As reported on ERR News, Monday marks the start of exam season for Estonian school leavers, with the Estonian language state exam taking place that day, followed on Tuesday by the Estonian language exam for those students who speak it as a second language.
Education minister Mailis Reps (Centre) marked the day with a speech broadcast on ERR's Vikerraadio on Monday, which she will repeat in the Russian language on Raadio 4 on Tuesday. The text of her address follows:
Exam time undoubtedly takes effort and concentration, but at the same time it offers an air of expectancy for all who have at least one school graduate in the midst of their family or circle of acquaintances.
Perhaps it hasn't escaped your notice that the final exams period for many also brings the joy of reminiscence, especially for parents. In this way, past and present experiences are bridged, and generations are united, bringing back memories of school time, classmates and teachers. We all remain convinced that the future must be educated, moral and enterprising.
Some of you are for sure waiting for lessons to be wrapped up and graduation formalities to come. But there will certainly be others who feel they could do with a bit more revision and learning time, even just that extra day.
This year, the Estonian language exam is even more special, as 2019 marks the year of the Estonian language. We're celebrating as it is now 100 years since the Estonian language was first referred to as an official state language. As of now we've reached a stage where Estonian is amongst the most developed languages in the world – we have our culture, media, sciences, and you can be educated in Estonian all the way to the doctoral level.
Thus the time has come for you to consolidate everything you have learned up to now. Furthermore, the final exams are not called ''maturation exams'' (Estonian: Küpsuseksamid) for nothing. You'll soon find out how ready you are to take the next steps in your education. It's down to you to take the decision and responsibility. I do hope that you will all find the doors to your favourite choices open. I am of the belief that you will do your best and will continue to be keen to learn, enquire, explore, seek and discover.
Dear young people: Your knowledge, intelligence and enterprise are vital to the development of a smart and active Estonia.
So I wish you sharp wits and wise thoughts for today's exam, and success over the entire exam period, as well as the curiosity and perseverance in fulfilling all your future desires! Be marvellous!
Editor: Andrew Whyte