Latvia's parents to bear responsibility for Internet access

The Latvian Ministry of Education wants to amend the country's Education Act and among other things oblige parents to make sure that their school-age children have a computer with an Internet connection. Latvian journalists shake their heads in disbelief.

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Diena (LV) /

Just wishful thinking

Latvia's infrastructure is not yet ready for digital education, Diena criticises:

“It's absurd that parents are being obliged to guarantee Internet access for their children. ... Even if most Internet providers do all they can to cover the entire country, the Internet isn't available everywhere. ... If the idea put forward by the Minister of Education is actually implemented, it remains unclear how the government can ensure that all Latvian schoolchildren will have a stable Internet connection regardless of where they live or what time it is. In any case, this idea is more like wishful thinking at the moment. Because nobody at the Ministry seems to have thought about the practical aspects.”

Neatkarīgā (LV) /

A choice betweenwarm meals or computers

The project put forward by the Latvian Ministry of Education is completely unfeasable, Neatkarīgā believes:

“At least we still have the Constitution, Article 12 of which states that education is free. Therefore the idea that parents are to be obliged to provide computers and Internet access for their children sounds unconstitutional. Because this is something the local authorities should do, or the state. At present, however, Article 12 is being completely ignored because in any event it doesn't function - all parents can tell you a thing or two about just how expensive this supposedly free education is. … Many will face a difficult choice: cabbages or computers. And what will the children of heavy drinkers do? What they lack is warm meals, to say nothing of books, pencils and the Internet.”