The government's decision to support Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps' (Center) plan to gradually restore more relaxed studies in schools beginning May 15 is important for the society as a whole, journalists Anvar Samost and Toomas Sildam found on the Vikerraadio talk show "Samost ja Sildam."
"This week brought clarity into the matter of schools during the coronavirus crisis. It has become clear that no basic school final exams will be held this year and graduating high school seniors are expected to sit two state exams plus an additional school exam," Sildam said.
However, it is still not clear how it would be possible to partially restore school beginning May 15, Sildam said. "What does it mean when on Monday, May 18, smaller than usual groups of children are allowed in school? Will others continue distance learning and will it impose a double burden on teachers? We would welcome a better explanation from the ministry. How the partial reopening of schools will be carried out is still obscure even for teachers," Sildam said.
According to Samost, the decision made this week required initiative and courageous attitude from the Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps.
"If we had had a softer minister, then trust me, they would have found a way to not make a decision. Today we have a description of conditions, a number of dates, the most important of which - May 15 - will give the ministry, the government, schools and local governments time to finalize the plan for restoring studies," Samost said. "I understand there is a lot of uncertainty, but we have criteria that many schools, parents and students have waited for - and all projections indicate that it is possible."
"In that case we will have made a great step towards a return to the normal functioning of society which will be important not only for schools, but for Estonia as a whole," Samost added.
"This is also important for those wanting to continue studies in universities and upper secondary schools or for future conscripts who want to know what will happen to them after their conscription ends," Sildam said.
Editor: Anders Nõmm