Finnish Education: A Model For Other Nations

As countries around the globe aspire to achieve a better preschool education, they should look at what Finland is doing with its early childhood education.

Finland’s educational system

Finland’s tested, efficient and effective way of rearing children from early childhood is envy to most nations. It was not long before that students from Finland with ages at least 15 year old topped and aced international assessments in mathematics, science and literacy.

Finland’s young people begin primary school when they are at least seven years old. What is amazing with Finnish education is that when children are at least eight months old, they are given access to free, high quality preschool education. Since 1996, Finland had access to universal preschool education.

In Finland, all of their school teachers have master’s degree. The teaching profession is also one of the most respected jobs in Finland.

The head of international relations for the education department of Helsinki stressed the right of every child to be accorded with preschool and daycare education. The environment where a child is reared at a very young age is very important. Preschool and daycare institutions provide a place where the children can play, learn, make friends and grow. It is not just a place where parents dump their children while they go to work. The bitter reality for most parents is that they send their children to daycare centers or preschool institutions because they have to go to work. While preschool remains to be optional, this should not be the reason why children are sent to these educational institutions.

The school teachers in Finland are given autonomy on the curriculum that they will be using. This approach is quite unique compared to other countries. The teachers choose their textbooks and lessons as long as it is in line with the national curriculum. It also has to be noted that in Finland, board authorities do not conduct classroom inspection. The level of confidence the government places in its teachers is high.

Both teachers and students in Finnish schools receive a free meal daily. The classroom, halls, libraries and the entire school building are very clean. Many students walk around on their feet. There is also only a minimal amount of school and homework which gives the students more time to relax and enjoy.