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Int’l reputation of Finnish education system

Many foreigners visit Rovaniemi schools to see

16 Aug 2018, 11:08 ( 16 Aug, 2018) | updated: 16 Aug 2018, 11:11 ( 16 Aug, 2018)

DF Report
Children of a school are playing at the school ground in Rovaniemi. DF Photo.

Many people, particularly school children, schoolteachers and education sector officials from abroad, visit the schools in Rovaniemi every year to have a first-hand experience of the primary education system of Finland which ranks top in the world.

Several hundred foreigners, mostly from China, Japan, Israel, and European countries come to Rovaniemi every year to know about the new school curriculum, teaching method, learning atmosphere etc, said officials at the education department of Rovaniemi City Corporation.

They said the aim of such visits is to build a face-to-face communication platform for each country to share their success and challenges.

“We have had about 300 visitors from different countries in the last one year,” said Kai Väistö, head of education services at Rovaniemi City Corporation.

According to Väistö, “Their main interest is our new curriculum and teaching methods, the idea of ‘future school’ as well as the entire educational system.”

He also said that “Our visitors are very interested about how we organise teaching and help children on an individual basis.”

Irja Seppänen from the same department said, “Our school system, inclusion and special education, school buildings and classrooms, school management, national and local curricula, pedagogic working methods, student welfare, ICT in schools attract the international visitors.”

Seppänen also informed that the city has developed a system for international guests to visit Rovaniemi schools and get an idea about the education system which has been found to work very well.

The City of Rovaniemi has already signed a number of cooperation agreements with different Chinese cities. The 3rd China-Finland Principals (Basic Education) Forum was held last year in Rovaniemi on the theme “Review Finnish New Curriculum Reform & Prospect Future Education Design” which analysed the most updated outcome of Finnish new curriculum reform.

Finland is one of the best countries in the world in primary education system.  It has been regularly ranking top among the education systems across the globe. The Finnish education system is also famous for having no banding system. All students, irrespective of ability, are taught in the same classes, resulting in the least gap between the weakest and the strongest students. Schools also give relatively less homework to the students.

Education in Finland is free at all levels from pre-school to tertiary education. At pre-primary and primary levels, meals, textbooks, and transportation are free. The Ministry of Education and Culture lays down the education policy and the Finnish National Board of Education implements it.