Finnish education system, is it really the best in the world?

Education systems around the world vary a lot. Finnish education system has been praised all around the world, but is it really that good? And why it seems to gain so much attention?

How does the finnish education system work?

The education system includes early childhood education and preschool (päiväkoti), comprehensive education (ala-aste and yläaste), upper secondary education (lukio or ammattikoulu) and higher education. We also have adult education in different colleges and institutes.

What is so good about the finnish education system?

First and foremost it’s good to mention that most of the finnish education system is free. In lower grades everything is provided. And by everything we mean books, education, free lunch, doctors and nurses on site, security, equipment, you name it. This really highlights the fact that all children have equal opportunities regardless of the family’s income.

Early childhood education and preschool

In Finland, children are expected to enroll in early childhood education before the “real” school begins. Majority of the children choose to do so, though there is possibility of home-schooling also. Children usually receive up to 20 hours of education per week. This can come handy when parents are working.

Children learn valuable skills that they get to socialize with other kids, and there’s a lot of outdoor playtime included. Preschool education is mandatory in Finland. In Finnish education system, every child has to attend preschool at least one year prior compulsory education begins. Usually this is done when a child is six years old.

Preschool education is given by qualified teachers (masters in pedagogical studies) and it is organized typically from Monday to Friday. Similar to early childhood education, this education revolves around basic skills but also included some vocabulary, letters, basic math, etc.

Again, lots of outdoor playtime is included.

The “real” school – Comprehensive education

Comprehensive education means the actual school that children enter when they turn seven. They study from classes 1-6 (ala-aste) and then 7-9 (yläaste). These nine grades are compulsory for all children.

Finnish law guides the comprehensive education, and it is highly regulated what children are to be taught. All schools are public, and receive the same education, same teacher quota and came curriculum.

Again, all teacher have Masters degrees and are speciliazed in child pedagogy and to the subjects they teach. From the grades 1-6 the children have their own teacher, which means the educators truly know the kids and can develop their individual skills.

Why is the finnish education system so good

I would highlight four things:

  1. Lots of outdoor playtime.
  2. Free education – equal to everyone
  3. Little or no homework
  4. Teacher participation

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How is Finnish language taught in finnish education system?

Finnish is a hard language. But finnish education system does a great job of teaching finnish as a mother tongue to kids.

Studying the mother tongue is the practice of thinking and self-expression. That is why mother tongue is the main subject in finnish schools.

The goal of teaching finnish as a mother tongue to children is to develop pupils’ language, interaction and text skills, and to guide them towards language, literature and other culture. Children become aware of themselves as communicators and language users.

The pupils’ everyday language and text skills are expanded to give them the ability to conceptualize the language and develop their thinking and creativity.

If you’re looking to learn finnish language as a foreigner, start from the finnish greetings. Or get yourself your own tutor to learn more!

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