In the rankings of the best education systems in the world there are mostly Asian countries: Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, together with Ireland Canada and Estonia. However, comparing the rankings over the years it can be estimated that Finland will soon gain a place in the lead.
The Finnish school education system is considered the number one in the world according to statistics from the UN and other international bodies. The path of elementary school has become an international model. Let’s start from a fact: Finland is a rather young state, independent since 1917. Its educational system has existed since the 1960s and includes four phases: early childhood education, elementary school, upper secondary school, higher education institutions. Each training phase takes place in two national languages: Finnish and Swedish.
The school year starts in mid-August and usually ends in late May. During this period, students go on vacation four times: autumn holidays, Christmas holidays, ski holidays, Easter holidays.
What sets the Finnish education system apart from others is the overwhelming practical sense that guides all choices, and a holistic learning concept that goes beyond classes, homework, tests and school desks.
All schools in the country operate five days a week. School hours are reduced on Friday. In general, school education in Finland lasts 9-10 years and consists of two levels. The first level is elementary school. Children begin elementary school at age 7 and attend it for six. Junior (7 and 8 years) primary school classes work in a single classroom with a permanent teacher.
The first two years the children learn four main topics: math, reading, languages and natural history. Other subjects of study are physical education and creative development of children. It is precisely creative development that is the object of particular attention: children are educated to play musical instruments, sing, draw, and sculpt. Every year new elements are added, and at the end of primary school pupils have a basic knowledge of all the main areas of training in Finnish, Swedish as well as having laid the foundations for the knowledge of two other foreign languages. Here are 10 main reasons our writer at law dissertation writing service mentioned here in this article that make it exceptional.
- There are no checks
During the school path, children and young people are subjected to regular checks that are aimed at testing the pupil’s learning level. The consequence of this technique is that the student studies exclusively to pass the test, while the teachers hold the lessons with the sole purpose of giving the students’ knowledge to pass the test.
In Finland there are no exceptions except for the National Enrolment Exam, which is used for entry to the University and which is held at the end of high school. All Finnish children and young people are ‘judged’ by their teachers: the overall monitoring of the institutions is followed by the Ministry of Education.
- School starts at 7 and lasts only 9.
Finnish children face school for the first time at 7 years of age: the reason is very simple. The educational system of Finland allows children to make children as long as necessary, removing them from compulsory education just when they express their whole personality.
In Finland compulsory schooling lasts only 9 years. This means that everything that comes after 16 is optional. Paradoxically, the fact that children do not feel compelled to go to school means that school dropouts are at a minimum.
- Lessons start later and end earlier
In Finland, all schools start between 9.00 and 9.45: this by virtue of the fact that waking up very early in the morning, running to get ready and taking the bus causes stress and a considerable amount of energy (physical and mental) consumption for a child. In addition, the lessons end at the latest by three in the afternoon interspersed with longer than average breaks.
In Finland, the focus is not only on school learning, but holistic learning is promoted.
- There is a more relaxed atmosphere
The watchwords of the schools of Finland is ‘Less stress, less rigidity, more care’: students follow only two subjects per day and have long enough breaks to eat, to socialize, to take a breath of fresh air outside. Open and to unzip.
This type of philosophy also applies to teachers: in each school there are rooms reserved for them where they can rest, organize lessons or talk. They too are people, and they too need a stimulating environment to give their best.
- Homework is scarce or absent.
Finnish students are those with the least amount of homework in the world: on average they only spend half an hour a day on school books. Pupils manage to do well in school without the psychological pressure of having to excel in one or more subjects. Not having to worry about tests, exams and school classes, they can focus on the real purpose that of growing and learning from school.
- The teacher is always the same
In Finland, the number of teachers attending a class of students is very small: the same person can follow pupils for up to six years, becoming at this time almost a member of the family. Only in this way is it possible to abolish the tests, because the teacher knows perfectly the student’s profile and the way it must be assessed.
- There is collaboration and no competition
Many countries consider school as a place where Darwinian selection will do its duty: in the end only the best and the most suitable ones to study will go on. In Finland the way in which schools are viewed is different: collaboration is promoted, not competition. The goal is not to be better than the others.
- The teachers are professionals
The entrance tests to be able to access the teaching are very difficult and the standard required by aspiring teachers is high. Although the same teacher follows the same class for several years, it is very rare that parents are not satisfied with the quality of the teaching: this is because in addition to being true professionals, teachers must respond to a supervisor who has the task of intervening in the case some problem occurs.
- Simplicity reigns in schools.
All the aspects that make the Finnish education system a reference point all over the world, are the result of recent interventions : the philosophy with which the system was renewed is a ‘return to origins’, a lightening of the rules, expectations and pressures that led to excellent results.
Since the 1980s, Finland has focused on making simplicity a priority, building on these pillars:
- Education as a tool to eliminate social inequalities
- Free meals in schools
- Simplified access to healthcare
- Psychological support
- Individual assessments.
- After school, there is not only the university
How many young people decide to take a university course, even though they know they don’t have the skills? This happens when there is no interesting job offer or when it is not covered with the dignity it deserves. In Finland, choosing to work has the same value as continuing to study.