Tuesday, September 1 is traditional back-to-school day in Estonia, with close to 46,000 pupils due in class at Talllinn's 57 municipal schools. Nearly 3,900 of these are entering first grade, and around 3,300 are to start upper secondary school.
For many, this will be the first time in a classroom in months, as the emergency situation declared in response to the coronavirus pandemic in March ran almost to the end of the academic year.
The City of Tallinn's education board has called the 2020-2021 academic year the "year of the class teacher", in order to highlight the value of the role – "klassijuht" in Estonian – more than had been the case before.
"The class teacher is key in spotting a learner's strengths, desires and needs, and in shaping an individual learning path with parents, subject teachers, hobby group teachers and other stakeholders. It is exactly their own teacher who is a child in kindergarten or school's first port of call for their worries or joys," said Andres Pajula, education board head.
Thematic seminars, training, workshops, competitions and traditional events were all on the agenda to mark the year, he added.
Tallinn has 194 municipal educational establishments, 124 of which are kindergartens serving over 21,000 children, along with hobby and vocational schools, a counseling center and a teachers' house, plus the basic and secondary schools themselves.
The sector employs over 6,000 teachers, in addition to supply teachers, principals and other educational staff.
Editor: Andrew Whyte