The years 1918-1920 marked the formation of the new state – the Republic of Latvia. These were also the years when the fundamentals were laid for the establishment of administrative institutions in the new-born state.
The Ministry of Education and Science was founded immediately after the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia on November 18, 1918. The Ministry of Education and Science began its work on July 23, 1919. During its December 8, 1919 session, the People’s Council adopted the Law on Latvian Education Institutions that created the legal basis for the activities of the Ministry of Education and Science.
The Law on Latvian Educational Institutions (Ministry of Education Monthly, No1, 01/01/1920, published www.periodika.lv) sets the tasks for school inspectors, e.g., Paragraph 58 defines that a School Board also consists of “corresponding district school inspectors as well as the representatives of the Ministry of Education”.
Chapter VI “School Inspectorate” of the Law on Nation’s Education (came into force on July 12, 1934) authorises district and general inspectors:
“Clause 170. Schools are overseen by corresponding employees of the Ministry of Education, persons authorized by the Minister of Education and special district and general inspectors.
Clause 171. In accordance with the law and government’s guidelines, district inspectors are in charge of promoting the education within their district and overseeing the teaching and educational processes within all schools of compulsory learning and institutions equated to those schools. To this end the inspector: 1) convenes and chairs teachers’ meetings where teaching and education issues are discussed; 2) proposes and resolves issues concerning school opening and improvement of their facilities; 3) as regularly as possible pays visits to the schools of the district. During these visits, the inspector pays attention to teaching, educating and morality issues, improvement of school facilities and its administrative capacity. Clause 172. Inspector gives the necessary reprimands and reports to the relevant institutions or persons on deviances in order for a matter to be examined by the school board or the Ministry of Education, as well as admits teachers to the work until the procedure of their attestation is concluded. Clause 173. General inspectors can be appointed to supervise separate subjects, as well as schools of special type. [..] Clause 175. The task of general inspectors is to deliver reports and proposals to the Ministry of Education on matters of separate subjects and schools. To this end, the inspector pays visits to schools, gets himself acquainted with the processes of teaching and educating, gives reprimands and conducts lessons, and calls in teachers’ counsels in his subject or type of school. Clause 176. Special instructors can be appointed to promote teaching and educating. These instructors are appointed or approved by the Ministry of Education.”
During the occupation of Latvia (1944-1991) school inspectors were employed by the Ministry of Education of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. At different times their number varied from 15 to 25 and more. One inspector was in charge of three to five districts (towns) and each was usually responsible for one study subject or a definite issue, e.g., school network, compulsory education, evening schools, boarding schools, specialized schools etc. In each district’s or city’s educational division having a double subordination – to the district’s or city’s executive committee or party committee, and also to the Ministry of Education, there were an additional three to five inspectors who were in charge of monitoring the activities of educational institutions.
The Education Law of June 19, 1991 stated: “The People’s Education Ministry of the Republic of Latvia appoints a state education inspector in districts, republic or city districts who works under direct subordination to the Minister of People’s Education of the Republic of Latvia and acts in accordance with the regulation approved by the Minister. A state education inspector: 1) maintains the link between teaching and educational institutions, a local government and the People’s Education Ministry of the Republic of Latvia; 2) controls the observation of legal acts and implementation of the state educational policy at the teaching and educational institutions of the region (Section 12)”.
The State Inspectorate on Education (hereinafter referred to as – the Inspectorate) was established in late 1991, as a separate department of the Ministry of Education and Science. Mrs. Eiženija Aldermane was the first to head the Inspectorate.
The Inspectorate was established as an independent state administration institution on October 1, 1994. The Inspectorate was then headed by Mr. Ilgonis Gaugers, who in 1995 was followed by Mr. Zigfrīds Grīnpauks (held the office till 2005). Starting from 1999, subordination and functions of the Inspectorate were determined by Section 20 of the Education Law and by the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 419 of December 21, 1999 “By-law of the State Inspectorate on Education”.
The Inspectorate consisted of its regional branches in Rīga and the regions of Kurzeme, Latgale, Vidzeme and Zemgale. The state inspectors responsible for general education issues, and at least one vocational education inspector, were employed at each regional branch. Fulfilling its functions as stated in the Education Law, the official of the Inspectorate was authorized to “convene by informing the head and, if necessary, the corresponding education administration institution or a founder, the counsels of employees of the educational institutions; co-operate with the State Centre for Protection of Children’s Rights, the State Labour Inspection, the State Language Inspection, the State Inspection for Heritage Protection, the State Sanitary Inspection, the State Environmental Inspection, the State Control, Insurance Monitoring Inspection, structural units of the Ministry of Education and Science, as well as any public organisation and involve the representatives and experts of the institutions listed above in task groups and commissions, visit educational institutions, meet their officials, employees and students; demand and receive the necessary information from legal and natural persons in order to fulfil duties within the Inspectorate’s competency, demand and receive accounts and information from the officials and employees of the educational institutions that are subject to inspection.”
The Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 623 “By-law of State Inspectorate on Education” of July 27, 2004 specified the fundamentals for the operation and status of the Inspectorate. It became an institution of direct administration under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Science, charged with the monitoring of the observance of the rule of law in education. From 2005, the Inspectorate was directed by Mr. Aivars Stankevičs (in office till 2012).
The State Education Quality Service (hereinafter referred to as – the Service) was established on July 1, 2009 by reforming the State Inspectorate on Education (Amendments to the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No.623 of July 27, 2004 “By-law of State Inspectorate on Education”), which in accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers decree No. 356 of May 29, 2009 “On the Reorganisation of Administration of Vocational Education and State Quality Assurance Agency on General Education” transferred several functions of these institutions to the Service. The Service’s function was also to maintain the registers of educational and scientific institutions.
In accordance with Cabinet of Ministers decree No. 434 of September 11, 2012 “On the reassignment of I.Juhņēviča”, from September 12, 2012 the Service has been headed by Mrs. Inita Juhņēviča, the then deputy director of Vocational and General Education Department at the Ministry of Education and Science.
The new by-law of the Service was developed by the end of 2012, and came into force on May 1, 2013. The by-law reads: “the aim of the Service is to ensure quality and rule of law in education by monitoring the quality of education and providing support in educational work”. On August 27, 2013, through an amendment of the by-law, the Service’s functions were supplemented with the registration of childcare providers.
The Service ensures that educational institutions receive all the necessary support and assistance in the implementation of educational reforms. The aim of the Service is to promote the quality of education in educational institutions, by laying emphasis on support measures and new methods of how to approach any malfunctions and failures.