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Riigikogu

At today’s Riigikogu sitting, the Bill on Amendments to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act (477 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, passed the first reading.

The aim of the five proposed amendments is to provide the conditions for passing state examinations, to include the state among the bodies responsible for ensuring the service of support specialists, to determine the volume of teaching and education work of teachers besides other duties, and to reintroduce the evaluation of teachers. The Bill also aims to re-establish the the wages of class teachers, to determine the remuneration of teachers according to the job grades granted upon evaluation of teachers also in 2014, and to establish the minimum monthly salary rate for support specialists.

According to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act which entered into force as of 1 September 2013, a student passes a state examination if he or she obtains one point of the maximum score. According to the Bill, a state examination is passed if at least 20 per cent of the maximum score is obtained.

Pursuant to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, the manager of the school, that is, the local government has an obligation to create opportunities for the implementation of the service of support specialists. Under the Bill, the state would also be included among the bodies responsible for ensuring the service of support specialists. Support specialists of schools include psychologists, special education teachers, speech therapists and social educators.

Pursuant to the current Act, the working time of the teacher is divided into teaching and education work and tasks arising from the employment contract, job description and work organisation rules and tasks given by the employer. According to the Bill, direct teaching and education work may not exceed 60 per cent of the working time of the teacher. In the opinion of the initiator of the Bill, the amendment will help to regulate the workload of the teacher more clearly.

According to the Bill, the evaluation for the assessment of the professional skills and level of qualifications of teachers is reintroduced. The aim of the amendment is to motivate and support the professional development of teachers. According to the Act, the job grades attributed to junior teachers, teachers, senior teachers and teacher-methodologists in assessments so far will remain in force until their expiry.

Pursuant to the Bill, the establishment of the minimum remuneration rates of teachers will also cover support specialists. In addition, the initiator of the Bill wishes to establish the the wages of class teachers and to determine the remuneration of teachers according to the job grades granted upon evaluation.

The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)

The Riigikogu Press Service

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