Vocational Education Competence Centre “Daugavpils tehnikums” (DTS) is one of the largest vocational education institutions in the country. Being a competence centre, it specializes on offering diverse vocational education profile, railway, metalworking, programming, computer technicians, car mechanics and hairdressers among the most popular study programmes. Though the numbers of students decrease due to the demographic and economic situation in the region, DTS continues to offer high quality vocational education to its students by ensuring them with international internships, in addition, the school’s pedagogical staff raise their qualification every year by attending various courses as well as using the possibility to shadow colleagues in different schools and education/training centres abroad. The idea of ensuring excellence is further supported by participation in various strategic partnerships including such themes as development of particular learning skills, electronic resources to facilitate learning, up to programming and robotics. On January 1, 2015, DTS was awarded the title of the Vocational Education Competence Centre “Daugavpils Technical School”, since then its main priority is to develop conceptions of vocational education, by learning methods and forms in the educational practice as well as learning from the good practice examples in Europe, in order to adopt curricula and develop as well as introduce innovative methods not just for the very school but also to share new experience with other schools not only in the Latgale region and in Latvia, but also with other partner schools across Europe. The gained experience and expertise is also shared with partner companies representing the labour market where our students work on their practical skills during their training period. In order to ensure continual work on obtaining international experience and acquisition of the latest methods in teaching and training, as well as understanding the state of art in the professional fields where DTS offers training, the Projects and External Relations Department was established in 2011.
Currently the school employs 89 pedagogical staff ensuring both vocational and general education to our students, the number of students reached 780 in 2020. Training takes place in 3 main buildings, in addition a car repair workshop is used to train car mechanics, currently a new railway equipment laboratory building is under construction to ensure students have access to the newest technologies when being trained to service and conduct trains, yet not limited to it. The building will house a new training simulator, in addition to the already existing 7D locomotive simulator and training equipment for railway communication specialists. One of the school buildings mainly houses car mechanics and car servicing as well as workshops and classrooms for graphics and other subjects taught to obtain these qualifications, another building is place for all the railway specialities as well as programming that is highly demanded qualification in DTS. The third building houses study programmes related to beauty services and clothes making, administrative work and transportation services, electricians and computer technicians that are also of high demand. DTS also offers accommodation to its students in 2 fully equipped dormitories. The school has made significant investments to ensure teachers with the possibility to use smartboards, tablet PCs and other equipment in order to use the latest technologies in the learning process. Teachers are encouraged to acquire new methods and to use them during the study process, this is further supported through the possibility to attend courses related to the use of ICT in the learning process (mostly through Erasmus+ KA1 projects). This route has led to rather successful overcoming of the distance learning situation related to the coronavirus-caused isolation and closing of schools.