INFLUENCE OF SOCIETY NEEDS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATION IN LATVIA
Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy (LATVIA)
Education system of Latvia works in reform conditions already for several years. Because of the change of production and economic relations, considerable unemployment and continuous competition, there is a necessity to comprehend, to predict and to create education system, which could provide successful youth socialization and further education.
Since the development of the social and production structure should be guaranteed in the state, sociological surveys at least partially afford an opportunity to comprehend the developments in society and education system, education plans for pupils, factors, which influence education issues and are determined by different social groups.
Several well-known modern sociologists see continuous “reform” as a central feature of the contemporary life, which contrasts with the former practice to adhere to the (largely unexplored) traditions: “The reflexivity of modern social life consists in the fact that social practices are constantly examined and reformed in the light of incoming information about those very practices, thus constitutively altering their character.” (Giddens,1990.,p.38.) .
Education system of Latvia provides that every pupil together with his parents has a right to choose educational establishment, where to go, and the most suitable education programme for the pupil. It offers an opportunity to develop competitiveness of educational establishment, because the funding of educational establishment depends on number of school pupils.
Research of the attributes, which make educational establishment more attractive and are very relevant to pupils, their parents, pedagogues and employers in choosing an educational establishment, could help policy-makers and principals of the schools answer these questions:
* How to define and express social needs as complete and actual as possible?
* What kind of mechanism is used to reflect and realize these needs in education?
* Whether and how these needs are reflected and materialize in other spheres of social life?
This is an important challenge for new education system to conform education actively to the standards and needs of modern life, to provide appropriate material base for acquirement of new information technologies in schools, at the same time ensuring secure and enabling environment for pupil’s educating.
The results of the research demonstrate that the determinant factors for parents to choose an educational establishment are:
- Geographical location of the school;
- An offer of hobby education after classes;
- Pedagogues’ attitude to pupils;
- Protection of children in the school, secure environment;
- Possibilities of using support personnel to ensure wholesome development of the child (speech therapist, psychologist, social pedagogue).
Education system in Latvia has changed significantly. There is a part of society, which in its thinking and experience is strongly connected with the previous educational model and which hasn’t followed developments, that is why it expects that the same model will be reproduced to their children. They can be in quandary, which can develop into dissatisfaction. Therefore, during the transformation process of the school’s development, it is very important to take account of the factors, which make educational establishment more attractive to pupils, their parents and other interested parties, as well as their awareness and understanding of the motives and effectiveness of changes.