We all at a certain age will realize that there are numerous things we learn during the course of our life. At some point, the question of ‘Was my school education enough for self-sustenance?’ may arise. It is due to the lack of proper education we’ve received during schooling. Yet, going to school and keeping up with the homework and exams was challenging. What is a proper education system like?
Well, Finland is the answer to this. The country has initiated major educational reforms and implemented novel changes that revamped its education system. The approach they follow has undoubtedly placed it as the top nation to have education, surpassing the US. Finland is setting an example through its sensible methods and a comprehensive academic environment that prioritizes equality above performance. Here are ten reasons why Finland’s schooling system is sweeping other big countries like USA and UK on the global level.
A Cooperative Rather Than Competitive Atmosphere
The majority of the world’s school systems adhere to the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest, but the Finns view things differently. True winners, they say, do not compete. Surprisingly, this approach has propelled them to the front of the worldwide pack. Finland’s educational system is unconcerned with illogical or arbitrary merit-based structures. There aren’t any listings of the top schools, teachers, or students in the country. It is not a competitive workplace; rather, collaboration is the custom.
There is No Standardized Testing
For ages, we have been following the old-school learning method with standardized tests and striving to comprehend printed textbook information. We were taught to earn mastery over a subject by filling circles in an OMR sheet and answering predetermined questions. As a result, education is deteriorating up to a level where students learn just to pass and teachers take classes to bring them up to the passing level.
There are no standardized assessments in Finland. The only exception is the optional National Matriculation Exam at the end of upper-secondary school. All students in Finland are assessed on an individual scale using a grading system defined by their instructor. The Ministry of Education monitors the progress by selecting groups from various school levels.
No Rigorous Early School Hours
Getting up early, taking the school bus, and engaging in extracurricular activities take a significant amount of time. Add to it the reality that some sessions begin early morning and you’ve got a bunch of drowsy, bored teenagers.
But, Finland students often begin school at 9:00 a.m. Earlier start times have been demonstrated in studies to be adverse to children’s health, and development. Finnish schools start later and frequently finish after 2:00 pm. In between their class sessions, they get relatively long breaks. The whole system exists to promote a culture of meaningful learning rather than cramming textbook contents into its students.
Less Schoolwork Given to Students
Finnish pupils have the least amount of homework in the world. They just work on schoolwork for half an hour each night. Finnish pupils do not have tutors either. Nonetheless, they surpass countries with highly toxic education life without the unwanted strain. They are capable of concentrating on the true task at hand – studying and evolving as human beings – since they are not concerned with scores or tedious work.
Finns Start Schooling at an Older Age
Again, the Finns begin by modifying fine details. Students start their schooling only when they cross seven years. They are given freedom during their early schooling years so that they are not bound by mandatory education. It’s merely a technique to let a child be a child. Finnish kids are expected to attend just nine years of basic education. All after the ninth level or the age of 16 is voluntary.
Simply from a psychological sense, this is a liberating concept. Despite the fact that it’s subjective, numerous students believe they are imprisoned. Finland avoids this coerced ideal by instead preparing its pupils for life in the actual world.
They Prioritize the Basics
Several educational institutions are so focused on improving exam results and competence in science and math that they lose sight of what creates a joyful, peaceful, and productive pupil and classroom environment. Several decades ago, the Finnish education system badly needed restructuring. Finland devised a curriculum that emphasized heading back to fundamentals. It wasn’t about beating others. They rather aimed to create an educational culture more egalitarian.
The five basic principles every Finnish instructor stick to are the following:
- Education should be used to counteract social inequity.
- All pupils are entitled to free school lunches.
- Easier access to health care services
- Psychological assistance
- Individualized counsel
Better Alternatives to a Traditional College Degree
Most youngsters in the developed world are quite static trapped in the K to 12 basic education cycle, bouncing from instructor to instructor. Every grade builds on the previous one, culminating in the grand finale of the university. Many obtain a meaningless certificate, or drift around in search of purpose and suffer tremendous debt.
Finland resolves this quandary by providing choices that are equally beneficial for students continuing their studies. There is a less defined divide between university graduates and working class and trade-school people. Both can be absolutely respectable and rewarding in terms of a career. The Upper Secondary School is a three-year curriculum that trains pupils for the Matriculation Test, which defines their admittance into a university. This one is based mainly on specializations gained throughout their high school years.
Following that is vocational education, which is a three-year curriculum that prepares pupils for a variety of occupations. They can undertake the Matriculation test if they wish to apply to a university after that.
Teacher Turns to a Mentor
In Finnish schools, there are fewer instructors and pupils. Students usually have the same instructor for up to six years of their schooling. Throughout this period, the instructor might serve as a guide or even as a family member. Mutual trust and connection are formed throughout those years so that both individuals recognize and value one another.
Individuals have distinct needs and learning methods. Finnish instructors can adjust for this since they have identified the student’s unique requirements. They can correctly track and check for their progress, assisting them in reaching their targets.
The Bar is Set High for Teachers
Traditionally, every institution blames teachers for the students’ low academic performance. Unlike the rest of the world, there is no strict grading system for instructors in Finland. The primary educational requirement for them is a master’s degree.
A Calmer Atmosphere
The approach Finland does with its institutions has a general pattern. Reduced stress, less strict discipline, and more consideration. Students generally attend a few classes every day. They get several times to take their meals, engage in leisure activities, and just unwind with 15 to 20-minute breaks daily. In the staff rooms, teachers can rest, plan for the day, or just interact.