The Ministry of Education and Science sent a draft law to the partners to express their opinion, which is necessary for the transition to Estonian-language education. The draft clearly stipulates in the Elementary and High School Act, the Pre-School Childcare Institution Act and the Vocational Education Institution Act that the language of instruction is Estonian. In addition, the Private School Act and the Language Act will be amended, and state support and activities will be provided for the entire transition period.

Minister of Education and Science Tõnis Lukasnoted that a unified Estonian-language education space gives all children and young people better opportunities for further learning and finding work and activities they like in the future, ensuring the preservation of the Estonian nation, language and culture throughout the ages as a value for the entire society. "We will make the necessary changes in the laws to ensure smooth school organization for the transition, supervision and management of the process. Of course, we also describe the tasks of the state, municipality and each institution to reach the big goal. The amendment to the law already includes a more detailed operational and financing plan. It is neither possible nor practical to maintain a parallel full-scale education system in two different languages. We need to focus on creating the best conditions for students' development and developing the Estonian-language cultural space, and pooling resources for that," explained Lukas.

The minister encouraged everyone to see the transition to Estonian as the language of instruction as a natural development. In Estonia, teachers for Russian-language schools have not been prepared for decades. There is no modern Russian-language educational material. By continuing in this way, the state would not be able to guarantee high-quality education in a foreign language," said the minister.

Compared to the past, the country is approaching the transition of education in the Estonian language as a whole, starting with pre-school education and elementary school, where the Estonian language and Estonian-language learning prepares children for the next levels of education. A comprehensive approach is important because, despite the fact that high school education has been mostly in Estonian for nearly ten years, a significant part of students do not achieve the target B2 level of Estonian language skills - 17% on average in the last six years, and as many as 23% in 2021.

Transitioning to education in the Estonian language means additional counseling, supervision, support to strengthen the quality of education, development of methodological materials, teacher training and an increase in the volume of further and retraining, improvement of teachers' salary and working conditions, Salary allowance for teachers teaching in Estonian in Ida-Virumaa, re-creation of a career model, making workload calculation more flexible, interest education in Estonian, etc. "For all this, I am requesting the necessary additional funding in the new year's state budget and in the budget strategy for the coming years," said Minister Tõnis Lukas.

The draft law necessary for the transition to Estonian-language education will be submitted to the ministries and the Union of Estonian Towns and Municipalities for approval, and for the opinion of the Association of Estonian School Heads, the Association of Estonian Free Waldorf Schools and Kindergartens, the Association of Estonian Private General Education Schools, the Union of Estonian Student Councils, the Union of Estonian Christian Private Schools, the Estonian Parents' Union, the Estonian Teachers' Union, To the Cooperative of Teachers' Associations, the Estonian Education Workers' Union, the Estonian Early Childhood Education Association, the Estonian Early Childhood Education Managers' Association, the Estonian Kindergarteners' Association, the Estonian Child Protection Association, the Estonian Private Kindergartens Association, the Estonian Babysitters' Professional Association and the Estonian Childcare Association, the Estonian Association for the Promotion of Vocational Education, the Estonian Language Council.

The transition to the Estonian language of instruction will begin in kindergartens and 1st and 4th grades in 2024 and will be completed by 2030. In vocational education institutions, the change concerns students studying according to the curriculum of vocational secondary education. According to the coalition agreement, the amendments to the law will be adopted in the autumn of this year.