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Estonia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

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Overview Estonia

Contents

Estonia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Estonia:Historical Development

Estonia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Estonia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Estonia:Political and Economic Situation

Estonia:Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Estonia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Estonia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Estonia:Organisation of Private Education

Estonia:National Qualifications Framework

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Estonia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Funding in Education

Estonia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Estonia:Higher Education Funding

Estonia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Estonia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Organisation

Estonia:Teaching and Learning

Estonia:Assessment

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Estonia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Higher Education

Estonia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Estonia:First Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Bachelor

Estonia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Estonia:Second Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Estonia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Estonia:Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Estonia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Estonia:Main Providers

Estonia:Main Types of Provision

Estonia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Estonia:Teachers and Education Staff

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Management and Other Education Staff

Estonia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Estonia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Quality Assurance

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Educational Support and Guidance

Estonia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Estonia:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Estonia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Estonia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Mobility in Higher Education

Estonia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Estonia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Estonia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:National Reforms in School Education

Estonia:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Estonia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Estonia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Estonia:European Perspective

Estonia:Legislation

Estonia:Glossary

The fundamental principles of provision of education in the Republic of Estonia are established in the Constitution of the Republic, the Child Protection Act and the Education Act.

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, everyone has the right to education. The point of departure of education is the recognition of basic human and national values and freedom of personality, religion and consciousness. The main purpose of education is to establish favouring conditions for the development of personality, family, the Estonian and minority nations, also the development of economic, political and cultural life in Estonia and protection of the environment in the context of the global economy and culture. It is equally important to raise people who will respect and follow laws, and to create possibilities for continuous learning for everybody.

According to the Child Protection Act, every child has the right for education, which develops the child's mental and physical abilities and forms a healthy personality. Instruction must focus on the individual, take into consideration the differences between sexes and be grounded on recognition of children' progress. Instruction must not involve physical violence or mental abuse. Instruction must not be ideologically biased or promote hatred or violence. Teachers and caretakers of children with special needs (physical disabilities, sensory disorders, speech disorders and multiple disabilities, mental disabilities, nervous disorders, psychiatric disorders or behavioural disorders) must have acquired special education and be suitable for such work.

Education is compulsory for school-age children to the extent specified by law and free of charge in state and local government general education schools. The provision of education is supervised by the state. In order to make education accessible, the state and local governments must maintain the requisite number of educational institutions. Other educational institutions, including private schools, may also be established and maintained pursuant to law. Operation of schools grounded on the private capital of physical or legal entities is regulated by the Private Schools Act.

Parents have the final decision in making educational choices for their children. Everyone has the right to receive instruction in Estonian. The Republic of Estonia guarantees the instruction of the Estonian language in all public educational institutions and study groups where the language of instruction is other than Estonian. In basic school the language of instruction may be any language; the choice of the language is made by the owner of the school. In upper secondary school, the language of instruction is Estonian but it may be any other language if the Government of the Republic approves it according to a relevant application. Religious training is voluntary for students but compulsory for a school, provided that there is sufficient demand. The structure of the educational system and the educational standard of the state create an opportunity for everyone to proceed from one educational level to another.

The Ministry of Education and Research has set the objective to develop legislation that regulates all educational relationships essential for the society by delivering optimal number of legal acts, implements similar practices in regulation of similar fields of education, and uses the same terminology throughout the educational legislation. In addition to the Republic of Estonia Education Act, 9 more acts regulate the educational sphere in Estonia: the Preschool Child Care Institutions Act, the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, the Vocational Educational Institutions Act, the Universities Act, the Private Schools Act, the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act, the Standard of Higher Education, the Adult Education Act and the Science and Development Organisation Act


Legislative References

Constitution of the Republic

Child Protection Act

Education Act

Private Schools Act

Preschool Child Care Institutions Act

Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act

Vocational Educational Institutions Act

Universities Act

Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act

Standard of Higher Education

Adult Education Act

Science and Development Organisation Act