Latvia and the Latvians Frederic T. Harned, Harvard University (part of a larger M.I.T. study), 1973

Media
III. Educational Institutions

General education in the Latvian Republic is provided chiefly in unified eight-year schools. The abolition of Khrushchev's educational reforms in the early 1960s included a return to the Soviet standard of general seven-year education. Pressure from Baltic educators and writers, however, led to the decision to allow these three republics to resume the more traditional eight-year period. [1] Four-year primary schools exist almost exclusively in rural areas, and their number has been halved since 1945. [2]

Official reference sources do not distinguish among these schools by language of instruction. One Western source estimated that Russian-language general education schools enrolled about one-third of all students in 1955-1956. [3] During the 1960s this proportion may have been reduced by the marked increase in schools with classes taught in both Latvian and Russian. There were 240 of these bilingual schools in 1967, out of a total of some 1200. Almost one-third of the country's school children were enrolled in them. [4] The proportion of children of any given nationality attending the bilingual schools is not known. It may be presumed that they include many of the largest schools, especially in the cities and that the continued consolidation of rural schools has added to their number. In Latvian-language schools, Russian is a compulsory subject, beginning in the second grade. [5]

Roughly two-thirds of the graduates of the eight-year schools continue their education in either general secondary or specialized secondary schools. [6] About one-third of the students in these schools have a chance to go on to one of Latvia's ten higher educational institutions or vuzy. [7] In 1971, the enrollment in Latvia's 55 specialized secondary schools was 38,600. [8] The most important vuzy in Latvia include the Latvian State University named for Peteris Stucka, at Riga; the Riga Polytechnical Institute; the Latvian Agricultural Academy, and other specialized institutes for medicine, pedagogy, music, and art. [9] Both Latvian and Russian tend to be used for teaching at these institutes, except for the University, where many courses are available in Latvian only. [10]

Latvia is well supplied with educated manpower. With Estonia, she tops the list of Soviet republics in specialists with higher or specialized secondary education working in the economy (78 per 1000 inhabitants). [11] Only 55% of these, however, are Latvian. [12] Only 47% of the students in Latvia's vuzy in 1970-1971 were Latvians, down from 64% in 1960-1961, whereas the Latvian share of the population had diminished only from 62.0% to 56.8% during the same period. [13] When ranked by nationality, Latvians are sixth in the ratio of specialists with higher education to population. [14] Their ranking in the proportion of students is lower; Latvians are eleventh among the nationalities in this study in the ratio of vuzy students to population. and tenth in students in specialized secondary education. [15] Complete secondary education in Latvia is more thorough than in the other republics: it entails 11 years of study instead of the ten years required elsewhere.

Table B.4.
Selected Data on Education in the Latvian SSR (1971)
Population: 2,409,000
         
(p. 629) All Schools   Per 1000 pop.  
  - number of schools - 1,137 .47  
  - number of students - 358,000 149.6  
(p. 627) Newly Opened Elementary, Incomplete
Secondary, and Secondary Schools
     
  - number of schools - 11    
  - number of student places - 6,800 2.8  
(p. 629) Secondary Special Schools      
  - number of schools - 55    
  - number of students - 38,600 16.0  
(p. 629) Institutions of Higher Education      
  - number of institutions - 10    
  - number of students - 41,000 17.0  
(p. 439) Universities     Percent of total
- number of universitites - 1    
  - number of studenta      
     total - 8,641 3.59  
     day students - 3,879 1.6 44.9%
     evening students - 1,724 0.72 20.0%
     correspondence students - 3,038 1.26 35.1%
  - newly admitted      
     total - 1,669 0.69  
     day students - 894 0.37 53.6%
     evening students - 300 0.12 18.0%
     correspondence students - 475 0.20 28.4%
  - graduated      
     total - 1,250 0.5  
     day students - 767 0.32 61.4%
     evening students - 213 0.09 17.0%
     correspondence students - 270 0.11 21.6%
  Graduate Students      
  - total number of - 914 0.38  
  - in scientific research institutions - 325 0.13  
  - in universities - 589 0.24  
(p. 619) Number of Persons with Higher or Secondary
(Complete and Incomplete) Education
     
  - per 1000 individuals, 10 years or older - 517    
  - per 1000 individuals employed in national economy - 661    
(p. 626) Number of Workers Who Are Graduates
of Professional-Technical Schools
- 15,400 6.39  

  1. Vardys, 1967: 60-61; Bilinsky, 1968:424; Pennar, 1971:241.
  2. LTS, 1971: 389
  3. Rutkis, 1967: 574.
  4. Izvestia (Jan. 5), 1967: 3. See also Vardys, 1967: 60; Pennar, 1971: 241.
  5. LME, III: 160.
  6. Computed from LTS, 1971: 391, 397. Many others continue in evening schools for working and rural youth. See Ibid.: 392.
  7. Nar. khoz. 1972: 629. In the USSR, the term vuz (vyssheye ychebnoye ' zavedeniye [higher educational institutions]) refers to such institutions as universities, technical institutes, agricultural academies, etc.
  8. Computed from average class size and rate of vuz matriculation. LTS, 1971: 397; Nar. obraz., 1971: 173.
  9. For a complete list, see Rutkis, 1967: 575-576. For enrollments, see LTS, 1971: 400.
  10. Dreifelds, 1970: 4.
  11. Computed from Nar. obraz., 1971: 234.
  12. Pennar, 1972: 249.
  13. Computed from Nar. obraz., 1971: 201. 88% of Latvian college students are in school in Latvia.
  14. The first five, in order, are: Jews, Georgians, Armenians, Estonians, Russians. From Nar. obraz., 1971: 240.
  15. Nar. obraz., 1971: 196. The comparatively low proportion of the Latvian population in the corresponding age brackets should be considered here.
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