Sunday, April 02, 2023 | Ramadan 10, 1444 H
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Finland’s Successful Education System


Finland is ranked top in economic competitiveness, corruption-free governance, level of use of information and communication technologies, and best education system. The actual value of the Finnish education policy lies in the long-term objective that is providing equal opportunities for all citizens to high-quality education and training, regardless of age, domicile, economic situation, or mother tongue.

“In 1968 Finland embarked on a top-down reform of both primary and secondary education. Comprehensive school reform was implemented province by province including how local school systems would be restructured. Education in Finland is publicly financed from preschool to higher education” (Aho et al., 2006, p.9).

According to Kupiainen &Hautamäki (2009, p.16) the “Finnish education system is a mixture of state controlled or steered and relatively autonomous elements. The government determines the general objectives of education and the division of classroom hours between different subjects.

The Ministry of Education drafts legislation and government decisions pertaining to education. The National Board of Education lays out the concrete objectives and core contents of instruction in the different subjects and is responsible for the national core curriculum with its directive norms for good achievement in each (mark 8 on a scale of 4 to 10).

Local authorities are responsible for the practical arrangement of schooling and for composing the municipal curriculum based on the national core curriculum. Each school, in turn, writes its own curriculum based on both the national core curriculum and the municipal document.

The education provider is obliged to evaluate its education services and their effectiveness, and to participate in external evaluations. Basic education encompasses is the compulsory nine years, and caters for all those between 7 and 16 years, while Finnish upper secondary education is divided into the two clearly separate systems of academically oriented general upper secondary schools and vocational institutions, which prepare students for direct employment or further education in the polytechnics.

Upper secondary education is not compulsory but is attended by over 90 per cent of the age cohort. Despite the differences in the respective curricula of the two strands, both allow for access to all tertiary education via study programme specific entrance examinations. Entrance to upper secondary is based on application and basic school certificate”.

In view of the extensive education reforms of Finland, the crux of the education system is the foundation for Finnish students’ success in PISA 2000, 2003, and 2006. Some analysers comment that the success of education in Finland is due to various factors including: 1. Teachers are nearly the most qualified in the world, and the requirements for becoming a teacher in Finland are set highly. Around the top 10% of applicants are successful and all of those have a master’s degree. 2. Students Starting school at an older age (7 years). 3. Providing professional options past a traditional college degree. 4. More relaxed educational environment. 5. According to the OECD, students in Finland have the least amount of outside work and homework than any other student in the world, they spend half an hour a night working on stuff from school. It can be seen that Finnish students don’t have tutors. 6. Equal value to all aspects of individual growth and learning: personality, morality, creativity, knowledge, and skills.

All things considered; the Finnish education system is extraordinary. Their students outperform all students in the world in most, if not all areas. Finnish students have a natural relationship between school life and leisure time, allowing them to participate in more external activities. Overall, a normal balance between school activities and normal life is the basis of any healthy society.

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