Estonia's Ministry of Education not in a hurry canceling school exams

Ministry of Education and Research Secretary General Mart Laidmets at a press conference Tuesday.
Ministry of Education and Research Secretary General Mart Laidmets at a press conference Tuesday. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Ministry of Education and Research says it is not in a hurry to cancel this year's school exams, and awaits further developments in the current coronavirus emergency situation, which has seen all schools in the country remain closed.

"Right now we are working on the assumption that the emergency situation will end on May 1 (its current end point-ed.) and exams will simply be postponed. The association of school leaders yesterday made a proposal to cancel exams altogether, but this cannot be done just on the minister's say-so. We have, however, prepared a legislative amendment under which greater flexibility will be set out for decisions on exams," ministry Secretary General Mart Laidmets, who gave a press conference on the school exams question on Tuesday, said, according to BNS.

Laidmets noted that should lifting of the emergency situation continues beyond May 1, the ministry will have to adopt new decisions on the issue. The scheduled easter vacation should also remain in place, he said.

"As regards holidays, students have been working hard at home, and we definitely see it as necessary that the school holiday in April goes ahead," Laidmets added.

Laidmets said the ministry is keen to know how successful distance learning – where schoolchildren have continued classroom studies online - has been so far.

The ministry has been in contact with local municipalities and general education schools to do so, it says.

"What has come across is that Estonian schools were prepared for distance learning, and teachers and students have since gotten accustomed to the new form. It works, and curricula are being followed,"  Laidmets said, adding that most concern has come from parents.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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