Teachers in Finland drive education

IN 1986 my son moved to Finland to marry a Finnish girl and I now have five Finnish grandchildren, all of whom have been educated in the country’s education system. The Finnish education system has over the past 20-plus years been acknowledged as the best in Europe and on most occasions the best in the world.

It is therefore interesting to discover how they achieve this superb educational system.

In Finland a teacher is treated as a professional on par with a doctor, lawyer, dentist etc and it is the teachers who drive the educational system.

To give an example, a few years ago a new school was to be built in the town where my son resides and it was the teachers who met with the architects and discussed the requirements for the new school. Even the Parents and Teachers Association was involved, particularly as my son at that time was the chairman, and only when the teachers’ requirements were met by the architect were the politicians approached and then it was purely for funding.

The proposals are nearly always met because the teachers are aware of the funds that are available and their prior negotiations always had that in mind.

Incidentally, the school for 800 pupils was built for just over 30m. euros and the site was on the edge of the Arctic Circle.

Every pupil was given an iPad for use at school at the request of the teachers.

Also, university education in Finland is free and in addition every pupil is given a subsistence allowance – at the time of my eldest grandson’s university time, it was 600 euros per month.

I therefore cannot understand how our politicians can ignore our teachers.

D. STEWART

Le Manoir de la Tortue

La Grande Rue

St Saviour’s

GY7 9PP

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