In a bid to make school syllabus more relevant for younger generations, the Department of Education has rejigged India’s education system by revising many key policies over the last decade. For instance, in 2016, the Ministry of Human Resource Development rectified a mandatory provision of the Right to Education Act from automatic promotion of all students till grade 8, to performance-based promotion. This means that it is mandatory for all students between class 5 and 8 to pass their exams in order to be promoted to the next grade.
In addition, the Delhi government introduced a new‘happiness curriculum’in almost 1,000 state-run schools. Introduced in 2018, this curriculum which includes meditation, value education and mental exercise is to be taught to all children between nursery and class 8. In the same year, it also allocated 26% of its annual budget to education—much higher than cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.
While these changes are significant, there’s still a long way to go before we can boast of a truly holistic and experience-first education system. Not unlike Finland’s.
What makes Finland so special?
The country’s progressive education system first made waves in 2001, when Finnish students ranked amongst the top five spots in the Program for International Student Assessment—a very prestigious international assessment of students. In this assessment, it was found that Finnish students had vastly superior reading, math and science literacy. As Finnish students started scoring better and better every year, educators, leaders and policy-makers began to study the country and its remarkably effective education system.
It was found that the transformation of the Finns’ education system began around 40 years ago as the key propellant of the country’s economic recovery plan. By the end of the ’60s, a new legislation and curriculum were created by merging academic grammar schools and work-oriented civic schools into a 9-year comprehensive school. These 9 years include 6 years of basic education and 3 years of lower secondary education. Other significant tenets of their system include:
- Formal education begins at the age of 7; before that, children are encouraged to learn through play and movement.
- The curriculum includes unusual subjects like ‘joy’ and ‘play’. Every Finnish school has a specially appointed welfare team to ensure every child’s happiness.
- Education in Finland is considered a fundamental right; to ensure equal opportunities for all, no tuition fees are charged in Finnish schools. There are only a handful of private schools but even they are financed publicly, and cannot charge a tuition fee.
- Fifteen minutes’ break time is scheduled into every class; students spend this break playing, while teachers can take a quick breather, or address specific concerns or special projects.
- Finland doesn’t have a standardized assessment system, which allows teachers the freedom to structure their lessons their way, and evaluate the progress of their students using individual metrics.
As the famous saying goes, change is the only constant and it’s high time that we make an alteration in our education system to benefit coming generations for a more efficient and aware career path. Want to change your learning habits? Visit www.projectmynt.com today!