News from the Ombudsman’s Office: July 2023
Ombudsman’s research on school supplies
In June and July, the Ombudsman’s Office asked students’ parents about what school supplies municipal schools and kindergartens ask parents to purchase for children’s learning needs. While the Ombudsman explained that an educational establishment has the right to ask wear a school form, its absence must not restrict child’s right to education. During the investigation, the Ombudsman drew public attention to parents’ councils and what they can decide, as well as tried to find answers to whether gifts for teachers should be supported. The Ombudsman also explained whether the so-called fund money is mandatory in schools and kindergartens, for example, to purchase stationery, for the improvement of classrooms or for the repair of piano.
After involvement of the Ombudsman there is finally a school – Valmiera Gaujas krasta Secondary School – development centre, where children with mental health disorders will be able to acquire basic education. This means that students with mental health problems from Valmiera municipality, who had so far been forced to live and study outside their municipality, will be able to study closer to home.
Riga municipality regulations on enrolment of pupils in the 10th grade of secondary schools restrict the possibilities for young people to continue their studies, as the municipality has stricter requirements than permitted by law. Thus, a part of the students will be denied the opportunity to acquire general secondary education in municipal educational institutions of Riga State city.
The Ombudsman in a verification procedure found a breach in the principle of good governance when Ogre Municipality government and Ogre Municipality Culture Centre, without clear and motivated arguments, prevented the participation of a musician in the city’s festivals, as well as publicly solved internal employee communication issues.
The Ombudsman encourages parents whose children are studying at a special education programme or who have signals that the child would need such a program to timely undergo pedagogical medical commissions, so that the child can gain support and study in accordance with his or her abilities already beginning from September.