Reform Party wants ministry to develop plan for schools in case of COVID outbreak

  • 2020-09-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The opposition Reform Party group in Riigikogu submitted for handling by the Estonian parliament a draft seeking to impose an obligation on the Ministry of Education and Research to develop a plan for the organization of work in schools during a possible COVID-19 outbreak based on expert recommendations.

"The situation which has seen some school managers, such as the City of Tallinn, establish its own rules, generates fear and uncertainty in students, teachers and parents alike. It is our goal that extensive distance learning should only be used on the basis of researchers' and experts' recommendations and not based on politicians' wishes," Reform Party MP Signe Riisalo said. Most local governments have done a very good job at managing schools in their area, she added.

Riisalo noted that restrictions must not disproportionately and without good reason infringe on kindergarten and school children's right to receive high-quality education, learn social skills and receive warm school food.

"The reasons for deviations from regular organization of learning must be unambiguously clear to teachers, students, parents and heads of schools, and they must be based on previously agreed objective figures and actions plans," she said.

The Reform Party MP said that the party group is concerned about the quality of education, deterioration of study results and parents' burden due to having to teach their children at home.

"The use of extensive distance learning can only be permitted on the basis of a recommendation of the research council advising the Government of the Republic or on the basis of some other scientific substantiation and approval by the Health Board," Riisalo concluded.