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Photo: Reinis Hofmanis

  • Nine out of 10 secondary schools with lowest exam scores in Riga are Russian schools.
  • We saw the same education inequality in one city of Riga as we did comparing city and country schools nationwide. 42 percent of the city schools are half-empty or have grades with fewer than 25 students.
  • As a result, the education quality suffers. To earn a decent salary, teachers must teach one or more subjects to students of various age groups, which means no time for digging deeper into the subject. Money saved by shutting down or reorganizing schools can be used to pay larger wages and keep most professional teachers.
  • Half-empty schools and free public transportation have segregated school because children from privileged families are able to go to schools in the city center. Children from less privileged families have remained in neighborhoods.
  • A shortage of professional teachers, particularly Latvian language teachers, hurts education quality in Russian schools, especially in the Soviet-bloc neighborhoods. The country as a whole has a deficit of the Latvian language teachers. Those few who learned the profession do not choose Russian schools because they are not considered prestigious. The salary is low and often those that do teach at Russian schools are considered traitors by their Latvian colleagues and friends.
  • Latvian language teachers in Russian schools as well as parents complain about poor learning materials. Instead of teaching a child, for example, how to find a railway station, from the first grades, Russian children learn complex literary words that even ethnic Latvians themselves do not use in their everyday life.

Read the whole investigation in Latvian or Russian

Read more: Latvian education reform: why Russian parents are afraid to talk


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