Do you really think that education these days is equipping a citizen with the knowledge and skills required to become an indispensable part of the interconnected world? To put things into perspective, the role of education is to give the current and the coming generation a platform where they can execute their skills and reach their full potential. Any education system that falls short of doing it has no meaning. As the world is shrinking, there is a need for citizens who can fuel economic growth and also keep sustainability and other aspects in check. For this to happen it is important that the current generation is provided all that is required. One country that is doing its bit in creating the best environment for students has to be Estonia.
Some Facts about Estonia’s education:
- Estonia beat all other European nations in standardized tests for 15-year-old students
- In the comparison of the performance of various economies in reading Estonia stands in the 5th place
- In the comparison of the performance of various economies in Science Estonia stands in the 4th place
- In the comparison of the performance of various economies in Mathematics Estonia stands in the 8th place
- The socioeconomic background does not affect a child’s educational performance. A child may come from any strata of society, but the ability to read is above average.
Source: PISA (The Programme for International Student Assessment)
Amongst OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, Estonia has advanced progressively to the top, in spite of the fact that it’s spending per student remains about 30% lower than the OECD average.
So, how has Estonia managed to get such amazing results?
For starters, Estonia expects children to perform at their highest potential and for that, they make sure that every possible resource is provided so that they succeed. You will be amazed to know that books, lunch and even transport is free for every child in Estonia.
Even though their budget for education is limited, they have made the following adjustments to squeeze out more benefits:
- They have constructed efficient school buildings that use up fewer resources and will use fewer resources in the future as well
- Teachers in Estonia are highly paid and it is made sure that only the smart candidates go through the selection process
- Teachers also enjoy autonomy, in other words as long as they stick to the curriculum they have the freedom to use any method to make kids understand various concepts
- To teach in any school, teachers should have a compulsory master’s degree
- Estonia was one of the first countries to introduce digital skills in curriculum
- It is predicted by 2020 schools in Estonia will impart knowledge using only digital mediums
Studying about Estonia and why it stood out is a real eye-opener for other countries who want to revamp their education system. I am sure that they might have taken more steps to improve the quality of education, but whatever they have done they really have achieved something worth mentioning.
Do you feel that other countries should take a leaf from Estonia’s book and do something similar in their own country?