TALLINN - The Estonian Ministry of Education and Research is supporting municipal and private schools with altogether over six million euros to provide additional support for students next academic year.
"The supplementary funds for schools will go towards providing as much support in learning as possible to students according to their needs," Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna said. "It is clear that gaps in education have emerged for some children during distance learning. Addressing these gaps requires a very student-centered approach."
The minister highlighted that different students need different types of support and schools are best equipped for providing flexible needs-based instruction. The funds can for instance be used for forming smaller study groups, providing supplementary lessons or reviewing complex topics. Schools and school managers will be able to decide on their own what to spend the additional money on.
The support will be distributed between school managers on the basis of the number of students in their school as at Nov. 10, 2020. The additional support amounts to 40 euros per student, or 6,135,920 euros in total.
In addition, the ministry also continued the provision of support to schools for the purpose of reducing the workload of teachers. Cooperation agreements concerning a program of substitute teachers will be extended with Tallinn University and the University of Tartu at least until the end of this year. During the spring period, students in teacher training have provided close to 2,500 hours of assistance to schools and schools have requested as part of the program that substitute teachers teach altogether 1,864 classes until the end of May.
The ministry's priority for 2021-2024 is eliminating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and creating new solutions for plugging gaps in education as rapidly as possible.