Mayor: Tallinn not to send students to school break earlier

Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center).
Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

High schools in Tallinn will continue work by way of distance learning and basic schools will be offered creative distance learning activities, Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart said on Thursday.

The City of Tallinn and head's of municipal schools in the capital decided at a crisis meeting on Thursday that high schools will continue work by way of distance learning and basic school students will be offered creative distance learning activities next week, Kolvart said on ETV's "Ringvaade" television program.

"As high schools are already in distance learning, there is no point in demolishing it. With regard to basic schools, we decided that basic schools must also offer activities at a distance, creative learning activities, which are not really classic learning activities, but at the same time contact between the school and students would be maintained. Contact with students is maintained during the week, it is not a school break, at the same time, full-scale learning activities cannot be provided," the mayor said.

According to Kolvart, schools for students with special educational needs in the capital will continue in contact learning, all kinds of consultations and after-hours help classes are also possible in contact.

Kolvart noted that government communication has been deficient in recent weeks and decisions are made on a running basis and are presented in a way that is incomprehensible.

"Decisions do not have to be 100 percent correct or adequate, but they must be very clear. The current situation is quite embarrassing. Apologies must simply be made to the people. Tallinn was also involved -- at first there was a message that a school break is coming and it was clear. Now, we had to make a new quick decision with the school leaders," Kolvart said.

According to him, the complexity of the situation also causes the messages to be confusing. "The general situation is such as well. On the one hand, people understand that something needs to be done, but on the other hand, restrictions are unpopular, no one wants them. I think that in a crisis situation, crisis communication, the content of messages and decisions are just as important," Kolvart said.

The mayor added that one problem is that the leaders of local governments, such as the mayors of Tallinn and Tartu, for example, are not involved enough.

According to Kolvart, both clear decisions and a multi-stage plan are needed, which the government does not seem to have at present. "Unfortunately, the case currently is that we decide today, we communicate tomorrow and within two or three days there are three or four different messages, which are absolutely unclear," the mayor said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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