EUR 137 million is requested by Latvian Education Ministry for next year’s priorities

EUR 137 million is requested by Latvian Education Ministry for next year’s priorities

Latvia’s Education and Science Ministry has submitted a request for funding of EUR 137 million from the state budget to finance priorities planned for 2021.

The ministry considers increase of wages for teachers engaged in pre-school education, general education, vocational education and hobby education, as well as higher education as one of the main priorities for 2020. According to information from the ministry, more than EUR 45 million is needed to finance this plan in 2021.

The ministry notes that increase of teachers’ wages will help attract new teachers and motivate active ones to remain in their posts in order to prevent shortage of specialists.

Also, the ministry explains that it is important to gradually push wages of teachers to the average pay for teachers in the European Union.

Education Ministry stresses that the lowest monthly wages will be increased gradually, and by 1 September 2022 it may indicatively reach EUR 900.

Regulated funding for higher education institutions and colleges is necessary in order to provide competitive wages and attract new teaching personnel, the ministry adds.

At the same time, one other major priority for Education Ministry is attraction of funding for state research programmes in order to ensure implementation of political priorities and find scientifically justified solutions for topical challenges of the industry.

The ministry stresses that additional funding will be requested for scientific work – implementation of fundamental and practical research programmes’ projects. By implementing fundamental and practical research projects it will be possible to secure science capacity, contribute to transformation of the national economy towards higher added value and help raise competitiveness of export industries.

According to the ministry, the list of priorities also includes plans to increase higher education’s financing in order to motivate Latvia’s higher education institutions to participate in international contests, which would help raise the recognition and competitiveness of Latvian higher education institutions.

International financing attracted in these projects and co-financing from the state is believed an important part of development funding for participating higher education institutions and Latvia’s higher education system in general, the ministry explains.

Generally it is planned to request EUR 24 million for these activities in 2021.

The ministry also reports that one of the most important objectives for Education and Science Ministry includes securing functions of the state in the sports industry. According to the ministry’s experts, additional funding worth more than EUR 2.8 million is necessary for the sports federation and sports activities, high-class accomplishments in sports, grants for Latvian Paralympic Committee’s adapted sports development and grants for sports teams.

At the same time, additional funding is also needed to cover the costs of membership in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). A no less important objective is composing a long-term support programme to work with youth capacity enhancement in municipalities to further improve service accessibility and professional capacity of youth.

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