Plans to close half of Estonia's high schools in effect

  • 2008-12-02
  • TBT staff in cooperation with BNS

TALLINN- According to a plan for the reorganization of theschoool network now being prepered for at the Education Ministry about onehundred Estonian high schools,called gumnaasiumid, gymnasia, in Estonian,could be closed, the daily Eesti Paevaleht reported.

Education Minister Tonis Lukas said the ministry is considering how manyhigh schools are needed in Estonia and how many exactly will be closed in theupcoming years.

In 2012 high schools and primary schools that meet the established termswill be issued schooling licenses. "As we are mainly talking about highschools, schools that do not meet the terms will not be issued schoolinglicenses," Lukas said.

The conditions for closure are the existence of an either scientific orhumanitarian bias, teaching of an optional subject in promoting that bias,qualified teachers and a sufficient number of students.

If a high school located outside the county seat meets the terms, it willalso be issued the schooling license. If there are only five students set toattend the tenth grade in a small community school, the local government willclose the school anyway.

Peeter Kreitzberg, chairman of the parliament's standing culture committee,said that separation of the basic school and the high school had beenrelatively well accepted in parliament. "I believe that more of less allthe parties are in its favor," Kreitzberg said.

Kreitzberg said that as there were 232 high schools in Estonia at present, then about 100 ofthem would probably be closed.