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Estonia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

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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

This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2012.

The introduction of the chapter describes the overall education strategy and the key objectives across the whole education system. It also looks at how the education reform process is organised and who are the main actors in the decision-making process.

The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels: Early childhood education and care; School education; VET and Adult learning; Higher education; and Transversal skills and Employability. Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.

Finally the section on the European perspective provides links to European strategies in which education and training have a prominent role.


Overall national education strategy and key objectives

In February 2014 the Government of the Republic adopted the Estonian Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020. This document guides the most important developments in the area of education. It is the basis on which the government will make its decisions for educational funding for the years 2014-2020 and for the development of programmes that support the achievement of necessary changes.

The strategy specifically addresses the most important obstacles in the area of lifelong learning. It is critically important for society to remove these obstructions, because they impact on the achievement of many agreed goals. 

The Lifelong Learning Strategy plays an important role in achieving the general objectives of the “Estonia 2020” programme.

5 strategic goals have been established:

  1.  CHANGE IN THE APPROACH TO LEARNING. Implementation of an approach to learning that supports each learner’s individual and social development, the acquisition of learning skills, creativity and entrepreneurship at all levels and in all types of education.
  2. COMPETENT AND MOTIVATED TEACHERS AND SCHOOL LEADERSHIP. The assessments of teachers and headmasters including their salaries are consistent with the qualification requirements for the job and the work-related performance.
  3. CONCORDANCE OF LIFELONG LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES WITH THE NEEDS OF LABOUR MARKET. Lifelong learning opportunities and career services that are diverse, flexible and of good quality, resulting in an increase in the number of people with professional or vocational qualifications in different age groups, and an increase in overall participation in lifelong learning across Estonia.
  4. A DIGITAL FOCUS IN LIFELONG LEARNING. Modern digital technology is used for learning and teaching effectively and efficiently. An improvement in the digital skills of the total population has been achieved and access to the new generation of digital infrastructure is ensured.
  5. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND INCREASED PARTICIPATION IN LIFELONG LEARNING. Equal opportunities for lifelong learning have been created for every individual.

Overview of the education reform process and drivers

Implementation of the strategy will be coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Research, and others contributing to its implementation will be other ministries, local governments (as the school owners), professional associations, learners, teachers, school leaders, etc. Three months after the adoption of the strategy, the Ministry of Education and Research will compile an Implementation Plan. This plan will show the planned activities together with the indicators, budgets and responsible parties according to a yearly plan. The Implementation Plan will also outline the most important activities for each strategic goal with reference to the programme that will be responsible for carrying out the respective activities (including planning, implementation, reporting, etc.). The Implementation Plan will be renewed yearly when the State Budget Strategy is compiled.

For implementing the strategy, the Ministry of Education and Research will compile the following programmes, based on the Development Plan and the Implementation Plan:

  • General education programme
  • Vocational education programme
  • Higher education programme
  • Adult education programme
  • Teacher and school leadership education programme
  • Learning resources programme
  • Study and career counselling programme
  • Labour market and education cooperation programme
  •  School network programme

Representatives from other relevant ministries will also be involved in the development of these programmes.