Finnish 15-year-olds still among top performers in reading literacy but growing proportion of low performers needs addressing

OECD’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey again ranked Finnish 15-year-olds among top performers in reading literacy in OECD countries. This time the focus in the PISA2018 survey, held every three years, was on reading literacy. Compared with 2015, Finnish pupils’ mathematical literacy also remained unchanged, but performance in science literacy declined. Differentiation between students is being addressed with national programmes such as the national literacy forum and a survey of boys' learning challenges

Participation in early childhood education and care has increased in Finland

The participation rate in early childhood education and care is below the OECD average and clearly lower than in the other Nordic countries. The participation rate has however grown evenly since 2000.

In a crisis, the safety of the students and the support offered by the schools are paramount

In early October 2019 Finland was shaken by a violent incident at Savo Vocational College in Kuopio. Schools in Finland are supporting pupils and students cope with what has happened. As part of student welfare plan, schools have to prepare a crisis plan and offer psychosocial support to students in a crisis situation. It is important to anticipate different situations, prepare plans on how to act, and to train for these situations regularly. EDUFI supports education providers by information and advice, and by providing materials and training related to security issues.

Average group sizes in basic education in Finland below the OECD average

Average group sizes in basic education in Finland have for a long time been below the OECD average. This is the case also in 2017, according to this year’s Education at a Glance that was published in September.

First school based on Finnish pedagogical approach has opened in Vietnam

A private school based on the Finnish curriculum and pedagogical approach has opened in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The opening ceremony of Vietnam-Finland International School (VFIS), the first school in Vietnam that is based on the Finnish model, was held on August 12th, 2019. The school, which operates under Ton Duc Than university, covers grades 1-9, and a part of the teaching staff comes from Finland.

International mobility in upper secondary education is declining

In 2017 Finnish students in upper secondary education completed fewer mobility periods than the previous year. This is evident in the statistics compiled by the Finnish National Agency for Education. Target countries in both VET and general upper secondary education were mainly in Europe. The EU Erasmus+ Programme is becoming more and more important of as a source of funding for student mobility.

International mobility in vocational education and training picking up again

The number of international mobility periods among Finnish vocational (VET) students decreased sharply after 2016. In 2018, however, the downward trend seems to be evening out. In 2018 some 5 300 students did longer or shorter training periods of less than 2 weeks abroad.

Great variation in instruction and “school-time” for teachers in the Nordic region

There is remarkable variation in compulsory instruction time in the Nordic region. Instruction time is highest in Denmark and lowest in Finland. In Denmark the number of instruction time is highest also compared to other EU and OCD countries. Although teachers’ minimum teaching time does not vary very much, there are big differences in the time teachers are required to be present at their schools.
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