This year 155,000 students started school ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

First September at Virtsu school.
First September at Virtsu school. Source: Juhan Hepner/ERR

Almost 155,000 students started or returned to school on September 1 - several thousand more students than last year. Almost 14,200 students entered the first grade and four classes started in an entirely new school opened this autumn.

At the newly-opened Kindluse Basic School, in Järvüla, Rae Parish, near Tallinn, first-grade students walked to school act on Tuesday morning.

The first part of the school of has been completed and 204 children are studying there.

Annika Räim, the head of the Kindluse school, said the second stage will be completed by the beginning of November, then the school canteen, hall and main entrance will be opened. "The third stage is the entire basic school building and sports center. It will be completed by spring of next year," Räim said.

Classes have started as usual, but there is the option to move distance learning if it is required, Räim said.

School years will bring changes to Virtsu School

The Virtsu school in Lääneranna municipality started the new school year with several big changes to make the school days more interesting and comfortable. In total 47 students study at the school.

The school day will start at 9 a.m., double classes will be 80 minutes long and breaks longer. The school's principal said that this way, teachers can pay attention to students more individually that it would be possible during the 45-minute lesson.

Principal of Virtsu school, Stansilav Nemeržitski told AK: "Another aspect is that the teacher can move at a pace he or she feels is suitable for the students. And thirdly, every student can study at their own pace. For example, when I feel that a task requires more time, then during the double lesson I can concentrate on that,"

The principal said the 80-minute lesson is actually not shorter in its capacity than two 45 minute lessons because time is not lost at the start and end of each class.

"Last year, for example, we had to do homework for seven lessons, but now for three. There's a lot less to learn and a lot less to carry with you, but of course, it's the double lessons that you have to get used to," Maia Vatsfeldt, a 9th-grade student said.

Regarding the 9.a.m. start of school day, the students thought that it is better because they can sleep more.

However, the future of Virtsu School is not totally carefree. This year, the Lääneranna rural municipality government came out with a plan to close several small schools in the rural municipality, including Virtsu, by the autumn of 2022. The Council postponed the discussion until October.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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