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2018-2019 school year to be "Year of Physics" in schools - National Center for Education
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    2018-2019 school year to be "Year of Physics" in schools - National Center for Education

    RIGA, Oct 10 (LETA) - The 2018-2019 school year will be the "Year of Physics" in Latvian schools - there will be a special focus on physics classes and on the development of informal education groups, and local governments will receive additional financing for the development of students' physics groups.

    Each local government will have the opportunity to apply for financing for the development of students' physics groups as part of a project on support for the development of individual competences in school, Agra Berzina, head of the Informal Education Department at the National Center for Education, told reporters today. The additional funds will be available for increasing teachers' salaries, for teachers' training and purchases of teaching aids and equipment.

    The total amount of additional financing is EUR 300,000, which is hoped to prompt more children to take more interest in hard sciences and later on enroll at technical universities and colleges, which are currently short of students, said Berzina.

    In addition, local governments may by November 20 apply for robotics kits to set up robotics groups in schools this year. So far, schools in Cesis, Jaunpiebalga and Valka have received such kits.

    Quantum Physics Professor Vjaceslavs Kascejevs told reporters that Latvia would host the third European Physics Olympiad from May 31 to June 4 next year, which will be attended by 150 students from around thirty countries.

    Distinguished academic and teaching personnel is one of the main reasons why the next European Physics Olympiad will take place in Latvia, said Kascejevs, emphasizing qualifications and experience of lecturers at the University of Latvia's physics, mathematics and optometry departments. It is not a coincidence that the U.S. team has decided to hold its training camp for the International Physics Olympiad in Latvia during the next three years, he added.

    During the European Physics Olympiad in Riga, there will also be lectures, master classes and workshops by internationally acclaimed physicists.

    Also participating in the event today were Latvenergo power utility's chairman Aris Zigurs and Latvian Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry Association's president Normunds Bergs. Both pointed out that these industries were experiencing acute shortages of employees. "Unfortunately, the government has not been listening to us, and we have not been able to achieve that physics exams be mandatory in schools," said Zigurs. Bergs said, in turn, that only 225 high school students passed physics exams last year, and making the physics exam compulsory could help solve the problem.

    • Published: 10.10.2018 15:38
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