A new Estonian programme to provide company internships to school principals

A new internship programme, initiated by the Good Deed Education Fund and the education department of the Tallinn city government, is to give school principals the opportunity to intern at a company to learn from their successful management experience and apply the acquired knowledge in their schools.

Altogether, the programme lasts for five months – the school head will spend the first three in an organisation with an influential mentorship culture and, during the last two months, the mentorship will continue after the headmaster has returned to school.  

“The school principals have mostly been teachers themselves and the priorities of their daily work are related to the organisation of studies. At the same time, a contemporary school requires its leader to have excellent change management, recruitment, strategy creation and long-term financial planning skills,” the Good Deed Education Fund said in a statement.

“The Education Leaders’ Internship Programme is intense, and it takes into account each participating leader’s needs, management practice for learning from the best private sector managers and best private sector practice,” Martin Villig, a cofounder of the Good Deed Education Fund, added. “After the end of the pilot stage, the fund aims to enhance the programme based on experience and needs and develop it into a model which is available across Estonia.”

Solving the challenges in Estonia’s education system

The participants in the pilot project include school directors from the Tallinn Art Gymnasium, the Tallinn Kuristiku Gymnasium, the Tallinn Mustamäe Science Gymnasium, the Tallinn Nõmme Basic School and the Tallinn Südalinna School. Their mentors are managers from Ericsson Eesti, Pipedrive, SEB Bank, Swedbank and TransferWise.

According to Mari-Liis Sults, the headmistress of the Tallinn Art Gymnasium and one of the participants, she would have the opportunity to learn more about strategic budget planning, recruiting the right people and monitoring innovations.

The Good Deed Education Fund is a philanthropy fund established by a new generation of Estonian technology entrepreneurs, aimed at supporting initiatives that help solve the biggest challenges in the country’s education system. During 2019-2021, the fund supports 10-15 initiatives with a million euros, with the aim to increase the number of next-generation teachers, raising the quality of school management, reducing drop-out rates and increasing acquisition of natural and exact sciences’ skills combined with creativity and teamwork.

Cover: The participants in the pilot project include school directors from the Tallinn Art Gymnasium, the Tallinn Kuristiku Gymnasium, the Tallinn Mustamäe Science Gymnasium, the Tallinn Nõmme Basic School and the Tallinn Südalinna School. Photo by Kristiin Elmat.

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