The resources of the European Social Fund (ESF) are used to fulfil the goals defined in the Estonian teacher education strategy and to carry out the implementation plan. Two programmes have been developed for this purpose, which will be implemented by the Ministry of Education and Research.
ESF programme Eduko
The overall objective of the programme is to strengthen educational research in Estonia and to foster the creation of a new generation of academics engaged in education-related research and teachers engaged in teacher training, thereby forming a flexible and coherent system of teacher education, which contributes to the sustainable development of the society.
Partners, namely Estonian institutions of higher education that provide state commissioned education in the field of education, will be involved in carrying out the activities of the programme. The implementing agency of the programme is the Archimedes Foundation.
The primary target group of the programme comprises the teachers who provide teacher training, post-graduate students and research staff, as well as active school teachers who are involved in the training of students studying to become teachers. The target group also includes students, teaching and research staff, and school teachers involved in conducting education-related research and analyses.
The programme contains six major areas of activity:
- Strengthening the new generation of teachers in the field of education and developing doctoral study programmes.
- Promoting the study of education through research and analyses.
- Analyzing and developing teacher training curricula.
- Reforming the methodology and contents of teaching and developing our human resource.
- Developing the administration and quality assessment of teacher training.
- Providing information and encouraging cooperation.
ESF programme: Raising the Qualification of General Education Teachers in 2008–2014.
The overall objective of the programme is to create the conditions required for the professional development and sound professional activity of general education teachers throughout their careers.
The target groups of the programme include:
- Teachers at basic schools, upper secondary schools, preschool child-care institutions and teachers of general education subjects at vocational schools, hospital teachers, and teachers pursuing the vocation.
- Heads of educational institutions, speech therapists, school psychologists, hospital teachers, social pedagogy professionals, special education teachers.
- Parties interested in the development of the field of general education (owners of educational institutions, education specialists on the county and local government level, professional associations, trainers of trainers, etc.).
The programme includes three major sub-activities:
- Supporting the professional development of teachers and developing the continuing education system.
- Developing the principles of proving one's professional qualification and applying them to teachers.
- Developing teachers’ cooperation networks in order to support professional development.
The programme is implemented by the National Examinations and Qualifications Centre.