Table of contents | Previous partNext part | Bottom of the page

4. Responsible bodies

4.1. DESCRIPTION

The Ministry of Education and Science is the body which issues regulations, laws, and guidelines which are binding on all education institutions in Latvia.

The 1991 Education Act also defines the division of competence in determining curricula for vocational education:

1. the Ministry of Education co-ordinates curricula and syllabus development and determines the number of general education subjects and their levels within the syllabus;

2. Other ministries (such as Agriculture) set guidelines for special subjects and define government requirement levels in vocational education.

3. The Ministry of Education and Science determines general education requirements for vocational and technical schools and is responsible for legislation affecting all professional training institutions. The Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Welfare and Ministry of Culture determine curriculum standards for professional subjects in schools under their authority, administer funds and create legal documents which regulate issues specific to these schools.

4. A decision by the Cabinet of Ministers is needed in order to open a new state-funded higher, technical or vocational education institution.

5. Laws and regulations adopted in recent years allow the formation of a national educational system with professional education as one of its components.

According to the distribution of functions, the VET system of Latvia can be divided into 2 levels: the national and the school levels. Inside the borders of competence of each level decisions are made, regulating legislative documents are adopted, educational programmes are developed at each of these levels.

The Ministry of Education and Science or other ministries which administer VET institutions, approve admission plans, determine admission times and student numbers to be admitted in each programme as well as general admission regulations.

Several Education support institutions exist in Latvia such as the Foundation for Support of Teachers Further Education, Curriculum and Examinations Centre, Methodological centres of Professional education at Ministries of Education and Science; Culture; Welfare and Agriculture.

The sharing of responsibilities among the appropriate ministries is as follows:

 

Ministry of Education and Science:

  • carries out state policy in education;
  • concludes agreements on co-operation in the education sphere with other states and ensures their execution;
  • develops template statutes for educational institutions and approves the statutes of the educational institutions under its supervision;
  • issues licenses for opening educational institutions, changing their profile or status according to the Law of Entrepreneurial Activities;
  • issues accreditation papers for opening educational institutions, changing their profile or status;
  • co-ordinates the development of VET programmes and curricula;
  • oversees the financial activities of educational institutions under its supervision;
  • is responsible for the rational usage of state funds allocated for education;
  • determines the content and order of teacher training; regulations for certification; issues certificates for pedagogical work at pre-school, general, vocational and secondary "specialised" education institutions;
  • calls for contract cancellation between employers and school managers who have not observed the regulations laid down in the Education Law or their work contract.

 

Other ministries:

  • carry out the administration of educational institutions in their appropriate fields;
  • establish (according to the regulations laid down by law) educational institutions; develop and approve their statutes according to statutes;
  • determine the curriculum contents of special subjects, develop template curricula and guidelines for vocational education in their appropriate fields;
  • determine the level of state requirements (standards) in VET and harmonise the levels of general and special education in the curricula with the Ministry of Education and Science;
  • develop and approve standards of VET in their appropriate fields;
  • allocate state financing to the appropriate educational institutions and oversee their financial activities.

 

Local government:

  • maintain, establish, reorganise and close educational institutions under their authority
  • allocate finances for municipal school teachers’ salaries
  • develop proposals for the optimisation of the network of education institutions
  • organise qualification upgrading for pedagogical staff and co-ordinate methodical work.

Several Education support institutions are formed in Latvia such as the Foundation for Support of Teachers Further Education, Curriculum and Examinations Centre, Methodological centres of Professional education at the Ministries of Education and Science; Culture; Welfare and Agriculture.

4.2. Centralisation / Decentralisation

Decentralisation of the management of the VET system is explicitly part of VET policy in Latvia. This calls for a profound change in the administrative relationship between the VET-establishment and central government (Ministry of Education and Science). It also affects the funding-system and the quality assurance-system and requires, in particular, a strong school management. Through two (EU Phare funded) projects the development of these two systems are being undertaken. (Under Phare ’96 and ‘97 management training).

Moreover the Ministry has decided to set up in two regions VET consortia on a pilot basis.

The main underlying idea is to strengthen regional VET provisions within the framework of structural co-operation between VET establishments (education for youth and adults) and the regional labour market.

Table of contents | Previous partNext part | Top of the page