Having a chance to pursue higher education in Finland is such a privilege for me since as a teacher, I am aware the importance of education for myself. As well as being birth country of Nokia, Wifi Technology and Angry Bird, Finland is well known for their high quality education. Of course studying there is not without challenges, especially the weather. Experiencing -30 degrees Celsius and going to 8AM classes in total darkness are very extreme for me personally. Still, it is totally worth the fight considering the outcome.
Talking about the education in Finland, equality and trust are factors that I believe contribute the most to Finland’s known reputation for their education quality. Let’s take a look: the main objective of Finnish Education is to offer everybody equal opportunities to receive education and this objective is well supported by having free education for everybody starting from Day Care Services up to University level. Not only that, most education and training is publicly funded, there are no tuition fees at any level of education.
If we go deeper, we’ll find that in primary education, the school materials, lunch, and transportation are provided free of charge. While, in secondary education students only pay for their books and transport. In addition, there is a well-developed system of study grants and loans; financial aid can be awarded for full-time study in upper secondary education and in higher education.
As I mentioned above, trust is one of important elements in making the education great in Finland. Teachers are given trust to develop and manage their own lesson and class activity to achieve the learning goal as there are no particular ways of learning.
Another thing that I am very please about is to see plenty similarities between Finnish Education and what we are doing in SVP:
|Teaching style and class activities||Teachers are given trust to develop and manage their own lesson and class activity to achieve the learning goal as there are no particular ways of learning.||Teachers are given freedom to manage and modified their class activities guided by the Curriculum Coordinators. Planning is being done on a weekly basis and teachers are constantly challenged by the coordinators to deliver and create engaging activities that develop the student’s inquiry.|
|Teacher’s support to student||They are aiming for equality, where everybody learns and nobody is left behind.||Differentiated learning is being implemented, because we are aware that each student has different needs when it comes to learning.|
|Quality of teacher’s education||Potential teachers are selected carefully through University selection. The Teacher Education programme is known as one of the most challenging programmes to do and graduate from. It is compulsory for Finnish teachers to have a master’s degree as their educational background.||Currently there are many teachers pursuing their master’s degree and many of them have successfully graduated with a master’s degree. The school is trying their best to support teachers in pursuing good quality higher education. For example for the past 4 years SVP have been facilitating teachers who want to pursue their master’s degree by collaborating with a well-known university in Jakarta. Teachers are able to enroll in the programme and take the class in SVP’s classrooms after school hours. Teachers are really helped in this way, because they do not need to travel far. By next year the second batch of teachers who are taking this programme will graduate.|
|Teacher training||Teacher training is provided and funded by the Government annually. Thus, most of teachers have strong research backgrounds as their base for teaching.||As a practitioner of 21st Centuries Education and Differentiated Teaching, teacher’s skills and knowledge are one of the priorities in our school development. In SVP, teachers have weekly Professional Development meetings to be up to date and continue to be lifelong learners.|
|Learning Orientation||There is no national examination for students in basic education; teachers are responsible for assessment through an ongoing process of learning instead. There is only one national examination, which is matriculation examination. This is held at the end of general upper secondary education. The test result is normally used for admission to higher education (University or Polytechnic).||The learning is more process oriented instead result oriented. In SVP, assessments are beyond test. Teachers have ongoing assessment to monitor the constant progress of the students. The school has ways of reporting the student’s learning beyond just a report card, such as learning celebrations and student led conferences.|
|Learning Environment||To achieve 21st century learning in Finland, learning is designed to be fun and engaging. They are aiming to prepare the students to be ready with challenges that they are going to face in the future.||At SVP we are implementing the 21st century education system that encourages students to be creative, collaborative, communicative and critical in thinking because learning is beyond memorising textbooks or passing exams. Education should develop students to be inquirers and lifelong learners. Learning happens far beyond the classroom and the open learning concept is being well implemented in SVP. When students go for excursions, experts are invited to share their knowledge allowing students in SVP to learn beyond the textbooks or Google, so they will be equipped with relevant information that is useful for their future.|
In conclusion, according to my experience whilst learning in Finland. SVP is on the right track to provide the best education for our students. I am glad to know we are implementing a very similar approach to a country that is well known for their Education.
By Adelina Mulyani Go
Sekolah Victory Plus