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Spread of COVID-19: recommendations for educational institutions, parents, students

  • 22.09.2020: the extended recommendations of the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia and Health Board can be found here
  • 19.08.2020: the recommendations of the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia for the start of the school year during the spread of COVID-19 can be found here

If you have further questions, please contact us by phone 5690 0353 or 5690 0340 or e-mail info@hm.ee.

Hotline for coronavirus: 1247 or (+372) 600 1247. 

The most up-to-date information on COVID-19 is available on the Health Board website.


Updated: 25.09.2020

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Frequently asked questions

EASING OF RESTRICTIONS

How to ensure the safety and security of teachers and students?

Students, teachers and other staff may be admitted to educational establishments, hobby schools and open youth centres only if all safety requirements are met:
  • Disinfectants at the point of entry and exit from the building;
  • Provide toilets with sufficient amount of hand cleaners and, if possible, install dustbins that can be opened with foot;
  • Disposable paper towels for drying hands;
  • Wet cleaning of used rooms and surfaces every 3-4 hours;
  • Ensure high-quality ventilation and regular ventilation in the premises.

The school in cooperation with the school manager organises the procurement of the necessary personal protective equipment. The local government ensures the provision of personal protective equipment to youth centres, depending on the needs of the youth centres and their young people and employees.

The use of protective masks in school is recommended for students and teachers belonging to the risk group. The school, in cooperation with the school administrator provides the masks.

PRESCHOOLS 

How is the work organised in preschools after 15 May?

The opening and organisation of work of preschools is decided by the manager. At the request of parents, the local government must ensure that all children of 1,5-7 years of age who live in the municipality can attend preschool. At least one of the parents must be a resident of the municipality. The local government may, with the consent of the parent, replace the preschool service (child of 1,5-3 three years of age) with a childcare service.

Events and visits to preschools must be avoided. The graduation ceremony can take place, preferably outdoors, if the restrictions and safety measures are followed, including ensuring the smallest possible number of participants (eg by group, limited number of relatives, etc.).

The preschool in co-operation with the manager shall organise the procurement of the necessary personal protective equipment.

The Health Board has sent instructions, which must be followed in order to protect the health of children and staff. It provides instructions on all the measures to be taken in preschools.

How many children can be in one group?

In the opinion of the Health Board, the composition of the usual kindergarten groups can be restored if necessary. However, it should be borne in mind that if there is a sudden increase in the morbidity rate again, the restrictions may change. However, we recommend all parents, who have the opportunity, to leave their children at home. Children, parents and staff with symptoms must not be accepted.

If there are joint groups (e.g. joint groups of younger and older children), the children of the same group must be joined at all times so that the circle of close contacts of the children should be as constant as possible.
Do preschools have to follow the 2+2 rule?

No. The government decree says that 2+2 must be followed unless it cannot be reasonably guaranteed. It is not reasonably guaranteed in the work of the preschool.

Do children and teachers have to wear a mask?

The Health Board has said that it is not necessary to wear a mask in kindergarten. However, if wearing a mask gives the worker a sense of security, he or she has the right to wear a mask in the work environment.

Are children allowed to go outside?

In preschools, which have their own playground or outdoor area, it is recommended that children stay in the fresh air as much as possible, including organising outdoor learning if possible. If the preschool does not have their own playground or garden the preschool must ensure the safety of children and staff when going outside (including avoiding close contact with other people). Contact between different groups in the outdoor area must be avoided.

Can learning activities be organised with children from several groups at the same time?

Educational and other activities involving children from several groups at the same time (e.g. joint song or dance lessons) should be avoided. Activities must be organised in smaller groups where contacts are kept unchanged.

Can preschools organise their work in joint groups?

If the need for child care service in the area is small, the service is guaranteed to all those who need it and the manager decides so together with the council, the work can be organised in joint groups. It is important that the composition of the groups remains as unchanged as possible.

Can the preschool charge the parent for the period during which the service was not provided or the service was not used?

In the case of a municipal preschool, the decision is made by the local government. In the case of private preschool, charging the tuition fee depends on the agreement between the institution, the parent and the respective local government.

What about issuing school readiness cards this year. Is it possible to start school readiness tests in pre-schools after 15 May or will the cards not be issued this year?

The assessment of children's development takes place in accordance to the national curriculum of the pre-school childcare institution and the curriculum of the pre-school throughout the school year. School readiness cards can be drawn up by teachers based on the collected children's work and developmental assessment materials. If necessary, it is possible to organise individual development interviews with parents and children.

Many pre-schools use electronic learning environments (Eliis, e-pre-school) to issue school readiness cards.

STUDYING ABROAD

I am currently studying abroad and the university was closed. Do I have to pay tuition fees, rent, flight tickets to Estonia?

Tuition fees are paid in accordance with the contract with the university and, in the emergency situation, are paid on the basis of university decisions or separate agreements. The same goes for the cost of living. If you consider it necessary to return to Estonia, the costs will be borne by you. Be sure to check the restrictions on returning to Estonia from abroad.

Can the state somehow support me with the expense of canceling my studies abroad?

Unfortunately, no, because going to study abroad and canceling studies there is a personal decision.

What if I want to stop studying abroad and come to Estonia?

Canceling studies abroad depends on the rules of the university and/or the study contract with the university. It is possible to apply for higher education institutions in Estonia according to the conditions and time frame set by the schools. Experience and subjects acquired so far may be transferable within Recognition of Prior Learning.

ERASMUS+, ESK, Horisont

FOR PARTICIPANTS IN THE ERASMUS+ AND  THE EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS PROGRAM

For questions concerning Erasmus + and European Solidarity Corps projects, please follow the information on the Archimedes Foundation's website or contact your contractual contact person at the Foundation.

FOR PARTICIPANTS IN THE HORISONT 2020 RESEARCH PROGRAM

Are H2020 projects going forward?

The projects will continue until otherwise stated.

  • Information on postponed or canceled events and calls for proposals can be found on the ETAg H2020 page.
  • The ETAg COVID-19 newsletter can be found here.

Does force majeure apply?

Use of the Force Majeure Clause is set out in Article 51 of the H2020 Model Contract. Costs are eligible provided they meet the general eligibility criteria set out in Article 6 of the H2020 Model Contract. For example, if a meeting / event is canceled due to exceptional and unforeseen circumstances (force majeure), travel and accommodation costs can still be covered by the H2020 measure if the eligibility conditions are met, even if the beneficiary did not travel or attend the meeting / event. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, additional costs have to be incurred in carrying out the action, such costs will be eligible if they are necessary for the performance of the action (e.g. canceled conference to be held later).

However, the project grant cannot be increased.

In the event of an emergency or unforeseen situation, the beneficiaries must immediately contact the funding body, which will examine on a case-by-case basis the possible application of force majeure rules. In addition, beneficiaries must make every effort to limit unforeseen circumstances (e.g. seek to cancel airline tickets, claim insurance coverage for canceled flight, etc.).

 

Last updated: 25 September 2020