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OECD praises Estonia as efficient, clever at UNESCO education conference

A teacher and pupil using a tablet together in the classroom.
A teacher and pupil using a tablet together in the classroom. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris on Wednesday highlighted Estonia among 195 countries as a clever country managing efficiently with its resources.

Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Center) highlighted at the conference that Estonia is extensively using information and communication technology solutions in education, which ensure the sustainable development of the field and is an important trendsetter in the world, ministry spokespeople told BNS.

Discussions at the conference focused on UNESCO's vision of education goals that are also linked to Estonia's lifelong learning strategy, in particular the changing of the study approach. "The goals that UNESCO is setting in education have already been domestically set by Estonia on its own initiative with strategic goals," Reps said.

The new study approach means taking into consideration the individual differences of students, and, along with subject knowledge, paying more attention to so-called 21st century skills, including for example study skills, cooperation skills and self-guidance skills. The minister highlighted as the strength of the Estonian educational system schools' large degree of autonomy both in pedagogical and practical questions and the responsibility of those maintaining schools in improving the school environment.

The conference also addressed the collecting and disclosing of educational data. In Estonia, the portal Haridussilm displays performance indicators reflecting the performance of schools, the data of which is mainly based on the educational information system, and they are used every day in developing education policy.

The UNESCO General Conference is held every two years, and participants include representatives of UNESCO member states, associated members and observers from outside UNESCO, as well as intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. The General Conference determines the policies and main lines of work of UNESCO.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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