Some Tallinn and Ida-Viru County vocational schools still teach in Russian

Minister of Education and Research Krisitna Kallas (Eesti 200).
Minister of Education and Research Krisitna Kallas (Eesti 200). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

According to Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200), the issue of Estonian language skills in education is most acute in vocational institutions in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County. Kallas said, that despite the obligation to teach courses using Estonian as the medium of instruction being introduced in 2019, some vocational institutions still teach in Russian.

Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) told ERR, that while Estonian-language instruction is predominant in the country's general education schools, there are still some vocational education institutions, where Russian as the medium of instruction continues to predominate. Such institutions were required to switch to Estonian-language instruction in 2019.

"We are mainly talking about vocational schools in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County, as there is no Russian-language teaching in vocational schools elsewhere in Estonia," Kallas said.

Kallas added, that the problem relates to certain school owners, who have not ensured that the transition to Estonian-language teaching has taken place. "(Some) school owners have not demanded Estonian-language teaching and have not supervised or controlled it," Kallas explained. "Vocational schools that teach in Russian have been allowed to operate in violation of the law for the past four years."

Kallas said, that while there are several problematic schools, it is not yet possible to name specific schools, it is not possible to name them before the information in the monitoring reports has been confirmed. The ministry will then be able to better assess the situation and iron out plans to ensure vocational education institutions using Russian as the medium of instruction can switch to Estonian-language teaching as soon as possible.

According to Kallas, the monitoring of vocational schools has been completed and the reports are expected to be made public next week.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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