For the work invested in preparing pupils, cash prizes in the amount of 100 lats will be awarded to 10 teachers from various Latvian cities– Irina Dobele (Aizpute Secondary School), Gaļina Višņakova (Preili 2ndSecondary School), Inese Orbidāne (Ogre’s 1st Secondary School), Valentīna Sičeva (Riga’s 31st Secondary School), Dace Kreituse (Riga’sState 1st High School), Agrita Veide (Riga’s 99th Secondary School),Viktorija Kagaine (Jelgava’s 1st High School), Daina Sondore (Sala’sSecondary School), Antoņina Japiņa (Saldus 2nd Secondary School),Janīna Grāvere (Valmiera High School).
Valdis Kampars, Deacon of the Riga Technical University’s Faculty of Materials-Science and Applied Chemistry, points out that natural sciences, for example, chemistry and physics in schools are not the most popular areas of study among students. Accordingly few young, talented people choose to study chemistry, physics and engineering science after completing secondary school. Consequently, a new generation of young specialists is not being provided for.
“The system of cash prizes for chemistry teachers started by Grindeks is an attempt to demonstrate to pupils that chemistry is a field that offers solid job prospects, because the subsequent choices of future profession made by secondary school pupil s depend to a considerable extent on their teachers’ ability to present their specialised subject in an interesting and captivating manner,” admits Valdis Kampars. The Professor stresses that the system of cash prizes induces teachers to make lessons for pupils interesting and understandable by demonstrating the development trends in this sector.
Dace Kreituse, a chemistry teacher at Riga’s State 1st High School believes that a cash prize from Grindeks provides moral satisfaction and a desire to continue the work already begun. The award winner points out that she has noticed genuine enthusiasm towards learning chemistry in some of her pupils and that there will definitely be a future growth in the number of pupils choosing to link their profession to chemistry.
The system of awarding prizes to chemistry teachers was commenced by PJSC Grindeks in 1999. For the fifth successive year, cash prizes have been awarded to the best teachers from all of Latvia’s regions. Support for teachers is one of Grindeks’ long-term support programmes for the field of chemistry. Every year, PJSC Grindeks issues several tens of thousands of lats towards the support of new chemists, teachers and scientists. This year, Grindeks began a new long-term education support programme, by issuing finance in the amount of 25,000 lats to five Latvian academic institutions. Every year, the Latvian Education Foundation support programme for the best chemistry students takes place.