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Most Finnish children enjoy school: THL study

Published : 18 Sep 2019, 01:40

Updated : 18 Sep 2019, 10:56

  DF Report

Photo City of Helsinki by Kimmo Brandt.

More than half of the Finnish children and young people say they enjoy going to school and feel that their teachers are interested in their life, said the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Those that particularly enjoy going to school are of grades 4 and 5 as well as students in vocational institutions, and boys in particular, a THL press release said quoting a recent School Health Promotion Study.

School fatigue was experienced most often by girls studying in general upper secondary school or in grade 8 and grade 9 of secondary school (20%).

“An operating culture that supports participation in educational institutions is an important part of well-being promotion among children and young people, and it should be further strengthened,” said THL Senior Researcher Riikka Ikonen,.

There was no significant change in the data on experiences of bullying compared to the figures for 2017, but over the course of the last 10 years bullying has decreased, particularly among grade 8 and grade 9 secondary school students.

A total of 7% of grade 4 and grade 5 pupils say they experience bullying at least once a week, while the figures for grade 8/9 students, general upper secondary school students and vocational students are 6%, 1%, and 4% respectively.

This most recent study also obtained broader data on experiences of violence and harassment. Boys experience physical threats more than girls, whereas girls experience more sexual harassment and violence as well as emotional and physical violence in their family.

Girls reports to an adult more often than boys when they experience violence. Boys find more often than girls that they receive help and support for their experiences of violence from adults at the school and services outside the school.

Children and young people are mostly content with their lives and an increasing number feel they have good communication with their parents. This experience of good communication has become more common particularly for boys studying at grade 8 and grade 9 of secondary school, in general upper secondary school, or in vocational institutions.

“Open communication between the child and the parent protects the child in many ways and promotes well-being. When the child has good communication with their parents, it is also easier for them to raise more difficult matters that are weighing on their mind and to receive support for them from their parents,” explained Riikka Ikonen.

These findings are based on the School Health Promotion Study carried out in spring 2019. The study obtained responses from 260,000 students, covering grade 4 and grade 5 children, grade 8 and grade 9 secondary school students, general upper secondary school students, and young people studying in their first and second year at vocational institutions.