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RIGA - The number of students per class in Latvia is significantly lower than the average number of students per class in member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the latest report Education at a Glance 2018: OECD Indicators.
In Latvia, the average number of students in a primary school class is 16 (compared to the OECD average of 21), and the average number of students in a secondary school class is 15 (while the OECD average is 23).
This means higher cost of education as more teachers are needed, says the report.
Latvia partly makes up for this by requiring less instruction time for students. A school year for primary school students is 169 days long (the OECD average is 185 days) and for high school students 173 days long (the OECD average is 183 days), which make Latvia's school year the shortest in the OECD.
Despite the lower instruction time for students, teachers' statutory teaching time in Latvia is 1,020 hours for primary to upper secondary education, well above the respective OECD averages.
Moreover, the actual teaching time may differ from the statutory teaching time if teachers work overtime, for example. In Latvia, lower secondary teachers actually teach 46 percent more than the statutory teaching time, the highest difference among OECD countries with data. This reflects the low value of statutory salaries, meaning that teachers often perform additional teaching time or other tasks for which they can be compensated.
Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators is the authoritative source for information on the state of education around the world. It provides data on the structure, finances and performance of education systems in the 35 OECD and a number of partner countries. With more than 100 charts and tables, Education at a Glance 2018 imparts key information on the output of educational institutions, the impact of learning across countries, and worldwide access, participation and progression in education. It also investigates the financial resources invested in education, as well as teachers, the learning environment and the organization of schools.