Response to Covid-19 during the school year 2020-2021
In Estonia schools reopened on 1 September 2020 with face to face teaching.
In case the risk of infection increases, educational institutions must be prepared to change the form of teaching. The goal though is to avoid switching to full distance learning.
Students showing any kind of sickness must stay at home. Good hygiene practices, special routes within the schools and social distancing are also applied within the school environment. Special instructions and guidelines on the organisation of preventive measures for the different educational levels have been prepared and shared with the respective bodies.
In the autumn, it is customary to start school by validating the knowledge level of students. This year, it is recommended that teachers pay special attention to this process since the previous distance learning period has showed that various educational needs have risen.
As of 14 September, The Pathfinder Centers (Rajaleidja keskused) started providing support lines over phones to assist schools, support specialists and parents. This help is provided free of charge.
Finally, the landing page for assisting schools and parents in providing remote education is being created. We also will continue provision of online training seminars for school personnel.
Response to Covid-19 during the school year 2019-2020
In Estonia, a website with guidelines and instructions for schools and teachers was launched. HITSA run webinars and online conferences that have been proved the most effective channel of communication with teachers and parents. A hotline was also made available for schools in need of assistance.
During the first two weeks of the confinement, schools were advised to ‘take it easy’ and take time to adjust. Teachers were instructed to avoid the assessment of students. The focus should rather be on organising the work on a school level. One of the challenges was that teachers use different platforms for organising online lessons resulting in a heterogeneous situation for all.