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Latvia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

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Overview Latvia

Contents

Latvia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Latvia:Historical Development

Latvia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Latvia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Latvia:Political and Economic Situation

Latvia:Organisation and Governance

Latvia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Latvia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Latvia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Latvia:Organisation of Private Education

Latvia:National Qualifications Framework

Latvia:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Latvia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Latvia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Latvia:Funding in Education

Latvia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Latvia:Higher Education Funding

Latvia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Latvia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Latvia:Organisation of Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Latvia:Assessment in Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Latvia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Latvia:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Latvia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Latvia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Latvia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Latvia:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Latvia:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Latvia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Latvia:Higher Education

Latvia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Latvia:First Cycle Programmes

Latvia:Bachelor

Latvia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Latvia:Second Cycle Programmes

Latvia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Latvia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Latvia:Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Latvia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Latvia:Main Providers

Latvia:Main Types of Provision

Latvia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Latvia:Teachers and Education Staff

Latvia:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Latvia:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Latvia:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Latvia:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Management and Other Education Staff

Latvia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Latvia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Latvia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Latvia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Quality Assurance

Latvia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Latvia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Educational Support and Guidance

Latvia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Latvia:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Latvia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Latvia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Latvia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Latvia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Mobility in Higher Education

Latvia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Latvia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Latvia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Latvia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Latvia:National Reforms in School Education

Latvia:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Latvia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Latvia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Latvia:European Perspective

Latvia:Legislation

Latvia:Glossary

Types of Institutions

Vocational education can be obtained in various types of vocational education institutions. The names of institutions depend on the level of education and the type and characteristics of the programmes offered:

  • profesionālā vidusskola or amatniecības vidusskola - vocational upper-secondary school; completion entitles to continue studies in a higher education institution.

Geographical Accessibility

According to the Education Law, municipalities are responsible to:

ensure transport for learners to commute to the educational institution and back to their place of residence if it is not possible to use public transport. (Section 17.14)

In December 2008 the government decided to introduce changes in vocational education system and to close several education programmes. The grounds for such decision is the fact that these education programmes prepare specialists who are not demanded at labour market.

In December 2009, the Guidelines for the Optimisation of the Network of Vocational Education Institutions 2010 - 2015 were adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers that foresee further development of vocational education. From 59 vocational education institutions under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Science 31 are retained, including 11 competence centers, but 18 schools are brought under the supervision of municipalities where they would be merged with general education or interest related education institutions.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

Everyone who has completed integrated primary and lower-secondary education (pamatizglītība) has the right to enter general or vocational upper-secondary education without age limit. Graduates of vocational education are free to apply for vocational secondary education programme. A certificate of basic education apliecība par vispārējo pamatizglītību and an achievement sheet is necessary for admission in vocational upper-secondary educational institution. 

In the latter pupil may be enrolled also if he/she has completed vocational basic education profesionālā pamatizglītība  or vocational education programme arodizglītība. As regards vocational education, it is open to everybody without previous education requirements, however not before the year in which one reaches the age of 15.

Pupils are free to apply for admission to the preferred school. Each school (with the consent of the founder) is allowed to define its own admission criteria. This applies also to the institutions providing upper-secondary vocational and post-secondary vocational programmes. 

Usually enrolment at a vocational education institution is carried out through competition, based on the subject assessment in previous education documents. However, several groups of pupils are enrolled out of competition, such as children with special needs, orphans and children without parents support.

Age Levels and Grouping of Students

Vocational upper-secondary education programmes profesionālās vidējās izglītības programmas last three to four years; if one studies after acquirement of vocational education arodizglītība , vocational secondary education may be completed in one or two years. The age range is from 16 up to 20. 

There are no classes like in general upper-secondary schools. Pupils are divided in the 1st year, 2nd year etc. students like in higher educational institutions. The founder (Ministry of Education and Science or municipality), in co-ordination with the Cooperation Council of Professional Education, sets the minimal number of students per group in order to start implementation of education programmes financed by state and municipalities. Usually there are 25 students per group.

Organisation of the School Year

In vocational upper-secondary education, the regular school year lasts 40 weeks. It is longer than in general upper-secondary education because of the field practice, and may differ depending on the particular vocational education programme. Therefore, also the length of summer holidays is shorter for students of vocational education.

Organisation of the School Day and Week

The school week in vocational upper-secondary schools lasts 5 days. The school day may contain a maximum of 8 lessons. The duration of lessons is either 40 or 45 minutes, it is upon the decision of the school head. 

In vocational upper-secondary schools, total number of lessons per week is 36 (for students under the age of 18) and 40 hours (starting from age of 18). The minimum study load in vocational upper-secondary programmes is 5760 lessons (for programmes which are started after the completion of basic education) or 3120 lessons (for programmes which are started after the completion of upper-secondary education).