All schools have changed their entrance exams dates and formats ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

French Lyceum.
French Lyceum. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

All schools in Estonia have altered their entrance exam dates and formats as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, putting the entrants are in an extraordinary position, ERR's Novaator portal reports.

Christiin Jõõras, who is a 9th-grade student at Kuristiku High School in Tallinn, says she wants to become a healthcare worker, following the example of her mother.

She is looking for a school that will prepare her for that, ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

Christiin said that she has, however, found herself not having all the requried information.

"It is a little disturbing in the sense that when I want to enter a school, they should contribute as much as I have been," she said.

Kristi Vinter-Nemvalts, Deputy Chancellor at the Ministry of Education, said that the Ministry has not itself received any related complaints.

"Schools are autonomous in making their choices, by proposing and informing people of their own admission procedures, and school websites are certainly the most direct information channel," she said.

Meanwhile Minna Oll, a student at Kuusalu High School, east of Tallinn, planned to go to the Tallinn Secondary School of Science (Tallinna Realkool) and for that reason she signed herself up to the joint entrance exams that were supposed to take part in March. These were postponed, however.

"Everything is so confusing and honestly, it´s a little scary to think what´s going to happen. But a little exciting as well," she said.

Minna said that the distance learning period - all schoolwork has been conducted remotely since March 16 - helped her to look within herself, and now she is not going to take the joint entrance exam. Instead, she is headed for the Old Town Educational College (Vanalinna Hariduskolleegium - Gümnaasium) and the G. Ots Music School, due to her love for playing the clarinet.

"I started to learn it a couple of years ago, but I feel that it is the right thing to do. I think it is the loveliest instrument in the world."

Like many young people living in or near cities, Minna cherished her hope of going to school while remaining home with her parents, but her parents working from home as well has added another problem to the equation: Logistics.

Vinter-Nemvalts does not believe that this will determine the fate of many young people, however.

"We have no reason to believe that children or parents make decisions on school choices based on whether they can go with their parents, or by using other means of transport," the deputy chancellor said.

August Okk is one of those whose plans have not been affected in any way by the emergency. He decided long ago to stay at Kuusalu High School.

"I think I would like to live with my family for another couple of years. I have nice sisters, there is a pleasant view everywhere from the school - I see no reason to leave this place," Okk said.

The French Lyceum began with the entrance exams

Tallinn's French Lyceum (Tallinna Prantsuse Lütseum - with the famous cap as pictured) started as the first elite school with high school entrance examinations this year on Monday, May 11. This year, the tests will be conducted electronically, and will last until the end of the week.

"This year [exams] are taking place electronically. We meet online, but we hope that the aura of the school will permeate to the entrants as well," director of the lyceum Peter Pedak said.

"This morning, we first sent a video greeting to the entrants, the principal, and the head of the study department, and after that they started editing online. The school secretary communicated directly with the entrants, and other environments opened automatically," Pedak explained.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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