The role of education in a knowledge-based Estonia
Many writings aspiring to the status of a strategic document have been drafted in Estonia, but unfortunately they do not have internal coherence or the possibility of being implemented.
The Riigikogu cultural affairs committee recommended on 4 May 2004 that in the discussion of an important state question, “The development of the Estonian educational system – problems and solutions,” the 1999 proposals of an expert group that audited Estonian educational policy be analyzed from the standpoint of educational reform and in all likelihood be implemented.
No doubt there are plenty of useful recommendations, but considering when and why these recommendations were handed down, foremost to support Learning Estonia as an educational strategy document. Now we have moved ahead five years and as a member of the European Union we must look at the obligations and opportunities of a knowledge-based society more broadly. And a brief, constructive document that is fit for application and lays down the main directions of educational reform can certainly be drafted in today’s conditions as well.
There is much preliminary material and it is again possible to make informed choices in returning to the system of the examinations. The slated educational reform could no doubt be regarded as a cultural reform as such a process was once practiced in Norway. No doubt it would be necessary and possible to call on new people as well as institutions in educational decision-making: this alone would show the political will and capability of using existing resources more wisely.