Ministry launches hotline for educators to advise on war-related topics | News

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine has caused a new wave of anxiety in Estonian schools, said Raina Loom, head of the Department of Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Education. The ministry has already distributed guidance documents to schools on what to do in these new circumstances.

“Each school and each teacher can deal with incidents in the context in which they occurred; we share guidelines on how to do this,” Loom explained. “We have launched a hotline where, if teachers get stuck, two people from the Department of Education can advise them.”

The ministry itself has also already been involved in resolving the issues that have arisen.

“The particular incidents that have come to us and that have happened in schools are handled by us by contacting the schools – and we have done that before,” the department head said.

Teachers also said in class that to get the big picture, you have to listen to the views of all parties involved in the war. The Ministry of Education stressed that when discussing the subject in schools, teachers should bear in mind that the Estonian state condemns the Putin regime’s hostilities in Ukraine.

Stella Onkel, director of the Järve basic school in Kohtla-Järve and a social pedagogue, considers this to be the only right approach.

“Teachers should talk about the position of the Estonian state, and we need to reflect truthful information and base things on the information space of the Estonian state,” Onkel said.

Policy documents on Ukraine distributed to educational institutions can be found on the Education and Youth Council homepage here (link in Estonian).

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