Three high schools will open in Tallinn at the start of the new school year, but while construction is on track, it is proving harder to find new teachers.
Tallinn Tõnismäe State High School, Tallinn Pelgulinna State High School, and Mustamäe State High School are all seeking new staff members this year. All three started advertising their positions early.
Eight teachers have accepted contracts to work at Tallinn Tõnismäe State High School but at least 10 more are needed for the 160 students.
Director Alo Savi said recruitment started in December but there is a "noticeable shortage of teachers across Estonia".
"Normally this kind of search for teachers starts in March-April. And we're by no means the only ones. In addition to Tallinn's three state high schools /.../ dozens of schools are either looking for teachers now or for next year. It's a real challenge, a real concern," he told Thursday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".
Indrek Lillemäe, director of Tallinn Pelgulinna State High School, said some teachers will relocate from other schools. But there is a big shortage of Estonian language and science teachers.
"There are currently fewer science candidates, especially mathematics. And for positions where you can also apply with private sector experience or public sector experience there was a very, very high demand," he said.
One way to solve the shortage is to cooperate. For example, Mustamäe State High School collaborates with TalTech university.
But so far the school has not found a single full-time teacher and recruitment may need to take place in the spring as well.
"The challenge is that even if we have several great candidates in a field or a subject this year, we will have to make a choice, but the [next] challenge is that we will also need more next year because we are gradually expanding," said Raino Liblik, director of Mustamäe State High School.
Applications close on Sunday.
Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera