Study in Finland | Education System

|Study in Finland | Education System – School education in Finland was rated as the best in the world by a study conducted by PISA in 2004. |

PISA, which stands for Program of International Student Assessment – aims to assess the knowledge and the skills needed to for full participation in society, rather than just the mastery of curriculum. Study in Finland Education System

The assessment of schools by PISA is limited only to the OECD countries and partner countries like Russia and Brazil. The main focus in the test was Math, with its applications in real world situations. Schools in Finland topped in all the overall proficiency levels followed by South Korea and Canada. Study in Finland Education System

Now, what exactly are schools in Finland doing to maintain such competency levels?  The Finnish system is built on early learning through preschooling. This preschool education is provided at day care centers and at regular schools. Preschool education aims to develop a child’s capacity to learn by teaching them new facts and skills through play. There is a legislation to provide free preschool education to all children aged six, but the participation is voluntary.

Comprehensive school starts at the age of seven for students and continues for nine years. Study in Finland Education System

In the first six years, a class teacher teaches most of the subjects. In the last three years of comprehensive schooling, courses are taught by specialized subject teachers. Pupils who are diagnosed with learning disabilities are entitled for special education under law. Study in Finland Education System

The subjects that are taught in comprehensive school are as follows: Swedish or Finnish {the national languages}, foreign languages, mathematics, physics, chemistry, history, social studies, physical education, music, visual arts, crafts, home economics, religion or ethics, biology, geography and environmental studies. There is also the freedom given to students to choose certain special subjects, depending upon their interests.

The upper secondary school year starts after the end of comprehensive schooling. This is between 16 – 19 years of age. The schools select their own students depending on their comprehensive schooling grades. Upper Secondary schooling is quite open ended in nature as it is course based. The progress of the student depends on his or her choice of courses. The classes are not divided into one year and students are taught in three subject areas, namely compulsory studies, advanced studies and practical studies. Study in Finland Education System

At the end of upper secondary school, students have to give a matriculation examination, which is a nationwide assessment. The exam has four subjects, students mother tongue, the national language, a foreign language, and either math or general studies. Under general studies, students can choose between different subjects such as biology, geography, chemistry, physics and history. Study in Finland Education System

The level of education and learning in Finland is quite high because a significant investment has been made on teachers. Different methodologies are also adopted to maintain teaching skills at a high standard. Students who exhibit learning difficulties or are traditionally slow learners are given special guidance. Finland also has more special education teachers than any other country. All these factors have contributed towards making Finland excel in school education. Study in Finland Education System

Reference:

Article in the BBC –

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4073753.stm
Virtual Finland  –

http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=25819