Speaking to participants from five Central and Eastern European countries at an international young liberal workshop in Chisinau, Moldova, Estonian Member of Parliament, Lauri Luik, said that Estonia faces similar problems in education as the Republic of Moldova. “Thanks to our liberal reforms in economy, education etc, Estonia is a good role model for Moldova,” Luik mentioned.
“The number of pupils is decreasing year by year but at the same time the amount of schools and teachers has been stable. Liberal reforms are essential if we want to achieve higher quality and manage our finances more effectively. Both, Estonia and Moldova invest over 7% from their GDP to education.”
Deputy Minister of Education in Moldova, Mrs Tatiana Poting introduced the current situation and reforms government has taken to develop Moldovans education system.
“Achieving better quality, fighting demographic challenges, finding good teachers and optimizing finances are the biggest concerns in Moldova’s education politics today,” said Luik. “All these challenges are very familiar to us.”
“International education tests (PISA, TIMSS etc) show that Estonian pupils get very good results, but young Moldavians still have a long way to go. Achieving better quality in education is the main goal for Moldova” said the Member of Parliament. “Out of date infrastructure is also a big problem to solve.”
In past 15 years the number of pupils in Estonia has decreased by about 30%, in Moldova 40% in ten years but the number of schools and teachers has stayed stable. In Moldova there are 200 schools with less than 70 pupils and 100 schools with less than 30! In Estonia we have 70 gymnasiums with less than 75 pupils. This is an indication that shows pupils per teacher having decreased dramatically both in Estonia and Moldova from 1/18 to 1/12 in the last ten years. “Reforms are essential,” emphasised Luik.
“I am glad we had an opportunity to share our experiences and ideas with young liberals from Eastern Partnership countries- Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan.”
The workshop in Moldova was organised by the European Liberal Forum and with the support of the Academy of Liberalism (Estonia), the Open Society and its Friends (Lithuania) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation of Freedom (Germany).