The curricula and requirements are set by the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers. At primary school level, both visual art and music lessons are included in the curriculum. It also includes development of creative skills. There are two music lessons per week until 7th grade and one music lesson per week after. Until 5th grade, there are two visual arts lessons per week and 1 lesson per week after.
At secondary school level, a pupil can choose between lessons in visual arts or music and both subjects are mainly directed at theoretical knowledge. There has been a discussion between the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Science about including more art and culture subjects in the curricula (e.g. obligatory singing in choir), however, without major success.
Currently, a major reform of the curriculum (“School 2030”) aims to implement inclusive education approach and to develop competency-based curriculum. It is planned to launch the new system on primary education level during 2019/2020 and to continue with reforms on elementary and secondary levels during 2020/2021.
“Latvian School Bag”, an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, started in September 2018. The system provides the opportunity for pupils to experience a variety of activities and events of historical heritage, professional art and culture within the educational framework while access is guaranteed by the state.
The conceptual framework of the project is bases on four pillars: 1) promoting citizenship, a sense of belonging to the state and national identity; 2) improving quality of education in the 21st century; 3) raise cultural awareness and expression competence; and 4) decreasing the social inequalities.
Implementation includes visiting (thereby providing access to) cultural events and processes, inviting artists, creative professionals etc. to schools, promoting cooperation among education and culture specialists and developing local involvement and ownership. Funding of the State Culture Capital Foundation for arts institutions to develop new cultural offer has been available from 2017 onwards. The State transfers EUR 14 to municipalities for each pupil per school year. The schools decide where to go and how to spend the available budget.