The Estonian government on Thursday approved a plan for a second round of investments proposed by the Ministry of Education and Research in which €45.5 million will be disbursed to finance the renovation of 12 basic schools in various parts of the country.
This investment will reduce municipalities' expenses and allow for them to direct more money toward substantive activities in education. The projects involved will be carried out in Tallinn, Tartu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Jõhvi, Sillamäe, Haapsalu, Pärnu, Türi, Rakvere, Hiiumaa and Saaremaa.
In the previous investment round, 22 schools received support, the Government Office said.
According to Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Centre), these investments will improve students' learning environment and enhance municipalities' capabilities.
"We are working toward support for municipalities definitely continuing in the next structural fund period," Reps said. "There are still dozens of municipalities that want to get their school network in order and modernise their schools."
In the latest call for proposals, under which the renovation of 12 schools will receive support, applications were filed by municipalities for the renovation of 28 schools. The investment support is available to municipalities which have discontinued running a high school and opted for a state high school, as well as to municipalities reorganising their basic school network to bring it into accordance with changes in student numbers.
While the aggregate area of the country's education infrastructure will decrease by 31,000 sq m, almost 44,000 sq m of modern and cost-effective school premises will be built as part of the projects financed with the measure.
The previous such investment plan, for 22 projects worth altogether €55.3 million, was endorsed in 2017, six of the projects of which are to be completed this fall.
The total value of the two calls for proposals inclusive of the municipalities' own contribution is approximately €116 million, €102 million of which is provided by the European Regional Development Fund.
Editor: Aili Vahtla