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Children and youngsters from Ukraine can pursue education at all levels in Estonia

9. March 2022 - 18:20

The Government of Estonia supports the continuation of the education of children and young people who have been forced to leave Ukraine due to the ongoing war. The Ministry of Education and Research has prepared an action plan according to which children and young people from Ukraine have access to pre-primary, general and vocational education as well as secondary as higher education in Estonia according to the their age and previous education.

"We are ready to offer Ukrainian children opportunities to continue their education in both pre-primary and general education, as well as higher education in Estonia. It is important to find flexible opportunities so that every child and youngster can participate in education. This will be done in close cooperation with school keepers and schools as well as hobby education and youth work institutions. Only with a joint contribution of different parties we are able to create as fostering environment as possible for children and young people who have had to flee their homes due to the horrors of war," said Minister Liina Kersna. According to Minister Kersna, Minister of Education and Research of Ukraine Serhiy Shkarlet said at a meeting held last week that the support of the Baltic States in the current war is vital. 

According to the Ministry of Education and Research, it is important to understand that among the families arriving from the areas of the armed conflict in Ukraine, there are those who come to Estonia only for the duration of the war and wish to return home as soon as possible, as well as those families who plan to stay in Estonia for a longer period. The continuation of the education of children and young people arriving from Ukraine is therefore possible on the basis of a short-term and long-term plan. "In the case of the short term plan, there is no clear expectation that students will continue their studies in Estonia on a permanent basis, but the preconditions are being created. The aim of the long term plan is to integrate children into the local education system, to help them adapt to Estonian school culture and to learn Estonian," said Minister Kersna. 

Minister Liina Kersna confirmed that the Ministry, together with the local Ukrainian community and the Unemployment Insurance Fund, is currently mapping teachers from Ukraine so that they can start working as soon as possible to support Ukrainian children.  

All children from Ukraine who are compulsory school age are generally guaranteed a place in an Estonian-language school, and the school will preapare an individual study plan for the pupil. After completing general education, it is possible to choose to study in a gymnasium for general secondary education or to move on to vocational secondary education and acquire general secondary education along with the vocational qualification.  

Young people who have completed upper secondary education can continue their studies in vocational training or higher education. If the student has started higher education studies in Ukraine, it is possible to continue studies in a related field of study in an Estonian higher education institution by transferring the previously studied data. 

More information on the continuation of the education of children arriving in Estonia from Ukraine is available on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research, which is constantly updated:

  • The Ministry of Education and Research has prepared guidelines for local governments and educational institutions on the admission of war refugee children to an Estonian kindergarten or school and the related curriculum arrangements: (in Estonian)
  • Today, 9 March, the Ministry of Education and Research organised an information session for local govenments and educational institutions to present the guidelines on the education of children and young people in Ukraine and answer questions. 
  • Today 9 March, Education and Youth Board of Estonia launched a series of webinars "The Multilingual Child in Estonian Education".
  • On Friday 11 March, starting at 12:00, the Ministry of Education and Science will hold a press conference to educational staff to present an action plan on the possibilities for children and young people from Ukraine to continue their education.

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