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Classes to begin with state support at 22 national minority Sunday schools in autumn
27.07.2015

PRESS RELEASE

The results of the round of applications for the base financing of national minority Sunday schools have been announced. In the coming academic year the Ministry of Education and Research will be supporting the activities of 22 Sunday schools via the Integration and Migration Foundation to a total value of 101 592,31 euros.

“National minority Sunday schools are places at which kids can learn the language of older generations of their family and find out about the traditions of the people and places they represent,” explained Irene Käosaar, the director of the General Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Research. “Younger kids and teenagers often never get the chance to study the language and culture of the places their forefathers came from, so Sunday schools are somewhere they can get in touch with their roots and maintain their family traditions.” Käosaar added that Sunday schools play an important role in society, since in addition to language and culture studies they also provide the children with high-quality recreational activities that contribute to their development and foster tolerance.

The activities of Ukrainian, Russian, Azeri, Latvian, Georgian, Ingrian-Finnish, Tatar and Armenian Sunday schools will be financed during the 2015-2016 academic year. Most of the schools are based in Tallinn, but there are also schools in Pärnu, Loksa, Tartu, Viljandi, Maardu, Tapa, Valga, Jõhvi and Sillamäe.

Kristina Pirgop, the Director of Partnership Relations with the Development Centre of the Integration Foundation, says that wide use is made of contemporary teaching methods in the Sunday schools that help the youngsters attain the skills and knowledge they need for their future lives. “To make learning the language and studying the culture more interesting, many of the schools offer the kids the chance to take part in song and folk dance lessons, learn how to do traditional handicrafts and find out how to make traditional cuisine,” she said. “They also run a programme that features all sorts of excursions to different parts of Estonia.”

A second round of applications for the base financing of national minority Sunday schools is to be launched in late August or early September. This round will be aimed at schools that did not receive funding in the first round. The state has been supporting the activities of such Sunday schools since 2004. The contact details of the schools can be found on the Integration Foundation website at http://www.meis.ee/rahvuskultuuriseltside-puhapaevakoolid.

For further information please contact:

Kristina Pirgop
Director of Partnership Relations, Development Centre
Integration and Migration Foundation
Telephone: +372 659 9024
E-mail: kristina.pirgop@meis.ee