A government decision would see high school students in Harju and Ida-Viru counties where the COVID-19 infection rate is the biggest in Estonia switch to remote learning. Director of the Kohtla-Järve High School Hendrik Agur is asking for an exception to continue contact study as students who speak Russian at home need help studying in Estonian.
Agur described the planned measures as disproportionate and said that peculiarities of different schools should be considered.
The principal wrote in his letter to the government that even though the Kohtla-Järve High School is an Estonian school, around 80 percent of students speak Russian as their first language, which is why continued support and contact study in an Estonian-language environment is especially important.
"We saw during remote learning in spring that pulling students out of the natural language environment of contact study had devastating implications for their motivation and progress. That is also part of the reason why we have around half the students we had last academic year," Agur wrote.
The principal said the school is prepared to limit classes to 10 persons and make masks obligatory. The school is also ready to implement flexible solutions where a part of students participate in class, while another part tunes in virtually.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas told "Aktuaalne kaamera" in an interview that new measures the government is planning would put high school (grades 10-12) on remote learning from November 24 to January 10 or until the end of Christmas break in Harju and Ida-Viru counties.
Editor: Marcus Turovski