For the fourth time in a row, the United Nations World Happiness Report named Finland the Happiest Country in the World. One of Finland’s draws is its educational system. Its unconventional education system is regarded as one of the best in the world simply by deviating from the evaluation-driven, centralized model that many countries employ.
Here are some facts about Finland’s educational system sometimes referred to as best primary school education system
Students Do Not Begin School Until They Are Seven Years Old.
Children are only required to attend school when they are seven years old, though preschool is an option. Finland’s education system encourages children to be creative and resourceful by allowing them to learn outside of the formal curriculum from an early age.
Unlike Other Systems, Finnish Students Are Only Required To Take A Centralized Exam When They Reach The Age Of 16.
To gain admission to university, the students will take the Finnish matriculation examination. However, they are not subjected to a test-based system during their 9 years of compulsory schooling (yes, you read that correctly, 9 years!). There’s also not much homework!
All Students, Regardless Of Ability, Are Taught In The Same Classroom.
Schools hire teaching aids to supplement teachers’ efforts to ensure that children with learning or behavioural disabilities who are struggling do not fall behind.
In Finland, Children Are Not Measured At All During Their First Six Years Of Education.
While students in other countries struggle to achieve high grades in exams throughout the school year, Finns are not subjected to such pressure. This is due to the fact that exams and tests are not weighted until students reach their adolescent years.
The Government Pays For Children’s Education.
Yes, we are aware. Isn’t that crazy? But it’s a fact. The government of Finland provides a monthly allowance of approximately 500 euros to students in addition to free education, which typically costs Americans up to USD$70,000 per year.
93% Of Finns Finish High School.
Graduating from high school is a significant achievement for a teenager. The high rate of high school graduation demonstrates that Finnish education prioritizes quality education for students, reducing the likelihood of school dropouts.
43% Attend A Vocational School.
Students can choose whether to attend the Finnish equivalent of high school to prepare for university or to enter vocational training at the age of 16.
In School, Students Learn More Languages.
The first day of school is when students begin learning the Finnish language. Students begin learning Swedish (Finland’s second official language) at the age of nine, and at the age of eleven, they begin learning a third language, usually English.
Around the age of 13, many students begin learning a fourth language. In order to be admitted to university, students must pass a matriculation exam in their first two languages.
Elementary School Students In Finland Have 75 Minutes Of Recess Per Day, Compared To An Average Of 27 Minutes In The United States.
In addition to ample recess time, students are given a 15-minute break after each lesson. Furthermore, physical activity outside of the classroom is strongly encouraged, and some lessons are taught outside of the classroom.
Teachers Spend Only 4 Hours Per Day In The Classroom And 2 Hours Per Week On Professional Development.
On a weekly basis, teachers devote at least two hours to developing curriculum and assessing student progress. With fewer teaching hours, students are not overburdened, and teachers are not pressed for time to prepare.
Every year, students in most countries (including Malaysia) are assigned a new teacher. A teacher in Finland is more likely to stay with the same group of students for five years. This allows teachers to bond with their students while also getting to know them as learners.
Teachers are free to choose the best educational methods for their students. Teachers are given guidelines for what they must teach, but not prescriptions for how they must teach it.
This enables highly trained teachers to create a curriculum tailored to their specific group of students.
All Teachers In Finland Are Required To Have A Master’s Degree, Which Is Fully Funded.
To teach in Finland, you must have more than a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. Teachers must have outstanding academic credentials in order to plan quality curriculum and assessments for their students.
Teachers Are Chosen From The Top 10% Of Graduates.
It may be simple to become a teacher in many countries. However, this is not the case in Finland, where it is easier to become a lawyer or a doctor than a teacher. Even if you are qualified to be a teacher, you must compete to be in the top 10% of graduates in order to be hired.
Despite the pandemic’s devastation, Finland remains the happiest country in the world. These amazing facts about Finland’s education system show how the country prioritises the well-being and development of its people. Instead of stressing over exams every now and then, the students are able to focus on truly learning about life skills that will be beneficial for their future.