The Ministry of Education and Research will not start surveillance proceedings against schools that went on distance learning, something which was being considered two weeks ago. Instead, a monitoring study will be carried out in order to organize remote learning better in the future.
Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna (Reform) said that there will be no surveillance proceedings starting against the schools that went on distance learning because the schools belong to the area of local governments, not the state, while there is already a respective court proceeding in process.
"Today, a school leader can decide whether the school will go on distance learning, but it needs to be a justified decision, it has to be coordinated with the Health Board. We can see today that the court has said providing its initial legal protection that it has to work in this way. We have a parallel court proceeding taking place. It will definitely give us clarity on what is the responsibility of a local government and what can be decided by a school leader," she said.
Kersna said that the ministry could not do more now because they are not state schools, but schools owned by local governments.
According to the new plan, the ministry will complete a monitoring study covering 157 schools in ten municipalities.
"We are preparing an amendment to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, where we also want to regulate the transition to distance learning.
Tallinn city government should meet with school leaders on Tuesday to discuss whether schools should continue with partial distance learning in the coming weeks.
Kersna stressed that sending schools on distance learning must be epidemiologically justified.
"Simply sending children to distance learning is not in line with the law," she said.
The minister said that the infection rate has already fallen sharply today and that there are fewer school outbreaks.
Tallinn city government sent grades 4-8 on remote learning for two weeks after pupils came back from the half-term break on November 1, while some other municipalities, including Pärnu, did the same, amid soaring Covid rates.
Editor: Roberta Vaino