Tallinn not moving all schools to distance learning

Students who have been on remote learning get to return to school.
Students who have been on remote learning get to return to school. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart has said there are no plans to send all schools in the capital to distance learning in the near future.

Kõlvart told ERR the city government believed distance learning was the correct measure last year but it created tensions and a backlash from the government.

As schools, were criticized for moving to remote learning last term, there was no will to do it again immediately after the school holidays, he said.

Yesterday, it was reported 40 percent of schools have moved to distance learning anyway due to outbreaks of coronavirus.

"We didn't do it centrally, the virus did it for us, which I don't think is right," the mayor said, adding the distance learning policy continues as before.

"Today, as each school has its own system and some classes are distance learning and some have already returned, a centralized approach would not be very appropriate, as it would create further confusion," he said.

Kõlvart said the policy had been discussed with school leaders and it was agreed this would continue.

"We fully support and encourage school leaders to implement distance learning if necessary, but will do not do it centrally," he added.

The mayor said the city government also encourages schools to make decisions about distance learning without waiting for instructions from the Health Board.

"I am being honest, we encourage schools to make decisions quickly because the Health Board does not have the resources to respond quickly and deal with the situation at the moment," he said.

Representatives of the city and schools will meet again next week. 

Andres Pajula, the head of the Education Board, confirmed every school leader bases their decisions on the situation in their own school.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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