Results of the programme:

Curricula for 10 profiles for secondary level vocational education and training are developed, the implementation of new curricula in 18 selected pilot schools is started. New teaching materials are developed, pilot schools are provided with the necessary technical equipment and teaching materials. Conceptual framework of VET reform and strategic programme of reforms are developed.

In the framework of this programme 112 teachers of professional education establishments was trained and involved in following seminars:

  • Drafting of educational programmes.02.10 - 13.10.95
  • Methods of development of qualification’s description- Dacum 08.11 - 09.11.95
  • The choice of education methods.01.07 - 05.07.96
  • Implementation of education programmes.11.08 - 22.08.96
  • Introduction on assessment of class.11.11 - 15.11.96
  • Examination and awarding of diploma.126.06 - 18.06.97
  • Modernisation of education programmes. 03.03.98
  • The assessment of process on drafting of educational programmes.04.03.98
  • Drafting of qualification description. March, 1998

Tempus programme

Latvia entered the Tempus programme in 1992. The total allocation is 12 ME over the period 1991-1997.

One of the 1996 priorities was to strengthen teacher training for vocational education and main field of this activity was upgrading of teachers training and qualification.

The new institution - the centre for Environmental Science and Management Studies was created and established in 1993 at the University of Latvia within the framework of Tempus project JEP-4797-92. The centre is fully equipped with necessary copying and booking equipment for the preparation of manuals and study materials. A specialised Environmental Education Library was established for the needs of specialists, teachers, students and other people.

Master degree programme "Environmental Education" has been developed within the framework of the EU PHARE TEMPUS project JEP 09364-95 supported by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and in co-operation with the MoES. The programme is aimed at the training of academic specialists to be able to carry out optimal interdisciplinary environmental education process at school characterised by the interrelationship and integration of natural and social sciences and humanities. The curriculum includes training in environmental science oriented towards environmental protection and management issues, the latest tendencies in pedagogy and psychology as well as disciplinarisation and integration methodology in environmental pedagogy. It is developed as a successive programme of teachers and students interrelationship and students self-training, carried out in the form of lectures, disciplinary and interdisciplinary problem seminars and practical activities, as well as applying different interactive training methods (team work, case studies, incl., simulation, etc.) Target audience: general education and vocational school teachers, as well as representatives of formal education system, non-governmental organisations and adult continuing education centres.

Centre for Environmental Science and Management Studies organises training courses for school teachers, including of vocational and secondary professional schools:

  • Integration of Environmental Education into professional training;
  • Environmental awareness and communication;
  • Environment and society;
  • Global Teacher, Global Learner.

Master’s degree in "Environmental Pedagogy" obtained 45 graduates. One group was organised only for teachers of vocational schools.

Training courses "Integration of environmental sciences into vocational school subjects" and "Environment and technology" was organised especially for vocational school teachers and right now certificates received 125 participants.

The second TEMPUS project dealing with education of vocational school teachers is S-JEP-09710-95 "Trainers Training for Agricultural Students.

Several years ago within the DELATE project (in collaboration with the Danish Institution of Teachers of Vocational Education) for the first time there was an attempt to introduce an order in education of teachers of vocational schools. In 1997 the project successfully finished with a developed conception about vocationally pedagogical education of teachers of vocational education. During this project following products has been developed:

  • a concept paper for a vocational pedagogical teacher training programme
  • a draft education order for the basic vocational pedagogical teacher training programme
  • a draft curriculum
  • a draft for two sets of guidelines for participants and teaching practice supervisors
  • a draft for teaching materials
  • study plan and materials in connection with the development of teacher trainers

It was planned that already in January 1998 education of teachers of vocational educational establishments will be started in five Latvian universities: Riga Technical University, Latvia University of Agriculture, Riga Pedagogical and Education Management University College, Liepaja Pedagogical University College and Rezekne University College. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Education and Science has still not prepared a regulation on vocationally pedagogical education as well as finance issues have not been solved.

25 teachers from medical schools will take part in the DELATE project education programme started in 1998/99 school year in Riga Technical University (720 hours during the first school year)

The main problem for opening these programmes is funding. If the groups are not financed by state, the teachers have no interest to pay the tuition fee from their already low salaries.

Programme is planned for 1 year (720 hours).

After this Programme participants receive pedagogical qualification Certificate. In A seminar where DELATE Project in VET system was discussed took place at Rezekne University College on 8; 9-th of October 1998.

Table. 7. The Universities involved in Delate project:

University, College Beginning of programme

Number of participants

Riga Technical University September, 1998


Latvia University of Agriculture planned on September, 1999  
Riga Pedagogical and Education Management University College October, 1998


Liepaja Pedagogical University College planned on September, 1999  
Rezekne University College October, 1998

The group is not complete so far

Recent reform debates and efforts and expected future developments

At present the greatest expectations are linked with the new draft law on Vocational Education which has been submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for consideration. This law will determine:

  • principles of VET organisation, provision and awarding of qualification;
  • tasks, responsibilities and relationships between state, employer, employee, teacher and student;
  • ways and means of acquiring vocational education;
  • financing principles of vocational education.

There will be amendments to the existing Law on Education and to the Law on Higher Education. It has been envisaged to improve systems of licensing and accrediting of educational establishments of vocational education.

Gradual solving of all these issues will positively influence VET TTT.

It is expected that in the near future MoES will approve a regulation on pedagogical education of VET teachers (point 2.2.) and that pedagogues of VET system will start studies in five Latvian universities/colleges.

A sub-project "Completion and Dissemination of Curricula and Teaching Materials" takes place as continuation of the PHARE programme "Vocational Education and Training Reform" . Within this project development of tens of new teaching aids in 10 profiles and five subjects of general education is taking place. The main work has been carried out by qualified pedagogues who have mastered the necessary knowledge and skills within the project during several years. The development of teaching aids will conclude with educational seminars during which pedagogues of VET system will be acquainted with the new materials.

In collaboration between PHARE programmes and Professional Education Centre work for establishing the Resource Centre has been started. In the future it will become a big information centre and support to pedagogues.

We hope that collaboration with EU countries also regarding TTT will continue in the future. All the pilot schools within the PHARE programme "Vocational Education and Training Reform" have found collaboration partners in European countries. Within this collaboration an important place has been allotted for exchange of experience of pedagogues.

Current state of TTT.

How is the current state of TTT generally considered in your country (e.g. hardly noticed, highly appreciated, major concerns expressed, etc.)? Which issues are given the most attention in public debates?

The necessity to create a VET-specific TTT has been understood in the recent year. It is likely that this issue will receive more attention near future.

New legislation under preparation addressing TTT.

Is there new legislation under preparation addressing TTT? If so, please explain the state of the process as well as the major changes envisaged.

Are there other major reform efforts underway? If so, please explain the state of the process as well as the major changes envisaged.

  • The concept of vocational and pedagogical education for teachers from professional education establishments,
  • The Law on VET

Legislative and other reforms.

Which major issues of TTT are hardly addressed in efforts for legislative and other reforms, although they would deserve attention?

Unfortunately even the coming VET legislation hardly addresses VET TTT at all.

Role of international co-operation.

What role is expected in the near future of European and international co-operation (consulting, assistance, regular co-operation, co-operation in reform project, exchange of students and staff, etc.), and to what legal, policy, administrative or educational changes should that co-operation contribute?

All of the above forms - consulting, assistance, regular co-operation, co-operation in reform project, exchange of students and staff should bye highly appreciated. The assistance should begin at policy-making and strategical level and then go down to curriculum development and exchange of students/ teachers.

Long-term developments in TTT.

What major long-term developments in TTT do you expect in the about next ten years?

In the coming 10 years the TTT could be developed in the following way:

  • to develop the TTT institutional network,
  • to increase the number of profiles and study programmes;
  • to increase the number of students and graduates;
  • to offer more educational possibilities which coincide with the increase the demands of educational establishments;


Courses for VET teachers organised by Professional Education Centre in 1998

No. Theme Target group Number of participants
1. Possibilities and fields of use of design programme. Classroom teachers and craft teachers 16
2. Integration of computer science programme (elaborate in framework of Phare project) in teaching process. Computer science teachers 19
3. Integration of communication programme (elaborate in framework of Phare project) in teaching process. Communication teachers 35
4. Integration of environmental science programme (elaborate in framework of Phare project) in teaching process. Environmental science teachers 22
5. Integration of Small business programme (elaborate in framework of Phare project) in teaching process. Small business course teachers 33
6. Content and methodology of technical drawing in VET schools. Technical drawing teachers 27
7. Teaching and learning in heterogeneous groups. School methodologists 20
8. Professionally oriented language teaching English teachers 35
      Total: 207

Seminars organised by Professional Education Centre for VET teachers 1998



Target group



Wood processing Wood processing teachers



Effective organising of teaching process School methodologists



Technology of clothes designing and producing Sewing profession teachers



Essay teaching methodology Latvian language teaching



Interactive methods for working in-group. Teachers history



Crediting as bank service Entrepreneurship profile teachers



Project oriented methods of acquiring of Ecology and environmental science Environmental science teachers



Teaching methodology of subjects "Office work" and "Archive teaching". Secretary speciality teachers



Organising of events for State 80th anniversary History teachers



Computer aided accountancy Accountancy teachers



Fight for freedom in Latvia 1918 – 1920. Latvia and Second World War. Barricades of 1991. History teachers



Art of speech Secretary speciality teachers



Designing and modelling of women clothes regarding fashion tendencies Sewing profession teachers



Bar administration Bar speciality teachers



Industry enterprise working model Entrepreneurship profile teachers





Education level of VET teachers (School year1997./98.

Education level


Ministry of agriculture

Ministry of welfare

Ministry of culture


Higher education in teaching






Other Higher education






Secondary education in teaching






Secondary professional education






General secondary education






Higher education in teaching

32 %

33 %

14 %

70 %

39 %

Other higher education

39 %

33 %

58 %

15 %

33 %

Secondary education in teaching

11 %

24 %

1 %

13 %

15 %

Secondary professional education

14 %

3 %

27 %

0 %

8 %

General secondary education

4 %

7 %

0,4 %

2 %

5 %


100 %

100 %

100 %

100 %

100 %

Education level and age of VET teachers




Education level







Higher Education in teaching







Other higher education







Secondary education in teaching







Secondary professional education







Secondary general education














Teaching staff , 1997/98 school year

Type of school

Total teaching staff

Of total teaching staff in basic employment

Of total teaching staff craft teachers

Of total teaching staff classroom teachers

Secondary professional (Videja speciala) education establishments





Vocational schools






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