eesti keeles

Press Releases
Open in print mode

The Presidential Roundtable on National Minorities discussed the national curriculum

The Presidential Roundtable on National Minorities convened today at Kadriorg for a session that was chaired by the Head of State to discuss preparations for transition of Russian-language gymnasiums to Estonian language tuition as of 2007 in accordance with the new national curriculum.

The discussion focused primarily on the general part of the curriculum for schools of general education. The members of the Roundtable on National Minorities concluded that curricula of Estonian schools should be unified regardless of the language of instruction, and have to take into account the society's multiculturalism and the two sides of integration.

Parties of the discussion were interested to find out to what extent the Ministry of Education and Research has taken into account the readiness of teachers for transition to the Estonian language as the language of instruction and their training and retraining needs. According to the information provided by the Bureau of the Minister of Population Affairs the first fifty teachers have already concluded their retraining courses.

The President of the Republic noted that it is necessary to consider the needs of individual people and to avoid rigid solutions. The Head of State also stressed the necessity to continue the dialogue with the Public Understanding Education Forum. Due to continuous decrease in the number of pupils and the above-mentioned reorganisation some teachers will lose their jobs, and President Rüütel deemed it important to offer them a possibility to work at different support units dealing with children's problems.

According to the assessment made by the members of the Roundtable the available information concerning the planned transition is not sufficient and this causes ungrounded prejudices and tension. It was also emphasised that the national programme has to be implemented through cooperation between different ministries and in line with the state budget. It was also pointed out that the topic is over-politicised and it should not be dependent on elections or change of government.

Public Relations Department of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, January 24, 2006

© 2006 Office of the President l tel: + 372 631 6202 l fax: + 372 631 6250 l