Lukas recognized that teachers who are constantly overworked need a break as well as extra motivation.
“And they would like to see that their profession is valued,” he said on Vikerraadio’s morning show. “In the future, we could look at a year or a semester off, like in universities, in a certain amount of time, where people can commit to bettering themselves and not have to work under a heavy load. burden like a hamster in a wheel.So these measures exist with which teachers’ burdens can be reduced.
In universities and some other institutions, this practice, which traditionally involves a sabbatical every seven years, is called sabbatical.
Lukas also said he was pleased that the government is now addressing the nationwide systemic transition to education in Estonian.
“In Tartu, I proposed a system of concentrates, in which different school levels simultaneously switched to Estonian language education, and the city government implemented precisely this,” said the former mayor of the second largest city in Estonia. “It’s possible to transition from a nine-year basic school to three years this way. Let grades one, two, and three begin the transition and complete it at the same time.”
According to the new minister, it was agreed at the national level to start with a preparatory period, followed by a transition within three years to the first two school levels, and that the third does not need to be completed at the same time .
Regarding the growing shortage of teachers Estonia is facing, Lukas said that teachers need to be sufficiently motivated. More teachers will be needed by 2024, when the transition to Estonian-language education is expected to start at elementary school level – from grades one to four.
“We don’t need the whole basic school in 2024 yet,” he explained. “We also talk about kindergarten. It should be easier in the case of kindergartens, because a lot of young people specialize in early childhood education and teaching. If we motivate them enough, we will find these people. We ‘ “I will have to help people in certain areas with an additional salary and additional social guarantees. But that’s why the coalition has worked out an agreement – to take these necessary steps.”
Estonia needs to find these teachers, Lukas continued. “The Estonian people finally have confidence in education, and we have always found teachers,” he said.
On education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the new education minister praised his predecessor, reformist minister Liina Kersna, adding that work should continue in the same vein.
“Liina Kersna has done well in keeping schools open, with a few exceptions,” Lukas said. “It is very important that the children can go to school and be in direct contact with the pedagogues. We will try to continue in the same vein, but I assume that corresponding measures will be adopted once we have learned of the terms.”
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