Latvija in brief - 2010-09-08

  • 2010-09-08

atvian schoolchildren read very little outside of school and have a bad attitude towards reading; the country comes last out of the 45 countries, including South Africa, which were included in the ‘Progress in International Reading Literacy Study,’ reports The findings worry Latvian publishers. “This kind of discovery makes you think that without serious measures for improving reading ability, literacy figures for Latvian schoolchildren will only continue to fall. Poor reading ability will definitely be a basis for poor school achievements in other subjects,” believes publisher Apgada Zvaigzne ABC Chairwoman Vija Kilbloka. At the same time, the businesswoman noted that Latvian schools are allocated 0.69 lats (0.98 euros) for each pupil towards school books. In Estonia, the same figure stands at 30 euros per pupil, while in Lithuania it is 20 euros. Apgads Zvaigzne ABC will hold a Latvian National Children’s Reading Congress at the Latvian National Theater on Sept. 11.

According to the latest GfK Baltic poll, if the Saeima election were held today, the most popular party would be Harmony Center, holding 14 percent of the vote, reports Unity has 12 percent support. The Farmers and Greens (ZZS) comes in at 8 percent, All for Latvia-TB/LNNK received 4 percent in the poll, with For a Good Latvia dropping to a 3 percent support level. For Civil Rights in a United Latvia (PCTVL) received 2 percent. 23 percent of the respondents gave no preference. Translating these votes into parliamentary seats gives Harmony Center 31 places, Unity 29, ZZS 19, For a Good Latvia a mandated 8 seats, All for Latvia-TB/LNNK 9 places and PCTVL 4 mandates. The poll contacted 806 voters.

People in Riga are using public and private transport less than before, Leons Bemhens, chairman of the board at the Rigas satiksme public transportation company, said in an interview to LETA. “We see that there are no more traffic jams in Riga anymore, which leads us to believe that people are using private and public transport much less than before,” he said. According to Bemhens, many people do not have places to drive too, due to the fact that they have lost their jobs, as well as they simply cannot afford to drive their vehicles. The chairman also pointed out that there has been a reduction in passenger numbers on Riga public transportation, by approximately 15 percent.