Putting the School Network in Order – the Requirement of Equal Access to Education
Based on Estonia’s demographic situation and considering the characteristics of regional development, a network of schools must be formed in a balanced manner as well as in a way that is informative and engaging for all interested parties.
The basis for this article is a study, conducted by the Ministry of Education and Science and the Praxis Center for Policy Studies, entitled “Organization of the network of general educational schools”. Analyses in the study show that from the elementary grades on up, students are becoming more concentrated in cities, especially big cities. By contrast, only about 20% of students are enrolled in the biggest problem group: small towns, parishes located between bigger areas, and peripheral parishes. The growth of city schools is favored by school migration, which in 2003 encompassed 14% of the entire student body. In fact there is not a single municipality in Estonia where all students are learning in their home parish or town.