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?

 

Confused about your career? 5 steps to help you make the right choice!

It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.
– Carlton Fisk

We all go through this phase in our lives when we question ourselves: What’s right for me – Following my hobby or getting into the family business? Pursuing engineering or becoming an entrepreneur? Doing something that makes me happy with small earnings or something that offers great packages?

And do you know why these questions arise? The two main reasons why we can’t decide our career path are:
>> Either we have no clue about what we genuinely like,
>> Or we know what we actually like but don’t think it’s a perfect option to go ahead with!

Have you ever come across someone who slipped smoothly into the right career shoes, and walked away without any troubles? Maybe yes, but very less.

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

Well, well. Just take a deep breath and read on to know what you should do to find the right career path! This guide has got your back, trust us:

STEP 1: Mirror, mirror on the wall; what’s my favourite hobby that can become a job?

That’s right. Look deep inside. Figure out things you are passionate about, that make you happy, and can be worked upon. Give directions to your all-time favourite hobbies and pursue them seriously. Self-evaluation is the key!

STEP 2: Say hello to the too-many options and follow the ideal process

In the times when you feel like pursuing multiple things and end up getting confused, just follow the filter process. List down all the options available, research about them and explore as much as you can. Make comparisons and see what’s better, prioritize or rank your choices, and voila! You will reach the next main step about experiencing the future.

STEP 3: Getting on it by using ‘experiential knowledge’ as the shield

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.
—Arthur Golden

With that list of shortlisted options in your hand, your succeeding step should be choosing and getting on to your ‘next thing’ with the help of career advisors. Mentors play an important role, for seeking guidance from our seniors or parents is indispensable. However, words or pieces of advice are not enough in today’s world. You need to feel, experience, and then decide your career to avoid any repercussions.

Experiential learning means acquiring practical knowledge about any topic by getting a hands-on experience. In simple words, it is the process of learning through experience, more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”.

An internship is sure to give you some perspective and a good curriculum will help you get a clear picture regarding your career choices. Gaining experience by doing internships, taking classes, reading books, etc can help you develop the skills and abilities to strengthen your goals.

STEP 4: Be an opportunist

Knowing in a few months is better than investing your life trying. Pre-acquired knowledge also helps in saving time & money, because what if you realise later that the path you chose wasn’t meant for you! Make use of opportunities to become what you really want to be. Make a career plan, make a choice, get experiential knowledge, and you are good to go. Explore, experience, and then pursue that path.

STEP 5: Right Decisions = Right Path

Decision making is the most crucial process and setting goals is not an easy job. So, now what? After you come down to one option and finally decide that this is it, start focussing on how to grow in that field. Build networks that help you reach the top of the ladder and kill it with your phenomenal performance.

Hope that we helped you get on the right path to the most suitable career. Here’s a small tip! Don’t spend years to learn the curriculum that changes every day, rather equip and prepare yourself with the tools of today! Ready to find your next thing?