The Ministry of Education and Research (HTM) has put together a new mandatory education plan obligating people to learn until they turn 18 or graduate from a high school or vocational school. This will cause basic school final exams to be brought up to May, Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas said.
According to the plan, basic school exams will take place in early May starting in 2024 so results can be used to apply to the next school levels (high school, vocational school).
High schools would launch their admissions from May 18, with students returning to their studies after the exams. Kallas told ERR that basic school exam results would be in by May 18. Basic school final exams have traditionally been held in June, or after high school admissions.
"The aim of changes is to make graduating from one school level and starting the next logical from where the students are standing. It would also shorten the transition for young people," Kallas remarked.
The ministry also plans to put together an integrated system for graduating from basic school and high school or vocational school admissions.
As things stand, the first basic school final exam of 2024 would be Estonian as a second language to be held on April 16. The rest of the exams would take place after the spring break.
"We do have the concern of increased teacher workload if the examinations period is cut short. We need to discuss this with out partners to find the optimal solution," Kallas said.
The Ministry of Education is also making preparations for switching to e-exams in Estonian (both as first and second language) and English, while the mathematics exam would remain on paper.
The draft regulation will be sent out for approval this week, Kallas added.
Data from the HTM suggests 654 basic school graduates did not continue their studies, while 20 percent of vocational school students dropped out during their first year in 2022.
Editor: Grete-Liina Roosve, Jane Saluorg, Marcus Turovski