Education ministry tells high schools not to hold graduation ceremonies ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Crowds at a graduation ceremony in front of the main building at the Univeristy of Tartu.
Crowds at a graduation ceremony in front of the main building at the Univeristy of Tartu. Source: University of Tartu/Facebook

The Ministry of Education and Research wants all high schools to cancel their summer graduation ceremonies this year. The ministry believes schools should think of solutions which would not endanger people's health or organize ceremonies later in the year.

During the emergency situation mass public events are banned to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Ministry of Education has told schools it is not worth endangering people's health.

Mart Laidmets, Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Research, said a disproportionate number of questions are currently being asked on their crisis phone line.

"We are not forbidding it because we do not want young people and their parents to be able to celebrate, but schools should think about holding graduation ceremonies later, these events can also take place in the autumn," Laidmets said.

Laidmets suggested schools could also think of smart solutions for delivering graduation certificates, maybe even online.

Although graduates understand the situation, they are not very happy about it.

Grete Kruustük, a graduate at Tartu's Miina Härma Gymnasium, thinks the cancellation of graduation ceremonies is unfair.

"When everyone else has had one it and we've still worked hard, I think I will want such a beautiful memory, the last beautiful memory from school. But at the same time I definitely [understand] that if the situation is really crazy, then you can't [hold the ceremony], but I also think that, for example, if it is in the summer it is so far away that [no one] can really assess the situation yet," she told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Friday.

Grete Kruustük being interviewed by AK. Source: ERR

However, Eerik Haamer, a high school graduate at Miina Härma Gymnasium, said that he was already at university in his mind.

Denis Petrov, a high school graduate of Hugo Treffner Gymnasium in Tartu, suggested the graduation ceremony should be held online.

On Friday, the University of Tartu (TÜ) announced on social media it is canceling all graduation ceremonies this summer to avoid potentially spreading the COVID-19 virus. The university's graduations are usually held across several days in June.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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