By Fatimah Hassan, Editorial Assistant

Finland is known as a model for education in the world. Its adoption of collaborative approach, instead of competitive approach within its school system has been adjudged as the most innovative and impactful teaching approach of modern times. It’s no surprise that at the 11TH Total School Support Seminar/Exhibition  held in Lagos, the Finish Ambassador was invited to open the vista of their success and roll out the need for a Finish model across the world.

At the event, the Finland Ambassador Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen delivered a goodwill message. During his speech he espoused the giant strides of the Finnish model and what it’s all about. In his words he stated, ‘every child is entitled to the same quality of education irrespective of their class and status, they are all schooled in the same kind of environment and teaching techniques, the act sees that every child goes to school and get quality education.’

In furtherance of this point, he stressed  that education is an important tool relevant for the growth of the future of every nation. He closed by saying that, ’it’s one of their policies that all teachers have at least a postgraduate degree in education; not because it makes them teach better but because teachers are paid to develop the level of education at the classroom level by educating themselves.’ Imperatively, teacher’s education is very important and teachers are the most important persons in education sector.

CEO of Soprano Mr. Arto TenhunenOn the other hand, the CEO of Soprano Mr. Arto Tenhunen, -one of the companies- in whose behest the event was organized delivered his address titled, “The future of education in Africa: Lessons to be learnt from the Finnish Education System.” In his address, he explained Finland’s educational leap using points. He said that Finland have as a core part of their school system the doctrine of equal opportunity.

In his words, ‘ everyone, every children and family have the same school not minding whether you are rich or poor, or wherever you are living.’ As for the teachers’ growth and trainings, Finland considers teachers training as a root towards building up the school system, that aside from having master’s degrees, they also have faculty degrees, and this was a must have for every teacher in Finland. He was firm on issues concerning adoption of value in Finnish school system. He said, ‘everyone in Finland places same value on education, teachers in Finland are most respected people in the society, they are ready to be trained and have symposiums, which they all love.

Each opportunity focuses on teachers, no low techs in the system and students centered system is a key issue why Finland has been so remarkable in education growth and advancement. Another is the continual learning program modeled after the day’s school and learning. It provides for lifelong learning for working professions, such that whatever you know in your profession; even though you are a teacher, need to perpetually be improved on. This means that each person gets professionally developed in their own work.