Closure Looms for School for the Deaf in Tallinn (1)
The Tallinn Education Department announced that the 10th grade in the Tallinn Helen School will not be opened this fall due to lack of students.
Parents are worried that giving up the 10th grade is the first step towards abolishing upper secondary education in sign language, the daily Eesti Päevaleht reported on Tuesday.
Even though an official from the education department said an increasing number of deaf students are attending regular schools, many parents express concern that their hearing-impaired children will not thrive in regular schools.
For a grade to stay open, at least 12 students must attend, but the number has varied from 11 to 15 in recent years.
Tiina Kivirand of the Ministry of Education said that hearing-impaired children must get upper secondary education but the ministry cannot interfere in the issue, as the school is managed by the city.
The ministry is drawing up a plan for determining the locations and ways of education students with special needs and it is expected to be completed by late June, Kivirand added.