1. Education News in Latvia

Chennai Jan 31st 2014: Latvian Universities launching the FIRST Study in Latvia Centre (SLC) in Chennai.SLC was founded by seven leading Latvian universities.
Latvia Invites Indian Students Willing To Pursue Higher Education Abroad
Chennai Jan 31st 2014: Has marked the Indian and Latvian history by launching the FIRST STUDY IN LATVIA CENTRE (SLC) in Chennai. SLC was founded by seven leading Latvian universities: Riga Technical University, Turiba University, Liepaja University, University of Latvia, BA School of Business and Finance, Latvia University of Agriculture and Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration. The opening has been encouraged and supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Latvian Higher Education Export Union. The opening ceremony of SLC in Chennai was attended by international delegates, officials of leading universities of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and prominent academics.
At the inauguration ceremony, Professor Leonids Ribickis, the Rector of Riga Technical University highlighted the role of SLC in establishing and enhancing cooperation in education, science and research between India and Latvia.

2. Latvians are Spending Their Last Lats

The euro changeover in Latvia is reaching its final stage. The lats will cease to be legal tender on 15 January 2014. On Wednesday 8 January, more than nine out of ten cash payments in shops were made in euro only (91 %) and all customers received their change in their new currency1, which shows that the Latvian retail sector is properly supplied with euro cash.
Banks, post offices and retailers are reported to be coping well with the changeover process and parallel handling of two currencies. Latvians are gradually getting used to their new currency and by 8 January, nearly 60 % of consumers had made a full transition to the euro in cash, i.e. they were only carrying euro banknotes and coins in their wallets.
The adaptation of IT systems in the state administration (in total 106 IT systems) and municipal systems (more than 424 IT systems) was reported to have been smooth, including the IT systems for tax, budget and social payments.

3. Latvian Official Proposes Ending Russian Language Education

The children's ombudsman of Latvia has said that his country should end its system of bilingual education and stop teaching classes in Russian. The official, Juris Jansons, told Latvian Radio Monday morning that Latvia should "form a more homogenous society" and that schoolchildren need to master the state language, Latvian, in order to fully participate in public life.
He cited the results of a study of the current bilingual system, which found that many Russian-speaking instructors do not know Latvian on a level sufficient for teaching. About one third of Latvia's 2 million people consider Russian their native language.
Many schools in places like Riga teach in Russian, though the language does not have official status in the country. In 2011 nationalist politicians moved to put an end to teaching in Russian, but their initiative failed to collect enough signatures.

4. OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities discusses issues of citizenship, language, and education in Latvia

OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors visiting the Saskana primary school in Daugavpils, Latvia, 17 October 2014. (OSCE/Jennifer Croft)
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors discussed the situation of national minorities and the integration of society with the Latvian authorities, parliamentarians, civil society and minority representatives during her first visit to Latvia as High Commissioner on 15-17 October 2014.
Thors discussed the language policy in Latvia in general and specifically education in minority languages, the situation of non-citizens and naturalization, the implementation of integration policy and the political participation of minorities.

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