LPS: more than 600 teachers have left their jobs in Latvia since mid-November

Since mid-November more than 600 teachers have left their jobs in Latvia due to Covid-19 infection or lack of vaccination certificate, as Latvijas Radio was told by Latvian Association of Local Governments (LPS) advisor for education and culture affairs Ināra Dundure.
She stressed that the shortage of teachers in Latvia has been a reality for at least ten years. Lately, however, this problem has escalated further due to the added Covid-19 vaccination or recovery requirement.
According to Dundure, at first it seemed Covid-19 requirements would impact kindergarten sector the most. However, in the end this prediction did not come to pass – kindergarten personnel pulled themselves together and went to get vaccinated relatively actively.
LPS representative also mentioned that prior to 15 November, when the requirement for Covid-19 certificate was not yet in place, Latvian schools had a shortage of 600 teachers.
According to Dundure, the biggest concerns are for teachers of younger age. They generally leave their jobs due to burnout, and there are many such teachers in Latvia.
Looking at different school subjects, there is a shortage of 42 maths teachers, 41 Latvian language teachers and 23 physics teachers in Latvia. Municipalities try to resolve the shortage of teachers, each with their own approach. Often the teaching principle is altered slightly: when a single subject is taught for several hours, for example.
«This is not normal, when municipalities organize the teaching process in such a manner,» says LPS advisor, adding that potential solutions will be discussed on Friday, 10 December, at the online conference «Where are you, teacher?».
Dundure also stresses that the problem of the shortage of teachers needs to be resolved rapidly because it also contributes to the rapid ageing of the teaching staff – there are fewer and fewer teachers of a younger generation in Latvia.