Valuable lessons India can learn from Finland’s education system

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!

 

Also read: How experiential learning is the way forward in India?

 

How Project MyNT intends to bring about a change in the career building ecosystem of India?

In this day and age – Education is not a want, it’s a need. The future of India, highly depends on this need. Just as a background, there are about 1M+ jobs being wiped out every year due to technology advancements and multiple million people are becoming victims of non-satisfying jobs due to their rate race of meeting opportunity costs or living costs. It’s high time we realize that until we don’t align our interests and passions to the career decisions we make – we’re in danger of being unemployed or deteriorating our mental health.

Education in india

Project Mynt is India’s First Experiential Learning Platform that is trying to address this problem head-on. We target students and young professionals early on in their journeys to get the right amount of exposure to help them target industries that align with their interests and passions. We do this by delivering specially curated capsule courses that help them get a real life experience of an industry that they’re inclined towards. We pick and choose specific fields that have rapid growth today and are going to be the careers of tomorrow.  

Also read:  What can Teenagers do to build a successful future?

After students complete their chosen capsule, they get the industry domain knowledge about further education or employment options in the same field. We complete the entire loop to help the student decipher his/her interest and make wiser decisions for their futures.

How are we able to do this? At Project Mynt, we’ve carefully chosen and selected industry leaders and veterans who have not only built and stamped the authenticity of these capsules but also joined hands as faculty for the same. Our next batch of capsules are scheduled to run in the summer vacations for students in Delhi/NCR wherein we’re looking forward to high levels of engagement and energy towards shaping their future.

The summer capsules will happen in a condensed time frame keeping in mind the availability of school students. The first batch starts on 24th May 2019 and lasts for about a week. We’ve enrolled students and have close to 100 seats left, for those who are travelling – we have a similar batch scheduled to happen in the last week of June 2019.

To apply for being a part of the capsule please click here or mail us on inquiry@projectmynt.com

 

Is Alternative Education your ‘Next Thing’?

With regards to our school years, we often forget in the heady haze of nostalgia, the tedium of homework, the endless rambling of teachers and the red stamps on report cards – concentrating rather on the pranks, the disciplinary action for ‘talking in class’ and the strolls of disgrace in front of the class to read out the chit you were secretly attempting to pass across to your bestie.

Alternative education

However, once you remove those rose-tinted glasses, chances are, uncomfortable questions with respect to the educational system we experienced in childhood might rise, where it was alright to take such a large number of additional hours understanding why the periodic table worked the manner in which it did, while essay-writing was evidently a little treat.

There is no doubt that whenever we talk about education in India, everyone starts complaining about how bureaucratic the system is. However, the upcoming generation of the urban parents are evidently evolving and making an effort in enrolling their kids with ‘Alternative Education Academies’ that aim at providing a different environment of learning for students, depending on their capabilities and interests.

Also read: 5 habits that will assure your child’s financial success in future

Many religious and philosophical leaders of India like Swami Vivekananda, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Maharishi Yogananda, Satya Sai Baba have also set up schools across the nation with the objective to follow alternative ways of schooling.  As we all know, the Right to Education act has made education compulsory for all children below the age of 14. Having said that, we still don’t see many changes as such in the approach to our education system.

Parents now claim that alternative education brings out the true colors of their child. Jiddu Krishnamurti, a philosopher believes, “Education is not just to pass examinations, take a degree and a job, get married and settle down, but also to be able to listen to the birds, to see the sky, to see the extraordinary beauty of a tree, and the shape of the hills, and to feel with them, to be really, directly in touch with them.”

As per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), the only yearly annual source of data on kids’ learning results accessible in rustic India, only 25.1 pc of the understudies enlisted in standard III can read standard II level content and only 47.8 pc of the understudies selected in standard V can read standard II level content. The latest report concluded, “Many parents of school going children do not have any or much education. They understand the importance of schooling but often do not understand how they can support children’s learning. Hence, there is a need to de-mystify learning to involve parents.”

India is now gradually evolving towards a greater acceptance towards alternative education. Alternative schools have one very strong belief, ‘each child is unique’. Given that alternative schools are smaller in size, with smaller class sizes, children get a lot more individual attention and are free to move at their own pace. This is made possible because the educationists at such spaces don’t expect all children in a class to level up to one standard.  

Another strong aspect of the philosophy at alternative schools is that most educators appreciate that the future is largely unknown and that the best we can do is to ensure children can adapt, learn, un-learn and re-learn, as that will equip them with the skills and abilities to navigate a world which seems to be changing and evolving at warp speed. The future can never be ‘mastered’ by getting high grades, as most children are led to believe. It can only be ‘lived’, and therefore mindset is probably more important than anything else in navigating a future we can’t predict.

Speaking based on the facts, students in alternative schools end up doing better than the ones in regular schools.  Most alternative schools don’t follow textbooks except for languages and mathematics. Teachers are always encouraged to create their own learning material, sometimes involving children too; letting the child understand the process of learning is part of the overall educational process.

The belief is that adhering to textbooks could get the children into rote learning mode which is not encouraged and to make teachers more independent and creative to impart knowledge.

These are a list of alternative schools you can read about which are revolutionizing the education space:

  • Mirambika Free Progress School
  • Aarambh Waldorf School
  • The Hypnotherapy School of India
  • Edha Education Foundation
  • Manava Bharti International School
  • Indian Institute of Mass Communication

The List continues. This tells us that Peoples’ mindsets are truly evolving and people are positively moving towards the concept of Alternative Education. We at MyNT share the same ideas and beliefs. Browse our website if you want to learn more about out of the box education for your children.