Tallinn discussing one-week distance learning extension

An empty classroom (photo is illustrative).
An empty classroom (photo is illustrative). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Tallinn City Government will discuss extending distance learning on Wednesday. Officials have said an additional week out of school could be beneficial.

School leaders held a two-hour meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue and were given an overview of the coronavirus situation by head of the West Tallinn Central Hospital Arkadi Popov.

Andres Pajula, the head of the Tallinn Board of Education, said: "School leaders concluded that it was not fair to just watch the virus spread in Tallinn schools. They thought it was best to do something, and from a medical and immunological point of view, it was considered that restrictions should last for at least two weeks, then they will have some effect."

Continuing restrictions for students already on distance learning would be reasonable, he said. It was not discussed if the rules should apply to all schools or only those with low vaccination rates.

A final decision will be made on Wednesday by Tallinn City Council.

The organization of school testing, which started on Monday, was also discussed. Questions were raised about carrying out testing at home or in school. "Opinions were divided equally or there were different opinions," he said.

Pajula said Tallinn has not made decisions about schools lightly. Looking at the epidemiological situation, there are almost 2,000 new cases and 10 deaths a day, he said.

All schools have contingency plans that provide for partial distance learning and decentralization. 

He said forecasts have shown the number of coronavirus patients needing treatment will reach a "critical level" over the next two weeks.

On Tuesday, 595 patients were in hospital and experts have been said the limit is between 600-650.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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