Decision-makers in school management need more autonomy. Instead of administrators in school management who are bound by instructions, we need something like managing directors and CEOs who are remunerated for their success, as in successful companies.
This is the interpretation of BING’s last statement in response to Konrad Rennert’s question:
Why is the Estonian education system better than the German one?
There are several reasons why the education system in Estonia performs better than that in Germany:
- Structure of the education system: The Estonian education system is divided into pre-school education, primary education (grades 1-4), lower secondary education (grades 5-9), upper secondary education (grades 10-12), grammar schools or vocational schools, and tertiary education: colleges and universities. After lower secondary level, students can choose between a vocational school or vocational training with attendance at the corresponding vocational school or a secondary school (state or private grammar schools) at upper secondary level.
- Digitalisation: Many schools in Estonia have electronic class registers that allow teachers to set homework and parents to view entries about pupils from home. A computer at the teacher’s desk and a projector or smartboard are part of the equipment in every classroom.
- Equality in the education system: The Estonian school system emphasises equality and assumes that every student is capable of learning and mastering the material. Those who learn more slowly will not be left behind.
- School autonomy: Principals and schools in Estonia have incredible autonomy. The headteachers hire all their teachers themselves and can also dismiss them themselves.
These factors contribute to Estonia performing better than Germany in the PISA study. It is important to note that every education system has its own strengths and weaknesses and that improvements can often be achieved by learning from other countries.
Conclusion: Contrary to what officials claim, it is not primarily down to money.
Quote: Estonia is one of the poorer countries in the EU, but has the best schools in Europe. Estonian pupils are Europe’s PISA winners – they are always in first place in maths, reading and science, while Estonia has an education budget that is well below the OECD average.