Suplinska 1On Wednesday, 23 January 2019, the Declaration on planned activities of the Cabinet of Ministers headed by Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš was signed and a new government was approved by the Parliament. Ilga Šuplinska has become the Minister for Education and Science.

I. Šuplinska is a Doctor of Philology, professor and researcher at the Rēzekne Academy of Technologies, with a 26-year academic track record. I. Šuplinska is the author of numerous scientific publications, has managed, and served as an expert in, projects on a national and international scale, and has developed study courses and programmes. The Minister is the Board member of the Latgalian Cultural Association and the Board member of the Lithuanian-Latvian Association. Her mother tongues are Latvian and Latgalian, she knows Russian and English very well, and has acquired basic knowledge of Lithuanian and German. The CV of Minister for Education and Science I. Šuplinska can be viewed at the website of the Ministry for Education and Science.

The new government has undertaken to continue the curriculum reform, introducing the competence approach in the instructional content (School 2030), strengthening the teachers’ support system and improving of the process of studies, as well as increasing the wages of pedagogic and academic personnel, including preschool teachers. Fulfilment of quality criteria in secondary schools will also be ensured, developing and adopting amendments to normative acts defining quality criteria in basic education and criteria for enrolment at the secondary education level. In order to facilitate use of Latgalian, the plan is to promote and gradually introduce mastery of the Latgalian written language in the Latgale region, as well as to strengthen regional studies in general education institutions.

As an important task that has been set is the school system optimization process, solving issues of education availability and national security, paying special attention to preserving the European Union’s frontier zone schools, ensuring fulfilment of education quality criteria. Especially emphasized is the necessity to create an efficient administration model for development of competitive vocational and adult education, strengthening of vocational education institutions as industry excellence centres, as well as enhancing the prestige of vocational education.

The New government has undertaken to continue gradually increasing basic financing for places of studies, support for students, strengthening the social dimension in higher education. An important task is growth of state budget funding for efficient operation of the three pillar model, internationally competitive, excellence-aimed higher education, promoting digitalization in higher education and increasing international cooperation and competitiveness. By improving education quality criteria at all education levels, including higher education, grants for involving foreign teaching staff will be created and the process of internationalization will be promoted in the area of the European Union’s official languages.

In science and research, gradual increase of funding provided for by the Law on Institutions of Higher Education and the Law on Scientific Activity will be secured for higher education and science, the science financing system will be improved, providing for quality and international competitiveness. By implementing the smart specialization strategy, cooperation of entrepreneurs and scientific institutions will be promoted, commercialization of results of scientific work and ties to development of the national economy will be promoted, strengthening the role of universities in this process.

In sports, the plan entails review of financing in the area of sports, providing for a stable long-term financing model. The sports administration and infrastructure system will be improved, promoting development of youth sports, national sports, parasports and high performance sports. Youth civic activities will also be supported, facilitating youth involvement in solving issues on school, municipal, and national scales, and the amount of funding for the National Programme of Youth Policy will be increased.

The Declaration on planned activities of the Cabinet of Ministers headed by Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš is available at the website of the Cabinet of Ministers.