WE NEED TO GET BACK TO BASICS IN EDUCATION - CONSTANT RUSH IS HARMFUL
As President Barack Obama said, even the poorest family in Finland attends the best school in the world. We Finns are rightly proud of our schools. However, the success of our education is hampered by the decreasing well-being of our teachers. How has this come about?
Teachers' work assignments have swelled and they are pushed at an extreme. I saw this myself when I was a teacher. Many teachers feel that there is too much work and that they don't have time to focus on the basics. There are more and more work assignments as well as meetings that do not contribute to the well-being of teachers and students. If something is found to be good and it works, it should not be changed. Less is more in this case.
It won't work if we add speed to the treadmill and more weight on teachers' shoulders. The newest big burden to schools is raising compulsory schooling to 18 years of age. The National Coalition Party does not believe in correcting the problems of early school leavers by raising compulsory schooling. Forcing is not a solution. Resources must be put into existing structures, in the early stages of studies.
The pace of school development trends is quite unbridled. How will current decisions and speed affect the future? The wisest would be to prioritize. Slow down. From one academic year to the next, this and that are planned and executed. Who will this insane pace benefit? Who wants that? For example, we have a well-meaning idea of language-conscious teaching: the idea that in all subjects students' language level is paid attention to. How do we pay the expenses of this program? And above all, does it help the child learn Finnish? Hardly. The problem is elsewhere and we should be courageous to address it.
No one seems to be on track with the constant changes. As teachers' stress and work pressure increases, it is passed on to students. Students are good at sensing. We can fix this by genuinely slowing down the pace and consulting teachers. Allowing teachers to return to their basic work. There should be no bouncing them from one meeting to another, leaving nothing but pressure.
We must dare to say that the responsibility for children lies primarily in the hands of parents, not in the hands of the schools. The job description of teachers should not include law enforcement duties.
Equality is a value that should not be compromised in schools. Care must be taken to ensure that the human rights and individual freedom of immigrant children are respected in schools. For example, we should not allow girls to have their own swimming shifts or swimming bans in Helsinki. I want to make sure that all children continue to have the same opportunities in life regardless of their background. No child wishes to be an outcast in society. Unequal structures, even if they mean good, must not be allowed to emerge. They need to be dismantled.
Parents must accept the values with which the Finnish welfare state has been built since the 1960s. There is no room for our own harmful religious and cultural traditions. The Finnish education system and welfare society were not built to treat people differently because of their skin color, ethnic background, gender, or religion. Everyone starts from the same spot.
There is no place for cultural relativism. Some customs and values are more valuable and better than others and there is nothing wrong with saying it. I do not want a society where parallel societies and privileges are given green light in Finland.
Finding your own place is never easy for anyone, not for any boy or girl. We all need push-forward hands and gazes. Those determined glances that say you can do it. You can do it despite all the challenges. Believe in those who don't sell you excuses. Believe in those who command you to get on your own wings and show what you are made of. Sometimes these encouraging looks and forward-looking hands are not found in the family. In order for teachers to act as those driving forces, they need to be heard. Let's get back to the basics. Give time and space for learning.
Solutions for troubled classes must be sought in an open and determined manner. Teachers need to be able to focus on their core work. Special classrooms must be found when problems in class prevent the entire teaching group from progressing according to the curriculum. One can ask; who wants to put their own child in school knowing that there is peace in a neighboring school?
The segregation of schools and regions must be stopped.