Six-million euros in additional support for schoolchildren is to be channeled over the next academic year, and will focus on gaps in education which have emerged for some children as a result of the ongoing remote learning arising from the coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying restrictions.
Education minister Liina Kersna (Reform) said: "The supplementary funds for schools will go towards providing as much support in learning as possible to students according to their needs."
"It is clear that gaps in education have emerged for some children during distance learning. Addressing these gaps requires a very student-centered approach," Kersna, whose ministry is providing the support, went on.
The ministry says its priority for 2021-2024 is mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and creating new solutions for plugging gaps in education as rapidly as possible, and the support will be provided both to state and private schools, for the schools themselves to decide how to allocate, BNS reports.
Different students need different types of support and, it is argued, schools are best equipped for providing flexible needs-based instruction, with smaller study groups, supplementary lessons and revision of complex topics.
The distribution will take place proportionate to student numbers, on the basis of the number of students at a school as of November 10 2020- Given the total support comes to €6,135,920, BNS reports, per capita additional support is €40.
Reducing the workload of existing teachers via substitute teachers, primarily from the universities of Tartu and of Tallinn, will continue at least to the end of this year.
So far such schemes have provided 2,500 hours of assistance to schools.
The current academic year finishes for most schools at the end of May.
Editor: Andrew Whyte