Ministry of Education asks schools to temporarily waive student assessments ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Empty classroom.
Empty classroom. Source: Juhan Hepner/ERR

The Ministry of Education is requesting schools and teachers refrain from grading students' work for at least the first two weeks of distance learning and focus on finding the best way to work instead.

Kristi Vinter-Nemvalts, Undersecretary for Education, Language and Youth Policy at the Ministry of Education, at a news conference on Wednesday discussed the best way to collect feedback from students and to help motivate them.

"During the first two weeks schools and teachers should think about which feedback solutions works best. It doesn't make sense to assign tasks that need to be solved over time or at a specific time," she said.

Vinter-Nemvalts said students are not in the same learning conditions at home as they would be in school and the best channels and tools for distance learning should be considered. Feedback should also be collected from students.

A ministry spokesman said learning outcomes during distance learning are not the same as they would be in class. This means the learning outcomes need to be re-interpreted and categorized.

They also said it should be clear to school leaders that they have a big role to play in supporting teachers, as teachers are in a new situation and cooperation between them is essential.

When distance learning would end and normal school would return, Vinter-Nemvalts could not say.

"We're moving in two-week increments. Yes, we're thinking of different scenarios and opportunities, and we are putting the final touches on making bigger decisions, but there's no reason to think that anything needs to be done with school breaks or extended study periods. Obviously, it is too early to say on day three day, but for now, we are doing our best to support the learning process at a distance and continue in the same way," she added.

On Monday, March 16, all schools in Estonia closed as part of the governments emergency situation measures which are scheduled to last until May 1 to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Children will be taught online instead during this period.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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