On September 1, another school year has begun in Latvia – with flowers and best clothes as usual but uncertainty lingering in the air. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools, parents, teachers and children are unsure how learning process will go and for how long.
Despite fear of the unknown, the show must go on. President Egils Levits had a message for pupils, students and teachers on the new school year, the so-called “Knowledge Day”. He stressed the responsibility of educators:
“This responsibility is to create our future living space, educate and raise the new personalities. In your hands is the preparation of not only competitive and determined but also humane, active, social personalities who focus on values and express them in their attitudes and actions.”
To students and pupils, he said:
“By learning and gathering experience, you create your personalities as individuals and as citizens and become a strong Latvian support who your family and the entire nation is proud of. We are a talented nation, each can have several different skills.”
Meanwhile Ministry of Education expressed their confidence in schools and said they thought schools were well-prepared for the new, unusual school year. Most schools will organize education on-site; large schools will combine on-site and remote learning.
Education Minister Ilga Šuplinska reminded families to be responsible and not send pupils to school if there is suspicion of illness. “The epidemiological situation development starts in every family,” she told Latvian Television.