Since transitioning to distance learning on March 16, Estonia has prioritized ensuring that students and families continue to have access to the supports they need. To do this, Estonia is leveraging its existing network of regional counseling centers—known as Rajaleidja (Pathfinder) Centers—which have been available nationwide since 2014. These centers provide free supports services for students and families, including direct services from specialists like speech therapists or psychologists, guidance and coordination of services for students with special educational needs, and education and career counseling for students and young adults. During the coronavirus pandemic, Pathfinder Centers are providing on-going services remotely while also expanding their focus to meet specific needs emerging as a result of distance learning. Pathfinder Centers have extended the operating hours of on-demand advice for parents and guardians via a chat function. The Centers are also helping schools design their approaches to distance learning to ensure that they meet the needs of all students, including those with special educational needs.
For continued coverage of how education systems respond to the coronavirus pandemic, follow NCEE’s International Education News.