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Passed 17 June 1998, (RT I 1998, 64/65, 1007), entered into force 25 July 1998, amended by the following Acts: 18.05.99 entered into force 20.06.99 - RT I 1999, 51, 550, 13.01.99 entered into force 15.02.99 - RT I 1999, 10, 150.

Chapter 1

General Provisions

1. Purpose of Vocational Educational Institutions Act

The purpose of the Vocational Educational Institutions Act is to provide the bases for the establishment, reorganisation and closure of vocational educational institutions (hereinafter schools), the bases for organisation of studies, the principles of school management, the bases for school budgeting and financing, the rights and obligations of members of schools, and state supervision over the activities of schools.

2. Function and types of schools

(1) The function of schools is to provide opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills and moral values necessary for life and work. Schools shall consider the needs of the society and the labour market upon organising vocational, professional and occupational training, and continuing vocational training.

(2) On the basis of the level of education required for the commencement of studies, schools are divided into schools which operate on the basis of basic education and schools which operate on the basis of secondary education. Schools which provide the opportunity to study on the basis of both basic and secondary education also operate pursuant to this Act.

(3) This Act regulates the activities of state and municipal schools. This Act applies to private schools in so far as the Private Schools Act does not provide otherwise.


4. Legal status of school

(1) State schools are state agencies administered by the Ministry of Education. State schools for national defence and state schools for public defence are state agencies administered by the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

(2) Municipal schools are local government agencies.


6. Statutes of schools

(1) The statutes of a school shall contain the following information:


5) the language of instruction;


18. Language of instruction

The language of instruction in schools is Estonian. The Minister of Education shall decide on the use of other languages as languages of instruction.


Source: Estonian Legal Translation Centre