Negotiations regarding the possible nationalization of three schools in Lüganuse Municipality have not been running smoothly, with the Ministry of Education and Science taking almost two months to provide the municipality with a formal proposal.
On August 12, Education and Science Minister Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) announced the aim on social media the aim to nationalize three schools in Lüganuse municipality; Lüganuse School, Kiviõli 1st High School and Kiviõli Russian School, in order to strengthen the status of Estonian-language education in the region. However, it took until October 4, almost two months later, for the official proposal to be sent to Lüganuse. Lukas explained, that this was due to the thorough preparation work that had gone into the proposal.
"We prepared a platform from which to negotiate, so that we would not be left behind," said Lukas. "Technically, this meant simultaneously work on the action plan for the transition to Estonian-language education. So, the preparatory work has been done properly and I hope that Lüganuse Municipality is now ready to negotiate with the state on the nationalization of these schools, and that these negotiations will proceed swiftly," Lukas said.
During the August session of the Lüganuse Council, a proposal was made to the Ministry of Education and Science to nationalize Lüganuse School only, amid suggestions that plans to nationalize other schools in the municipality had only been heard about in the press and on social media.
The proposal to nationalize Lüganuse School came about in response to calls from local citizens.
"The issue of Lüganuse School was indeed discussed in the council, mainly because we received 252 signatures from citizens of Lüganuse, who wanted the municipality to start negotiations with the Ministry of Education and Science," said Marja-Liisa Veiser, mayor of Lüganuse Municipality.
Lüganuse Municipality originally decided to close the school, which has just 60 pupils, to save costs, however this decision was overturned after being challenged by parents in court. As a result, Lüganuse School remained open this fall semester, with one pupil beginning their educational journey there in the first class on September 1.
Editor: Michael Cole