Tallinn plans to let elementary and graduating students back to school

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An empty classroom in Estonia (picture is illustrative). Source: Ministry of Education and Research

If the government doesn't decide otherwise at the cabinet meeting on Thursday, January 7, Tallinn plans to send elementary school students, 9th and 12th grades, back to school next Monday. The remainder of the students in the capital will continue with the distance learning system.

Tallinn is planning to send students of 1-4th, 9th and 12th grades back to school when the Christmas holiday is over, i.e. on the scheduled first day of school on January 11. The prerequisite is the national government's decision made on Thursday.

The government decided on December 29 that if the epidemiological situation allows it, the elementary and graduating classes can go back to school from January 11. In the rest of the regions of Estonia, the distance learning obligation will end entirely.

The decision made on December 29 isn't final, however - it will be looked through on January 7 at the regular Thursday cabinet meeting. Tallinn will act based on the government's decision.

Head of the Board of Education (Haridusamet), Andres Pajula, is optimistic. "Based on the information, we have knowledge that elementary school students will definitely continue with contact lessons, and most probably graduating classes if there are no additional restrictions. If the children are let back to school, then we don't have any reason to establish different rules. Tallinn has always been of the opinion that elementary school students should continue going to school."

The Education Board was going to discuss the issue with school principals on Tuesday, but they postponed it to Thursday. All students in Tallinn were sent on distance learning from December 14 amid rising coronavirus rates in the capital.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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