AUGUST 2013

 MISA continues with Estonian language courses
New activities announced for increasing the competitiveness of young people on the jobs market
The publication of the methodical compilation for participants and organisers of family tutoring

MISA continues with Estonian language courses

According to the decision of the inspection board, Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) allocated more than 202,000 euros to the projects of the non-profit organisation Folkuniversitetet Estonia and to the Edukool foundation, in order to offer free Estonian language classes on level B1 and conversation skills courses for less privileged people who are not citizens of the European Union.

In addition to supporting the traditional preparatory courses for the B1 proficiency examinations, this year MISA will also support holding conversation skills classes in Estonian. As a result of the completed competition, Folkuniversitetet Estonia will organise the preparatory courses for the B1 proficiency examination for at least 200 less privileged third-country nationals and stateless people, starting from this autumn. Foundation Edukool will carry out conversation skills courses for at least 200 adults who must also be third-country nationals or stateless people.

In total, 82,353.40 euros was allocated to Folkuniversitetet Estonia for holding Estonian language classes. Foundation Edukool was allocated 120,044 euros in total.

“Less privileged people, such as the unemployed, pensioners, disabled people, least privileged or people with low income and young parents, were chosen as a target group because they often lack the means to take part in Estonian language classes,” Kristi Anniste, coordinator of civic education and migration unit at MISA, explained the definitions.

“With these free courses, citizenship is essential – participants cannot be citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Estonia. This condition was set by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals,” Anniste emphasised.

In addition to this project, MISA offers other possibilities for language studies where citizenship is not a decisive condition. For instance, people have been reimbursed with up to 320 euros with the support of the European Social Fund for every language exam passed. Applications for reimbursement of language studies expenses via the ESF can be submitted until 30 September 2013 and over the years, thousands of people have been reimbursed. Reimbursement is available for language studies expenses made two years prior to the proficiency examination, after which applications can be submitted. Additional information on the reimbursement of language studies expenses is available here.

Additionally, MISA has offered free language studies for people from various fields – the participants have included unemployed and less educated people, teachers, school directors, policemen, medical staff, and many others. Various opportunities for studying Estonian are also on offer for young people, such as staying with native-speaking families and Estonian language camps.

Estonian language courses for third-country nationals and stateless people and people of lesser means are funded by the state via the Ministry of Culture and the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals within the framework of the Estonian Integration Strategy 2008-2013.

For additional information, please contact: Kristi Anniste, co-ordinatorof the Civic Education and Migration Unit of MISA, tel 659 9062, e-mail [email protected]

New activities announced for increasing the competitiveness of young people on the jobs market

The project competition held by the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) titled “Increasing the Competitiveness of the Young on the Job Market, Activities for Third-Country Nationals” was won by BDA Consulting, which was allocated 49,900 euros for improving the career skills of young third-country nationals.

“The general aim of the project competition is to support the active employment of young third-country nationals and stateless people living in Estonia, backing their integration into the society,” Jana Tondi, head of the Multicultural Education Unit of MISA, explained.

“Unemployment among young people is very high in Estonia and Europe and it is higher among those who do not have sufficient Estonian skills. Third-country nationals are listed separately as a risk group in the employment service and subsidies act. This target group is very vulnerable and the inclination to emigrate is greater among young people who have a different citizenship and first language,” Tondi said.

“At the same time, these young people have been educated in Estonia and it is unreasonable for the Estonian state that the young people, in whom the state has invested and who have a connection with Estonia, should move abroad to fulfil their potential. Our society is also ageing and there has been a lot of talk about the shortage of qualified labour – that is why it is reasonable to invest in people living here,” Tondi said and added that investing in third-country nationals arises from the aims of the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals.

Under the leadership of BDA Consulting, at least 150 young people will be given the opportunity to take part in activities focused on career planning and increasing their competitiveness on the job market. The project competition for increasing the competitiveness of young people on the job market is held for the second time and in the first round of applications, more than 200 young people from the target group were able to enhance their professional and personal skills.

The project competition attracted seven applications in total and the board selected BDA Consulting’s project “Career Planning for Young European Third-Country Nationals. Project “Who Should I Become?” as the winner.

The activities of the project “Who Should I Become?” support the general integration of young third-country nationals and stateless people and more specifically, into the job market and education system. The target group of the project are no less than 150 young people aged 16-26, living mainly in the Harju and Ida-Viru counties, who are offered various supporting and practical activities for career planning, introducing opportunities for further studies in Estonia, and also ensuring the availability of project materials in the participants’ native languages. The project activities start this August and the project lasts until October 2014.

The activities of the project are funded by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals and the state via the Ministry of Culture within the framework of the Estonian Integration Strategy 2008-2013.

For additional information, please contact: Jana Tondi, head of the Multicultural Education Unit of MISA, phone 659 9069, e-mail [email protected].

The publication of the methodical compilation for participants and organisers of family tutoring

Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) and publishing house Iduleht published a compilation aimed at assisting non-Estonian families participating in family tutoring and teachers of language camps.

“Unlike regular Estonian language classes, the language environment provided by family tutoring and language camps enables the students to use Estonian actively, regularly and in very different activities. The new compilation offers the organisers of family tutoring and language camps some methodical advice and practical ideas on how to plan language studies better and more efficiently,” Jana Tondi, head of the Multicultural Education Unit of MISA, commented.

According to Tondi, the compilation is mostly aimed at supporting language studies outside the formal language lessons. “The compilation is useful for all Estonian teachers, because it contains all exercises and games that develop all language skills. Many of these can be played both outdoors in the summer as well as indoors and in language classes,” Tondi said.

The compilation has a new design and it contains two previously published methodical guidelines: “Let’s Play in Estonian. A Methodical Guide for Teaching Estonian in Families” (by Leelo Kingisepp, Kadi Salu and Kadi Kaljola) and “The Language Teacher’s Camp Book. Handbook for the Estonian Teacher of a Language Camp” (by Siiri Laidla and Ülle Lennuk).

The compilations will be handed out for free to language camp teachers, organisers of family tutoring and libraries. In total, 200 copies were printed.

The publication of the methodical compilation was commissioned by MISA and supported by the Ministry of Education and Research.

For additional information, please contact: Maarja Mänd, co-ordinator of the Multicultural Education Unit of MISA, phone 659 9853, e-mail [email protected]