Speeches

President of the Republic at the ESHA Biennial Conference in Tallinn

President of the Republic at the ESHA Biennial Conference in Tallinn

Welcome to Estonia! I am very proud that this conference is taking place here in Tallinn this year. It’s interesting that while preparing for this presentation today I was asked to tell you why Estonia is so highly ranked in PISA. Of course, nobody ultimately knows, but I think we need to delve into the history of Estonian education to answer that question.

In the decades following the end to serfdom, Estonians began fundraising for a school for Estonian children that would take them beyond primary education to secondary level. Imagine! These people had spent centuries in serfdom.

They gained their freedom; they became owners of their land. Yet they were not satisfied simply with the fact that they now could take care of their land and their farms and have their children working for their own families. They realised that they wanted to give their children something more – a better education.

It is very important to note that girls also attended these Estonian schools. This in itself is quite remarkable because at that time we were taught by German pastors and people who were not even Estonians, and not even in Estonian language.

However, this was not questioned in our country. Everybody realised that, first and foremost, we needed educated people.

Second, we also needed to educate our girls because a smart nation is built by smart mothers. For some reason, Estonia has always known that. Of course, there was much discussion about how high should girls aspire.

At the beginning of the 20th century, before the Estonian Republic was declared in 1918, some professors – in fact, at Tartu University, which was founded by the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf in the 17th century – had to face outcries that they allowed female students to attend the law classes. But the Estonian women, having never felt that they did not deserve a higher education, fought back. 

18.10.2018

 

News

Statement of the President of the Republic on the UN Global Compact for Migration

“At least now the Government of the Republic’s stance on the UN Compact for Migration is finally clear.

For a week, the unexpected discord between the governing parties has provided fuel for societal hysterics and lying and hurting people, sometimes even deliberately by linking the compact to things that are not true, but work well to divide the society, such as the question of refugees, which is not actually addressed in this declaration. Indeed, this could be brushed off as ‘regular election campaigning’, but I disagree. We cannot accept that regular election campaigning is something between fake news and hate speech, which involves turning our backs on the key features of the Estonian foreign policy that we have shaped and developed together for 27 years. The people of Estonia deserve better.

15.11.2018

 

Letters of Credence were presented to the Estonian Head of State by the Ambassadors of Slovenia, Chile and Canada

Letters of Credence were presented to the Estonian Head of State by the Ambassadors of Slovenia, Chile and Canada

Today in Kadriorg, Letters of Credence were presented to President Kersti Kaljulaid by Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia, Božena Forštnarič Boroje, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile, Roberto Ubilla Quevedo and Ambassador of Canada, Kevin Rex.

08.11.2018

 

President Kaljulaid met with UN Secretary General António Guterres

President Kaljulaid met with UN Secretary General António Guterres

President Kersti Kaljulaid met today in New York with UN Secretary General António Guterres to discuss issues concerning the security of countries worldwide, including cyber security and climate change.

02.11.2018