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Secret of Finland education system success!

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By Rutaba

There are certain important elements like funds, gender issues, influence of governmental conflicts etc, are the basis for the progress or failure of education system. The education system of Finland was just like US, if we go back to 1960’s, both of these countries were down the list of nations. Finland, unlike others, brought into consideration “why”. They tried to find the reasons applied various new ideas and techniques with the suggestions and contribution of psychologists. They succeeded so well in their exotic ideas that their children were no 1 on the list.

How did they manage to do that? What was the secret ingredient?

The secret to their success is that their homework is “excessively reduced”. Minister of Education Finland Krista Kiuru believes that children should have more time to be kids, to be youngsters, to enjoy the life. The maximum amount of work they get consumes around 10 to 20 minutes.

High School Principal Pasi Majasaari believes that the whole team of “Homework” is an obsolete. Children play and explore the world according to their own imagination, perception, creativity and intellect. They are not forced or bound to sit in the classroom, staring at the blank walls and learn what is written in the books, in fact, they learn how to learn. They spend 3-4 hours a day out in the playground and play, climb a tree etc. they get 20 hours a week to play including the lunch hours. Their playground includes the objects they want to have.

“The function of the brain has to relax every now and then”. Quotes Leena Liusuaara School Principal. Id one constantly works, the brain stops learning anymore. Schools in Finland has the shortest days, fewer hours and short years as compared to the institutes of other countries. They learn more by going to school less.

“All the schools in Finland are equal”, believes Minister of Education. The main objective of the schools in Finland is finding happiness and learning along the way. What makes a child happy, creative and active is the most important thing for them. It is student centered. The students are the one in focus. They are teaching them to be a happy person. Even the math teachers in their schools encourage students to go outside and play for as long as they want.

If they are only forced to rote and do a lot of homework, then they won’t be left with time to socialize, to play, to interact with a variety of people, to be creative, to groom one’s personality as there’s so much more to life around them. The improvement in the intellect and creativity of these students stood out and amazed the whole world. According to Smithsonian magazine, the school receives 47,000 euros a year to hire aids and special education teachers.

According to National Center on Education and the Economy, education in Finland is free to all beginning at the voluntary pre-primary level and continuing through upper secondary school, although students may accrue fees for extracurricular morning and afternoon activities. Funding responsibilities are divided between the federal and municipal governments with the federal government assuming about 57% of the financial burden of schools and municipal authorities assuming the remaining 43%. There are very few private schools in Finland; those that exist are granted the same government funds as public schools and are required to use the same admission standards and provide the same services as public schools.

The majority of the private schools in Finland are religious. The amount of federal money given to each municipality is determined by the number of the students and an annually calculated unit cost per student. In 2011, Finland spent $12,545 per student in lower secondary school, as compared to the OECD average of $9,377.

Total spending on education represented 6.5% of Finland’s GDP in 2011, compared to 5.9% of the GDP in 2008. The average across OECD countries was also 6.1% in 2011, up only slightly from 5.9% in 2008. Therefore, spending on education in Finland increased more rapidly than the OECD average during the Great Recession.

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