Members of the Riigikogu Raimond Kaljulaid, Riina Sikkut, Heljo Pikhof and Eduard Odinets had submitted an interpellation concerning the Action Programme of the Government of the Republic 2021–2023 (No. 73), in which they requested information about the launch of the action plan for Estonian-language education, to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.
The interpellators asked the Prime Minister if the task of drawing up an action plan for Estonian-language education, assigned to the Ministry of Education and Research under the action programme, could be considered a governmental preparation for transition to Estonian-language education.
The Prime Minister confirmed that was the case and mentioned 2035 as the deadline.
The interpellators also wished to know if it had been agreed that the relevant action programme would be adopted as a Resolution of the Government or if it would be submitted to the Riigikogu for approval.
Kallas explained that the Riigikogu had been involved in the drawing up of the Estonian Language Development Plan 2021–2035, which had actually served as input in the drafting of the action plan, but in spite of that she supported the approach of the Ministry of Education and Research that was open to discuss the action plan both in the Riigikogu and in the public and stakeholders more widely. “It is important that the drawing up of the action plan involve as wide a community of representatives of language instruction as possible, including umbrella organisations, networks, scientists, parents and other actors concerned,” Kallas said.
The Prime Minister explained that the Ministry of Education and Research was currently drawing up the action plan, and it was too early to plan amendment of the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act. All necessary legislative amendments will be ascertained during the implementation of the action plan, when it will be clear exactly what steps will need to be taken and whether any Acts have to be amended and how.
Kallas emphasised that the action plan was to be understood exactly as it was written in it, that an action plan for Estonian-language education would be launched in order to provide everyone an equal opportunity to participate in social and working life and to continue their studies at a next level of education.
“When drawing up this action plan, the Government is also taking account of the Estonian Language Development Plan 2021–2035 which has been discussed in the Riigikogu and sets out the aim,” the Prime Minister said. She quoted the development plan: “Estonian-language schooling: the transition to mostly Estonian-language schooling has been completed, that is, studies are carried out in Estonian in schools and nurseries funded by the state and local governments. Estonian-language schooling will ensure the integration of children and young people into Estonian culture and value space and will provide everyone an equal opportunity to participate in social and working life and to continue their studies at a next level of education.” “In order to meet this aim, a working group on the action plan for Estonian-language education was formed in April 2021 and the deadline for the completion of the action plan is this November. As a result of this work, the activities to help move on towards a high-quality Estonian-language education system will be described,” Kallas said.
Prime Minister also replied to the interpellation concerning an order not to wear the Defence Forces uniform (No. 79). Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet replied to an interpellation on the same topic concerning a prohibition to wear uniform on 9 May (No. 80).
Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna replied to interpellations concerning the underfunding of humanities and ethnic sciences (No. 68), the extensive cuts in the support to hobby education (No. 74) and the funding of hobby education (No. 75).
The discussion of the interpellation concerning the action plan for Estonian-language education and the movement towards a uniform Russian-Estonian school system (No. 78), submitted to Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna by members of the Riigikogu Peeter Ernits, Helle-Moonika Helme, Kalle Grünthal, Henn Põlluaas, Paul Puustusmaa and Jaak Valge, was adjourned due to the end of the working hours of the sitting of the Riigikogu on Monday. It will continue at tomorrow’s sitting.
The sitting ended at 00.00 midnight.
The video recording of the sitting will be available on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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