Hannes Mets, head of the Ida-Viru County Vocational Education Center, has resigned, due to the school's inability to cope with the transition to Estonian-language education and its failure to comply with several other educational laws, Estonian Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) announced.
After conducting an inspection at the Ida-Viru County Vocational Education Center, the Ministry of Education and Research found a number of shortcomings in the organization of student admissions, Estonian-language teaching, curriculum delivery and teachers' qualifications.
According to Minister of Education Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200), the situation at the school was poor, in terms of general management, teachers' qualifications and Estonian-language teaching.
"The teaching at the school is not in line with the law, nor has it been for years. Although according to the law, the language of instruction for vocational education is Estonian. For the majority of the vocational education curricula at the Ida-Viru County Vocational Education Center, the teaching is in Estonian only in Estonian language classes, and a major chunk of the teaching is in Russian. Given the situation, I do not see any possibility for the school management to avoid taking responsibility," the minister said.
The inspection also found, that only 66 percent of the school's teachers had completed secondary or vocational qualifications. This contravenes the law, which states that schools cannot have more than 20 percent of their teachers with only the minimum level of qualifications.
The inspection also revealed that a third of the staff did not have the required level of proficiency in the Estonian language.
According to the ministry, the school's director Hannes Mets has opted to resign, with his decision effective from this Monday.
Ülle Matsin, head of the Ministry of Education and Research's general education department, will temporarily take over as the school's acting director. The ministry has already begun the search for Mets' long-term replacement.
Hannes Mets declined to provide a comment to ERR in relation to the allegations against him.
The change of director will not interrupt the school's intake of new students or its other activities.
With premises in Jõhvi, Sillamäe and Narva, the Ida-Viru County Vocational Education Center of is the only state-run vocational education institution operating in Ida-Viru County. It is the second largest vocational school in Estonia, with 2,500 students, 3,000 continuing education students and 270 staff members.
The school provides vocational education and training in the fields of service, engineering, manufacturing and construction, information and communication technologies, business, administration and law, humanities and the arts.
Editor: Michael Cole