Teachers: Changes in education law must only apply during emergency

Classroom. Source: Juhan Hepner/ERR

In an appeal sent to the Riigikogu, teachers' unions say that changes in the education law should only apply during the emergency situation or within a set time limit after the situation has ended.

At least 20 teachers who signed the appeal find that the Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Center) is trying to increase her authority in educational matters at Riigikogu's expense.

In addition to the joint statement, unions are making separate statements signed by teachers, lecturers and researchers of different faculties. Public statement made by the Estonian history and community teachers association (Eesti Ajaloo- ja Ühiskonnaõpetajate Selts) has been signed by more than 200 teachers, lecturers, researchers and those studying to be a teacher.

The teachers write that the conditions for finishing school is regulated by the current Act on Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools, but according to a new draft, the government, not Riigikogu by law, will from now on define terms under which school can be finished.

"Taking the long-term view of sustainability of the Estonian education, we believe that submitting this draft under the emergency situation conflicts good lawmaking, limits the decision-making powers of the Riigikogu and creates oppurtunities for making fundamental and indefinite changes without involving education specialists," the signees write.

The unions find that all adjustments concerning Estonian education made during the emergency situation, including teaching arrangements and conditions for finishing school, must strictly apply within the duration of the emergency situation or within a specified period after the situation ends.

"The unions are of the opinion that Riigikogu should not endorse these changes because they undermine democracy, limit the decision-making powers of the Riigikogu and give out a signal that the emergency situation is fit for implementing other previously not materialized political changes by moving authority to the govenrment."


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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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