National Audit Office: Planned Investments into Vocational Education Institutions Should be Reviewed

Toomas Mattson | 7/9/2009 | 1:31 PM

Text size: [-A] [+A]

Language: EST | RUS | ENG

Print

TALLINN, 9 July 2009 - The National Audit Office assessed the results of the reorganisation of the state’s vocational education institutions and, among other things, found that the state should not invest billions of kroons into vocational education institutions whilst it is still unclear how the general education reforms will go and how the decreasing number of students will divide between general, vocational and higher education. The investments should be reviewed against the background of the current changes as later decisions would cost us dear.

The National Audit Office finds that several positive changes have taken place in the vocational education system in recent years: development of curricula has been systematised and national curricula have been approved, the legal environment of vocational education has been updated and the vocation system has been renewed, the organisation of in-service training and retrained has been developed considerably and the methodology for ordering state-commissioned education has been developed.

One of the main threats is perpetuation of the current vocational education network with the planned investments in the situation where the forecasts of the Ministry of Education and Research show that vocational education institutions will have about 5500 students less in 2013 than they do today. The general education network is also being reformed at present and it may lead to important changes. The state plans to invest more than 3.6 billion kroons by 2013 in order to modernise the study environment of vocational education institutions and this amount will be divided between 29 vocational education institutions.

Tarmo Olgo, Director of Audit of the Performance Audit Department of the National Audit Office, says the state should avoid investing billions of kroons into schools that will be forced to shut down due to lack of students in a few years’ time.

The National Audit Office also points out that the number of students who pass professional examinations comprises only one-third of all graduates, which means that most graduates leave school without acquiring a document that evidences their professional skills.

The weak results achieved by non-Estonian students, primarily those who studied in Ida-Virumaa, in the state examinations of the Estonian language and the associated low level of acquiring the official language of the state, are a major concern. This reduces the ability of the graduates of vocational education institutions to complete on the labour market.

The high number of students who do not finish their studies is still a problem in vocational education (19.8% in 2008).

Different types of studies have recently been created in vocational education in order to make it more flexible and popular, but their implementation has been difficult.

The National Audit Office believes it is important to set up state-commissioned education in such a manner that the division of state-commissioned student places between vocational education institutions is better justified than before. The current system where state-commissioned education in vocational education institutions does not depend directly on the results of state-commissioned education, is not motivating for vocational education institutions.

The goal of the audit was to analyse how the goals set by the government have been achieved in vocational education and what are the main bottlenecks in the development of vocational education.

Briefly, what did the audit show?

  • The state should not invest billions of kroons into vocational education institutions whilst it is still unclear how the general education reforms will go and how the decreasing number of students will divide between general, vocational and higher education.
  • Only one-third of all graduates, which means that most graduates leave school without acquiring a document that evidences their professional skills.
  • The weak results achieved by Russian-language students, therefore primarily those who studied in Ida-Virumaa, in the state examinations of the Estonian language and the associated weak knowledge of the official language of the state, are a major concern as they reduce the ability of people to compete on the labour market.
  • The high number of students who do not finish their studies is still a problem in vocational education (19.8% in 2008).
  • The National Audit Office finds that several positive changes have still taken place in the vocational education system in recent years.

 


Toomas Mattson
Director of Communications Services, National Audit Office 640 0777
513 4900
toomas.mattson@riigikontroll.ee
 

  • Posted: 7/9/2009 1:31 PM
  • Last Update: 8/28/2015 9:19 PM
  • Last Review: 8/28/2015 9:19 PM

More News