RIGA - Compared to September 1 last year, the number of Ukrainian children registered in the State Education Information System has increased by 748 to 3,434 children at the end of August 2023, according to information provided by representatives of the Education and Science Ministry at a meeting of the Saeima Education, Culture and Science Committee.
The highest number of Ukrainian kids - 1,964 - are in grades 1 to 9, which is 274 more than a year ago. Meanwhile, 1,346 children are registered in preschools, which is 459 more than a year ago, and 124 children are in grades 10 to 12, or 15 more than last year.
According to the information available to the Education and Science Ministry, as of the end of August, 1,345 Ukrainian children were registered in preschools, 2,034 in general education, 308 in sports schools, 77 in vocational education and 273 in higher education. There are also 53 teachers from Ukraine registered in the State Education Information System.
Linda Jakobsone-Gavala, a board member of the nongovernmental organization I Want to Help Refugees, noted that around 2,000 Ukrainian kids continue to learn remotely even though the Latvian education system has the capacity to admit them as well.
"We believe that it would be necessary to send a clearer message that the Ukrainian children are welcome in Latvia's schools," Jakobsone-Gavala said. She also voiced concerns that the Ukrainian kids who are learning remotely have less opportunities to master the Latvian language.
As of September 1, Latvia is introducing the so-called inclusion year, or an alternative program of basic education for schoolchildren from other countries.