No. 2




Education Reform is Part of the Administrative Reform

31 October 2000


RiTo No. 2, 2000

  • Anu Toots

    Tallinn University, School of Governance, Law and Society

The short article explores the current problems of the Estonian education policy within a wider public policy context. As education policy is one of the areas of public policy, the state welfare model and the main features of the administrative set-up of the state determine also the organisation and principles of the system of education.

Therefore, education reform must be in touch with the fundamentals of the state’s overall public policy. For example, the organisation of schools cannot be effectively reformed without taking into account the ideology of the administrative reform as a process of administrative reorganisation.

Comparing the changes intended in the organisation of the Estonian school system with the models of organisation of education offered by Heidenheimer, Heclo and Adams (1995)19, the eclectic nature of our plans is revealed. The balanced model that has been used until now has not functioned effectively in Estonian administrative policy due to the vagueness of the county level. Therefore, a change of course may be seen as justified. However, doubts are raised by the wish of the coalition parties to merge into one system both the liberal decentralised model and the principles of the etatistic centralised model. Similar reforms and experiments carried out without considering the uniformity of the system have already brought along functional problems in the Estonian health care system.

Full article in Estonian

Anu Toots, born 1959, BA in history 1982 and PhD in philosophy 1990, St Petersburg State University, additional training: University of Oslo, London School of Economics, New School for Social Research, Baltic School for Social Security. Work: lecturer at Tallinn Pedagogical University since 1982, main lecture courses: political sociology, models of welfare state, social policy. Has been a visiting lecturer at Tallinn Technical University, Estonian School of Diplomacy, Estonian Institute of Public Management, member of the editorial board of the Riigikogu Toimetised journal.