Unified standards established for schools

A school’s organization of studies, weekly academic load, assessment and the weight of book bags are governed by uniform standards established for all schools.

Weekly academic load

One week of study has five days of study.The Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act sets forth the maximum weekly load for students:

  • 20 hours in 1st grade
  • 23 hours in 2nd grade
  • 25 hours in 3rd and 4th grade
  • 28 hours in 5th grade
  • 30 hours in 6th and 7th grade
  • 32 hours in 8th and 9th grade.

Duration of lessons

The length of an hour of study is 45 minutes. A lesson may be divided into several parts and up to two lessons may take place consecutively without a break. A break may not be less than 10 minutes.

Maximum weight of book bag

Including its contents, a book bag may weigh:

  • up to 3 kg for 1st to 3rd grade pupils
  • up to 3.5 kg for 4th to 6th grade pupils
  • up to 4.5 kg for 7th to 9th grade pupils.

Number of students in a class

The maximum number of students in a class at the basic school level is 24. A school operator may establish a lower maximum number of students and at the proposal of the school director and the consent of the board of trustees, a school operator may establish a higher maximum. If the number of students in two or more classes in a basic school is 16 or less, a composite class may be formed.

Assessment at school

Students are assessed by the class teacher or subject teacher based on the students’ respective abilities, knowledge and striving. From grade 1-6, a teacher may use descriptive verbal assessment. The conditions for award of a letter of commendation “Väga hea õppimise eest” (for excellent studying) and “Väga heade tulemuste eest üksikus õppeaines” (for excellent results in a single subject) are determined by the school’s academic affairs council in accordance with its procedure.

Last amended: 12-12-2016 00:00 | Compiled by: Ministry of Education and Research