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Overview: adult education in Latvia

The initial life-long learning guidelines in Latvia were issued in 2013 and fall under the Strategy for Education and Development 2015-2020, which has the following goals:

  • To ensure accessibility of adult education to all people in Latvia regardless of their age, sex, previous education, ethnicity, social background.
  • To create qualitative education offers for adults providing sustainable competences necessary for work, civic participation and personal growth.

The Latvian government implemented the 2016-2020 Adult Learning Governance Model as a response to the fragmentation in the adult education system. The model sets vocational education as a priority and seeks to improve transparency and communication, manage resources and coordinate stakeholders. Aligned with Latvia’s National Qualification Framework, the model aims to improve basic skills, support adult’s transition to the labor market, recognize previous learning experiences and provide non-formal education.

Latvia’s recent Adult learning policy led to a range of initiatives in Latvia, targeting the unemployed, young people, fostering employability among the elderly and expanding learning opportunities for adults in general. The government also adopted qualifications for the professional development of adult educators and published methodological guidelines to support the implementation of (non-formal) adult education.

In 2018, 6,7% of adults (25-64) had a learning experience in the last 4 weeks, compared to 11,1% on EU average (LFS). Despite of all policy ambitions, many adults in Latvia continue to perceive no additional benefit from participating in adult education. Latvia is on an ambitious path to promote life-long learning. Yet, it continues to struggle to make adult education accessible to all, provide adequate trainers, the required infrastructure and foster digital skills among the population .