Good Practices on Early School Leaving in Tallinn from the URBACT PREVENT Project


By URBACT, on January 16th, 2014

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In the strategy 2020, the European Union recognizes Early School Leaving (ESL) as a major challenge with an aim to reduce it below 10 %. Education researchers and practitioners consider that the role of parents in the prevention of this problem is crucial. Through a range of policies, local authorities can play a key role to better involve parents. PREVENT proposes to share experiences related to the involvement of parents in the prevention of early school leaving.

In Tallinn, the eKool application helps communication beetween schools, pupils and parents

eKool (eSchool) is a role based web application used by 98% of Tallinn schools to track grades and credits, get homework assignments, enable parents’ communication with the school and monitor the students’ attendance in the school. By the year 2002, it was obvious that school diary on paper and system of exchanging information cannot be the same anymore as it wasn’t which is why eKool was created and the City of Tallinn started to use it from the beginning. eKool aims at creating cooperation to contribute to the development of the child. It enables systematised information of the school and creates internet access to this information, bringing order to the collecting and maintenance of the school information. A role based web application, eKool allows to distribute learning information only for those eligible to see it.

Improving continuity in communication between school and parents

eKool gives feedback to the student and parent. It enables for the parent to see the development of his/her child and be involved in the learning process personally. The student can quickly find out his/ her learning results, homework assignments and other messages from the teachers, while the school head receives operative overview about the school attendance by the students and about the students’ results per classes. Subject teacher and class teacher are the ones to forward the information. There is a forum where parent or student can take part in the discussion. It is also possible to open a discussion where the parents can discuss on the topics they are interested in and where class teacher or subject teacher can be involved.

New part in eKool is the development of conversations between teacher, student and parent to cooperate for the child’s development. Before the conversation, a questionnaire will be sent to the student and parents to be prepared. During the discussion, the aims of the last development conversation can be looked over. As a result, a written summary will be composed where feedback and new aims will be set. The development conversation and the summary are confidential and can only be accessed by the school head who composes  the questionnaire and analyses the results of the development conversations.

Reduction of paper use

In addition to the school curriculum, lessons plan, grades and results information, there should be more learning materials, e-textbooks and other useful materials for the teachers in the future. eKool is an indispensable facility of the modern school today. 98% of the Tallinn schools use eKool system in 2013. There are no diaries on the paper and upon agreement with the school – no certificates on the paper. All information will be archived digitally and exchanged with the Estonian national educational information system EHIS. It is positive that at every moment the student and parent has  access to important information and feedback regarding his/ her child’s school.

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