All schoolteachers in Ida-Viru County will receive an additional 30 percent to their salary starting in 2012 - if they teach secondary school subjects in Estonian, according to the IRL and Reform parties' coalition agreement.
Narva Eesti Gümnaasium, which is the only fully Estonian-curriculum school in Narva, has up until now been the only educational institution in the county where teachers started receiving the bonus 15 years ago, according to ETV. The state implemented such measures in order to avoid closing down the school due to a lack of teachers in the predominantly Russian-speaking town.
"Yes, we are getting by. Thanks to the top-up, we have teachers. Based on my own experience, I think it will now help the Russian schools as well," said Uta Kroon-Assafrei, principal of the school.
Minister of Education Tõnis Lukas has said that Ida-Viru needs at least 20 percent more qualified teachers so that Russian schools could meet the requirement that 60 percent of the subjects be taught in Estonian, which has to be adopted in upper secondary schools by September 2011. The ministry has said the reform mainly arose from the need of improving the competitiveness of native Russian-speakers on the job market.
In total the northeastern county needs 763 qualified teachers prepared to teach in the Estonian language. The government will have to allocate an additional 1.7 million euros per year to fund the salary bonus.