As of 2018, the amount of Estonian language instruction provided to refugees has been tripled from 100 to 300 hours. A total of €400,000 has been earmarked to fund the program over the next two years.
As in 2016 and 2017, the language instruction will be provided by continuing education provider Tartu Rahvaülikool, the successful offeror in a call for proposals, spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior said.
Tartu Rahvaülikool made the sole offer in the call for proposals.
Of the €399,999.99 earmarked for language instruction for refugees in 2018-2019, €100,000 is being provided by the Estonian state and the remainder by Europe's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).
Language instruction with the goal of an A2 level of proficiency will be provided to at least 150 people. All beneficiaries of international protection, regardless of whether they have arrived in Estonia as part of regular migration or under the EU migrant distribution plan, will be eligible for the program.
With 150 attendees, the cost of the program would be €2,666.67 per person.
About three quarters of the language training to be provided will take place in a classroom setting, and the remainder, or about 75 hours, will consist of learning the language and rehearsing its use in various practical situations, including by attending language cafés, cooking, and computer training.
Money will also be provided for events and seminars at which teachers can exchange experiences, for methodology upgrades as well as for the provision of childcare for those program participants whose children do not yet attend kindergarten.
During the 2016-2017 period, the volume of Estonian language instruction under a similar program was capped at 100 hours; the total cost of the program was €200,000.
Editor: Aili Vahtla