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President Vejonis to promulgate legislation on teachers' loyalty

  • 2016-12-02
  • BNS/TBT Staff

RIGA - President Raimonds Vejonis decided on Friday to promulgate controversial amendments to the Education Law that, among other things, will allow the dismissal of teachers for disloyalty to the Latvian state.

The president’s adviser Janis Siksnis told BNS that Vejonis will sign the legislation into law even though the adoption has caused reasonable confusion in Latvian society.

Two organisations, the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees (LIZDA) and the Latvian Association of Education Managers, asked the president not to promulgate the controversial bill and to return it to Saeima for revision. The parties concerned met this week to discuss their views with the president.

Vejonis, however, rejected pleas to send the legislation back to Saeima after consultations with the Saeima committees in charge of the bill and the Saeima legal office.

At the same time, the president asked Saeima to carefully follow the practical application of the loyalty bill in order to identify and counter any potential problems and misinterpretations.

Saeima passed the so-called teacher loyalty amendments to the Education Law in the final reading at the end of November, establishing a set of rules for sacking teachers who are found to be disloyal to the State of Latvia. 56 MPs voted in favour of the amendments, 35 against.

The Education and Science Ministry said previously that the aim of the bill was to prevent risks to national and public interests, democracy, security, and growth from illegal activities by teachers and school principals disloyal to Latvia.

The amendments will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.