My school yearsMartin studied in two different primary schools, then Kuressaare Gymnasium and Estonian Business School (EBS). As some of the lessons felt boring, because the teacher was not able to explain the subject related to real life, then Martin often found additional activities besides official curriculum.
He was active member of student council, organized disco parties and even published his private newspaper to compete school's official newspaper.
In high-school Martin had lectures of organizational behavior by his school director, which was truly inspirational. Martin learned about good values & trust, independence & taking responsibility, team work & solving conflicts - important life skills.
Challenges of Estonian EducationEstonia's education system is the best in Europe by recent PISA test results from 2018. So we have pretty good foundations, but also multiple challenges:
- Estonian teachers are among the oldest within OECD countries
- Quality of school leadership (recruitment, goals, culture, community engagement etc)
- High drop-out rates of youth after the mandatory primary school (9 years); not graduating the next education level due to lack of motivation and getting bored from traditional lessons
- The low levels of STEAM skills acquired from school.
Good Deed Education FundTo solve the challenges mentioned above Martin and Taavet Hinrikus (co-founder of Wise) started 3 million Euros venture philanthropy fund in late 2018. Good Deed Education Fund is supported by 40 Estonian founders and companies. By mid-2022 we have received ca 140 ideas and funded 15 different projects, that have reached ca 80% of Estonian students and majority of schools. We run the fund as a startup, we learn and improve every day. In some critical areas where we don't receive enough project proposals, we start some initiaties ourselves, eg: Interships for Estonian School Masters.
KOOD/Jõhvi - Coding SchoolBased on different survey's, Estonia is lacking 5000-8000 software developers. To solve this gap, Martin co-founded kood/Jõhvi, a platform based coding school based small Eastern-Estonian city Jõhvi. The 2-year program is aimed for students older than 18 years, who want to get practical skills for software development and careers in Estonian booming startup community. The batch of 2021 had over 200 studends and from 2022 onwards we aim to accept over 350 students per year.
We have over 40 founders and companies, who have contributed their funds to open and operate the school. Renovating an old building and opening the school takes over 7 million Euros of investments, of which Estonian government supported with 1,8 million Euros. We are looking for co-minded founders and companies to fund the school to expand and make it even better!