National Defence Education
For pupils in secondary education, national defence education course will be available in year 10, 11 and 12 of secondary school, and Year 2 and Year 3 for students of educational establishments offering vocational education and training.
Reaching of Health, Safety and Physical Exercise and Social and Civic Education learning targets of National Defence Education (NDE) will allow pupils and students to acquire the following competencies: civic awareness and patriotism, state defence skills, leadership and teamwork, healthy lifestyle and physical exercise.
NDE is a two-year course, with one full learning day every month for two consecutive school years.
Due to character of lessons, course cannot be divided in several monthly sessions because learning day starts with, for example, map and compass skills training, followed by marching exercise to a forest location for the next phase of training – natural navigation.
Vocational schools, which offer vocational education programmes, and secondary education schools in general system of education are different. First-year students in secondary vocational education will have an option to continue pursuing and developing National Armed Forces (NAF) cadet force assistant instructor skills. When they reach Year 4, they may be offered internship in one of the units of NAF if their specialisation is available at the particular NAF section. For example, Kuldīga Technical School trains young car mechanics and 45th Combat Support Battalion of the National Guard stationed in Kuldīga has qualified car mechanics who can provide internship with the battalion.
Number of educational institutions ensuring national defence education will grow every year. The rate of such growth depends on availability of educators and funding. The aim is to make sure 2024/2025 school year starts with NDE available in all Latvian secondary schools.
Young people will also have access to military summer camps where they can develop their defence skills as part of informal education programme for school break. These defence training camps will conclude each school year with 10-day sessions in all regions of Latvia: Kurzeme, Latgale, Vidzeme, Zemgale and Riga Metropolitan Area.
Each of regions has the capacity to offer national defence education summer camps to 200 students – 100 from Year 10 and 100 from Year 11. If number of candidates shall exceed the available capacity, selection will be made on competitive basis. After 2024, the estimated capacity of summer camps for national defence education shall reach 300 students.
Modules of National Defence Course:
Civic engagement and national security
Aim of module: introduce, analyse and discuss various forms of public involvement in management of national security threats, give and strengthen knowledge about key aspects of national development and security, as well as importance of personal involvement in national defence at the civic level. Nurture and reinforce civic pride and values characteristic to loyal residents of Latvia who lead active political and social life at the local, regional and national level.
Crisis management and resilience
Aim of module: introduce the notion of comprehensive national defence, raise awareness about individual responsibility for stronger national security and efficient cooperation required to shape social and political trends. Analyse, discuss and simulate various leadership and command scenarios, learn practical skills and improve public speaking and administration skills required to continue general education and professional development.
State defence competencies
Aim of module: give and enhance skills vital for crisis response and state defence, promote access to state defence education, comradery, leadership, courage, discipline and individual physical skills, as well as interest about further education and career in the framework of comprehensive national defence. Teach how to become involved, mobile and contributing member of society. A person that knows and is capable of defending themselves and fellow compatriots against any threats to Latvia.