National flag raised as schools return for new academic year

Welcome back to school ceremony at the Jõhvi High School in Ida-Viru County in 2022.
Welcome back to school ceremony at the Jõhvi High School in Ida-Viru County in 2022. Source: Government Office

Thursday, September 1 is the traditional back-to-school day across Estonia, and as such is also a national flag day.

The blue-black-white is already, at the time of writing, flying from all state, public and local government buildings, while householders, private sector firms and other organizations are invited to join in the welcoming of children back from the long summer break.

Also known as Teadmistepäev ("the day of knowledge"), teachers, too, are heralded for their work, at the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.

The Ministry of Education and Research, based in Tartu, estimates that close to 14,000 pupils are entering first grade this year, while 158,000 pupils are enrolled at general education schools and 26,000 at vocational schools, this year, the ministry says.

Higher education institutions generally start their new academic year this week also, and around 44,000 students are enrolled for 2022-2023, the ministry said.

The national flag should, as with most flag days, be raised no later than 8 a.m. and lowered at sunset (which on September 1 is a few minutes after 9 p.m.) or, if it is not lowered, illuminated via lighting, once sun has gone down.

Education is highly prized in Estonia, and the country ranks first in Europe on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings.

The remaining flag days for 2022 are: September 11 (Grandparents' Day), October 15 (The Day of Finno-Ugric Peoples) and November 13 (Father's Day).


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Government Office

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