A child’s perspective

You have the right to an education which is a human right. This right is very important, because education helps you to grow into an independent and fully developed individual and member of society. It also allows you to learn about your other human rights, such as the right to a family life, and how to enjoy them.

Right to an education

Your right to an education guarantees that you can:

  • learn at an educational institution 
  • obtain official recognition (certificate) of the studies which you have completed

If you have functional disabilities, there should be special educational programmes which are suitable to your needs.

Free primary and secondary education in Latvia

The Latvian Constitution, the Satversme, guarantees your free primary and secondary education. This means that you can go to school and you will be given everything that you need for learning, such as text-books, electronic resources, sports equipment, instruments, etc. However, your parents must provide you with individual school supplies, such as stationery or sports clothing. 

Obligations within the education process

Your right to an education also brings along some obligations, which are set out in the Education Law, for example:

  • to get a pre-school and primary education
  • to observe the internal regulations of the educational institution
  • to observe the rights and interests of teachers, pupils and other persons
  • to be polite and not to be emotionally and physically violent towards other persons in the educational institution
  • not to endanger your health, safety or life or that of other persons in the educational institution

Language of instruction

The right to an education does not guarantee that you will receive education in your mother tongue or any other language that you choose. In Latvia, your schooling language will be the official language of the State, which is Latvian.

There are, however, some exceptions. You may learn some of the school subjects in your native language if it has been recognized as a minority language by the State. In Latvia, these minority languages are the Russian, Polish, Hebrew, Ukrainian, Estonian, Lithuanian and Belarusian languages. For example, you may be taught up to 2/5 of the schooling subjects at high school in minority languages. You may also take some of the state examinations in minority languages. 

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is one of your human rights. This freedom means that you can freely express what you believe in words or in any other way to other people. For example, you may wish to wear a cross around your neck, take part in a collective prayer or follow a vegetarian diet. 

important You must respect the beliefs of other pupils in the same way that they must respect yours. Therefore, you must respect what other pupils express as their beliefs, even if you disagree. 

At the same time, schools must also provide a neutral atmosphere for all pupils regardless of their religion. Therefore, your right to express your religious beliefs at school may sometimes be restricted.

example You may be requested not to cover your head on school premises, since it blatantly draws the attention of other persons to your religion. Such a request helps to maintain an atmosphere of neutrality. 

Choice of religious and ethical subjects

In Latvia, you may choose to learn either Christian religion or ethics. You can also choose to learn both. If you are 14 years of age or older, you can make that choice yourself. 

  • Until you have reached 14 years of age, your parent (or legal guardian) should make the choice together with you and inform the school about it.
  • After you have reached 14 years of age, you can make the choice yourself and inform the school about it in an application signed by you. However, you should submit this application along with a parent’s (or legal guardian’s) written approval. 


Last updated 20/09/2022