Estonia was highlighted at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) for its comprehensive, integral and sustainable education system. School leadership, challenges of the pre-primary education and innovation in education as well as development of sustainable education system were few of the topics that were discussed during the two-day ISTP in Helsinki, Finland.
International feedback is highly important to Estonia, but in addition to setting an example, Estonia must learn from other’s experiences, said Mart Laidmets, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia. “The image of teaching profession and the sustainability of education system is crucial question for many countries. Estonia was highlighted as a country where many efforts have been made to increase the image of teaching profession and support their professional development: start up grant, professional support development, salary increase and state prize help to increase the image of teaching profession. These also set examples to other countries,” said Laidmets.
“Estonia’s effort are about to give results – the image of teaching profession is changing, teachers feel valued and new teachers have good economic foundation,” said Laidmets and assured that although Estonia sets example, the country is still far from the desired conditions and Estonia must continue the efforts. Participants at the ISTP agreed that best practices and experiences must be shared to ensure success.
The development of pre-primary education got special attention the ISTP. Estonia was highlighted for its inclusive system that is not just a day care, but kindergartens also serve as educational institutions. Also, compared to other countries the professional development of kindergarten teachers are at high level.
Estonia was represented at the ISTP in addition to Laidmets by Reemo Voltri, the Chairman of the Estonian Education Personnel Union and Vladimir Viies, the Chairman of the Federation of Estonian Universities.
ISTP was organized by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) together with Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and organization Education International. Las annual ISTP took place in Lisbon, Portugal.