New draft of kindergarten curriculum expected in May

Tallinn's Kelluke Kindergarten.
Tallinn's Kelluke Kindergarten. Source: Karin Koppel/ERR

A new draft of the kindergarten curriculum is expected to be presented in May, which will replace the former draft which was met with outrage by parents, language experts and teachers last year.

Work was started on updating the curriculum for kindergarten education in 2018 by a group of pre-school education specialists under the Ministry of Education, which completed its work last spring.

But six months later, their plans were scrapped and they were replaced with a working group by the ministry which included specialists but none from primary education. The plan this second workgroup put out was derided by experts after it said raising children in bilingual households would stunt their development. University lecturers also sent a letter of dissatisfaction to the ministry.

The ministry then abandoned the second groups proposed curriculum.

Now, the Ministry of Education has set up a third working group made-up of people from both groups to find a solution hoping to take the best ideas from both groups into the final draft.

Tarmu Kurm, head of the communications department at the Ministry of Education, told ERR the process is being led by Undersecretary Kristi Vinter-Nemvalts. There have been several meetings and work is ongoing, but it is too early to talk about the results.

"Currently, two important documents in pre-school education are being made in parallel: the Pre-school Education Act and the National Curriculum for Nursery Education. This latter is an implementing act. As far as the timetable is concerned, by law, it will not be quite finished by March and should be completed in May. It will come later because it must be in harmony with the law." Kurm said.

He could not say when the new curriculum and the law on pre-school education would come into force because it needs to be coordinated with other departments and then need to be agreed on by the government. "There are no delays in the plan," Kurm added.

Vinter-Nemvalts has said in the past that the new curriculum will certainly take into account all the feedback the previous plan received and that it will take at least a year to get the new curriculum to kindergarten.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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