News Vandzene Primary School will be closed on August 31

Vandzene Primary School will be closed on August 31

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On the agenda of the June 25 meeting of Talsi District Council were two issues related to Vandzene Primary School. One of them intended to annul the earlier decision of the council to merge the school with the pre-school educational institution “Zīlīte” in the parish, the other – to liquidate Vandzene primary school. Both decisions were supported by a majority of Members.
Uldis Katlaps, the head of the education department, called for the decision to merge the two institutions to be announced, announcing the annulment of the decision “On merging the Vandzene pre-school educational institution“ Zīlīte ”and Vandzene primary school) adopted on February 27 this year.
At the end of the previous school year, 31 pupils were studying in 1st to 6th grade at Vandzene Primary School. At the end of the school year, in an attempt to find out what the number of pupils might be in September, information was received from the educational institution that they could be 13 pupils (two in grades 1 and 2, three in grade 3, three in grades 4 and 6). there would be no pupils in the class, but six children in the 5th grade). “Taking into account this and the previously adopted decision of the City Council, merging the pre-school educational institution” Zīlīte “and Vandzene Primary School, a situation would arise when again the future of these educational institutions should be decided. This decision, regardless of what happens to the school, will allow the pre-school educational institution “Zīlīte” to continue its work as an independent institution. It is attended by about 70 students, which is a large enough number, “the head of the education department told the deputies.
The parents made the choice
Prior to voting on the annulment of the council’s decision, MP Miervaldis Krotovs asked if the Board of Education was aware of the reasons why the parents did not choose to send their children to this school. U. Katlaps said that the opinion expressed by the parents is related to the fact that the quality of education may not be good enough, although the education board has not observed any special deviation from the norm. “Of course, as the number of children in the educational institution decreases and joint classes are formed, it is felt that this quality is declining at all times. In the past, an opinion was expressed about the location of the school outside the center of the parish, as well as greater opportunities for interest education in Talsi, although interest education groups for leisure time were also offered in Vandzene. In previous years, we have met with the parents of the students and mentioned that with the rapid decrease in the number of children, a situation may arise when we reduce the degree of the school or close the educational institution, “said U. Katlaps. The parents made the choice. It is known that children who studied at Vandzene Primary School last school year will continue their education in Talsi, Lauciene and Valdemārpils. The issue of transport still needs to be addressed so that students can get from their place of residence to the chosen educational institution.
Deputy Inga Gluzda was interested in the situation with teachers and their future job opportunities. U. Katlaps said that there are some teachers who are of retirement age and may not continue their pedagogical work. “There are four educators left to look at future job opportunities. We also think and inform other educational institutions about these teachers, »the head of the education department continued.
MP Krotov expressed the opinion that the school principals, who did not understand the institution’s offer to make it interesting for parents, may also be to blame. In her turn, the deputy I. Gluzda made him think that the population of the county is decreasing by 400 to 500 people every year and the local government is not doing anything to make this decrease not so great. According to her, with the closure of the school in Vandzen, the population is likely to decrease. Gundars Sebris, a deputy, was more optimistic, emphasizing that more than ten children graduate from the pre-school educational institution in Vandzen every year. He emphasized that at any time we could grow a kindergarten bigger and open a school, similar to what happened in Libiba. There was initially a kindergarten and later a primary school.
The decision made by the City Council on the liquidation of Vandzene Primary School envisages closing the educational institution on 31 August this year. This has yet to be agreed with the Ministry of Education and Science.
Hope it’s just a break
Asked what the situation will be in Vandzene Parish after the school closes, the head of the parish administration Marika Grohjacka tells “Talsu Vēstiem” that it will bring its corrections to cultural, sports and public life. “This decision did not fall from the sky. Before the draft decision was prepared, we discussed various scenarios with the Board of Education. The decision is painful for me as the head of the department and also as a graduate of this high school. I understand that this is the beginning of the end, because with the closing of the school, culture, sports and social life will change. I can’t say a bad word and comment on the reasons. At the council meeting, the probabilities have been raised as to why the number of children at school decreased. We worked for years to reach out to the public, organizing formal and informal meetings to talk to parents and get to the root of the problem. Attendance was high, discussions were repeated. This year has shown that the work has not been a success. The number of children and pupils in the parish is enough to have a primary school here, »the manager pointed out.
Asked what would happen to the school building and how it would be managed in the future, the manager said that municipal specialists should come together. “The school is located in a historical building – the manor complex is a national heritage of cultural history. Our main advisor to listen to is the National Heritage Board. It is difficult to talk about future visions and perspectives at the moment, because consultation is needed, »M. Grohjacka continued, adding that these issues should be discussed in the coming months. It is clear that the building complex will not be left without management, because the manor complex creates recognizability for the parish. The school park is also undergoing cleaning so that people can enjoy the environment.
When interested in what will happen to the inventory and equipment in the school, the manager believes that the needs of the pre-school educational institution “Zīlīte” should be identified first, then a list of things that would be needed by other schools should be made. “These things have yet to be discussed with the municipal administration. To be very nice and also fair to the inhabitants of our parish, if the things necessary for the kindergarten would be handed over to it. A priority list of needs for other institutions can then be developed with the involvement of the education authority. I would like you to know where our things are. Every thing that comes with it comes with emotions, »the manager shared her thoughts.
On August 14, at 6 pm, an event “We Sing to Our School” is planned at the school, where former students will dedicate songs to their school. The event will be free. “It is not sadness or farewell, because in Vandzen we remain thinking that we are taking a break,” M. Grohjacka admitted at the end of the conversation.

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