Cooperating for a better education
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Cooperating for a better education



Regio-hankkeen raportti, versio 15.4.2011

Regio-hankkeen raportti, versio 15.4.2011



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Cooperating for a better education Document Transcript

  • 1. 1/10/2010GREECE –FINLAND CO-OPERATING FOR BETTER EDUCATION • Directorate of Primary Education of Western Thessaloniki • Kokkola Education Department Edited by the Regio team
  • 2. Greek Comenius Regio Project Editing Team of Western ThessalonikiMr Konstantinos Kontogiannidis Director of Primary EducationMr Vasilios Chatzis Manager of Educational Issues of the Directorate of WesternThessalonikiMr. Kostas Vasileiou, Manager of European Projects and International Cooperation of Primary Education of Western Thessaloniki.Mrs Natasha Mallou,Mrs Olga Sehidou Principal of Primary School of Assiros.Mr Vasilios Mezikis Principal of 7th Primary school of AmpelokipoiMrs Panagiota Karakasi Teacher of the English Language of Primary School of Assiros.Mrs Emilia Katsiveli, Teacher of the English Language of Primary School of Assiros.Finnish Comenius Regio Project Editing Team.Mr. Peter Johnson, Director of EducationMr. Jussi Kainulainen, Development ManagerMr. Mika Sarkkinen, dept. Development ManagerMrs. Heli Lehto-Koski, Development Manager, Villa ElbaMr. Ronnie Djupsund, Youth DirectorMr. Aatto Pennan, Headmaster, Ykspihlaja SchoolMr. Juha Suhonen, Headmaster, Koivuhaka SchoolMr. Reijo Timonen, Headmaster, Kiviniitty SchoolMrs. Pauliina Ehnqvist-Brännbacka, Special Education Teacher, Kiviniitty SchoolMs. Pia Fraktman, Coordinator, Youth Services
  • 3. CO-OPERATING FOR BETTER EDUCATION COMENIUS REGIO PROGRAMME 2009-2011 Partners: Directorate of Primary Education of Western Thessaloniki, Greece Department of Education in City of Kokkola, Finland
  • 4. TABLE OF CONTENTSForewordsIntroduction1. Comparing school systems• Administrative control• Extent of public-sector funded education• Compulsory education− Curriculum control and content in Greece− Curriculum control and content in Finland− Length of school day/week/year− Class size/student grouping− Teachers− Teachers’ and School leaders’ Education & Qualification in Greece and Finland• Overview2.Local community participation• Local decision making in Finland - example from City of Kokkola• Local decision making in Greece - example from City of Ampelokipi• Greek context− Local government in Greece− Local community participation− Practical example from the municipality of Ampelokipi• Finnish context− Youth work in Finland− Financing of Youth Work and Policy− National Youth Centres− The nature and role of communal youth work in Kokkola and Finland in general• Overview.3. Social marginalization• Support for student in Greece− Special needs in Greece− Cross-Cultural Education in Greece− Cross-cultural schools• Support for student in Finland− Student counselling− Basic support measures− Special education− Development of integration (mainstreaming) and inclusion− Legislative change in special education from 1.8.2011− Flexible basic education• Overview
  • 5. 4. Current reforms and priorities in Greece and FinlandConclusions – DiscussionReferences
  • 6. ForewordsPartnership for a better educationEducation was the basic element of the Greek civilization since the ancient times.Socrates, expressing the fundamental principle of Man’s ignorance, concentrated in thesaying “I know one thing, that I know nothing”, taught his students that knowledge is notjust to be knowledgeable about definitions, but to experience the content of virtue as awhole. Consequently, knowledge is not only an intellectual, but also a sentimental and will-controlled process displayed as social behaviour. The same path followed Plato, Socrates’student, and Aristotle, Plato’s student.As a result, 24 philosophical schools in ancient Greece with Ionic, Pythagoric, Attic,Academic and Lyseum School of Aristotle, being the most important ones.Education is of great importance in today’s world, too. The finish educational system was,until recently, unknown to Greeks, perhaps due to the distance between the two countries,or maybe because there is not a dense Greek community in Finland or even morebecause educators followed the German, British and American education model. The lastones are older than the Finnish one.The Greek and Finnish educational systems are poles apart. This is due to the differentculture of the people, the amount of financing, the long-term goals each countryanticipates and aims at.Besides, we must take into account the educational and financial level of the people,considering the unemployment percentage of the graduates in two countries.What’s for sure is that the Finnish educational system gains the better of the Greeksystem, which at this point is in deep crisis with unknown expiration date.There is also a difference in school management model. In Greece, the municipalities areresponsible for the school buildings and their maintenance, but the appointment ofeducators and the curriculum is in Ministry’s of education responsibility.The executives of education are placed by the Ministry, too. But these differences could bethe stimulus for partnerships with schools, like this one, teacher’s associations, ormunicipalities.
  • 7. This partnership could be specialized in education of social marginalized groups (Rom,foreigners, people with special needs).Greece has experience in this field and special programs are applied successfully foryears, in Multicultural Primary Schools.Specifically in Western Thessaloniki there are four Multicultural Primary Schools.In the 6th Multicultural Primary School of Evosmos and the 6th Multicultural Primary Schoolof Kordelio study mostly foreigners, less natives and even less Rom students who aretransferred by buses from their settlement. In these schools a great number ofexperienced teachers work and supporting classes operate. Maximizing the Europeanprogrammes they co-operate with schools abroad.Also, in the area of Dendropotamos, where Rom live, there are the other two MulticulturalSchools, the 3rd and 5th Primary Schools of Menemeni, with students from the Romsettlement with satisfactory results in terms of attendance.Simultaneously, there are 6 Primary and 3 Nursery Schools exclusively for students withspecial needs. One Nursery and two Primary Schools operate in two of the biggestHospitals of Western Thessaloniki for patient students.Altogether, in the responsibility of the Directorate of Primary Education of WesternThessaloniki there are 204 Primary and 277 Nursery Schools, 3.653 educators and 44.503students.We hope and aim for a continuous partnership with the Finnish Bureau of Education,keeping in mind the ancient poet’s Menandros words: “Your biggest profit in life will be ifyou learn to learn”.Konstantinos KontogiannidisPhD, Director of Primary Educationof Western Thessaloniki,
  • 8. “To compare or not to compare – that is the question!”We are living the time of globalisation and the world is full of international comparisons ofeducation. Last OECD’s PISA assessments were released in December 2010 and themedia was full of news about that. The reporters tried their best to understand the wideand complicated report. The only they could do in Finland was that they reported that thistime Finland was not the first one in the ranking list. During that week in Kokkola we had aRegio project delegation visiting from Thessaloniki. It was so nice to talk with our Greekcolleagues and share the thoughts about education much more deeper and withdedication to details. We talked about the culture, history and policy of education inGreece and Finland. This report was made during EU Regio project “Co-operating for Better education”.We started our project meetings by comparing the educational systems of our nations. Inthe beginning we found out a lot of differences. It was the easy part, but after some timewe started to see the similarities. After that we proceeded in reflections and startedto understand the cultural and historical context of education. The legacy of Ancient Greece is fascinating and the history of Western culturestarts in many meanings from Greece. Although schooling wasn’t a legal requirement inAncient Greece, there are historical proofs as early as 500 BC. This tells us that schoolingwas quite widespread in those days in Athens and probably in Northern Greece as well.The city of Thessaloniki is over 2 300 years old and Thessaloniki’s Aristotelian Universityis named after the great philosopher Aristotele. In the harbour of the metropol stands thestatue of Alexander the Great which is located next to the White Tower. So, the history ofThessaloniki is great. If we compare the city of Kokkola to Thessaloniki, the scale is much smaller, historyis much younger and more modest. Kokkola is only 390 years old and we have 46 000inhabitants. The oldest school building dates back to 1696 and schooling started inKokkola in 1634 provided by the church. 2300 years ago Kokkola was in the bottom of thesea, because in the area the land rises from the sea at one meter per century. Not evenone stone from Kokkola was visible above the sea level when Thessaloniki was founded. One could argue that there are too many historical and cultural differences betweenFinland and Greece and it does not make sense to set up any cooperation. After two yearsRegio project and from the experience of that tells us, however, quite different. The projecthas achieved its goals and it has built up cooperative relations with all levels of our
  • 9. organizations. Good cooperation relations have been born with schools, teachers,principals, youth organizations and educational administrators. When comparing the school systems, you need to understand your own system andall the culturally and historically related aspects and context behind it. Sometimes you alsoneed to go further to see close. Visiting Greece and explaining Finnish school systemmade you really go through a learning curve where you try to combine the past andpresent to enable future development. Both partnership countries will face challenges in the near future which needs to besolved in a sustainable way. Finland cannot stop evolving its school system even the PISAresults have been good. We need to stay on top and try to be open-minded and long-sighted when making the decisions for the schools in the future. Greece, on the otherhand, faces its own challenges. Especially we discussed a lot about Greece’s location inthe corner of three continents and its efforts on dealing with the huge amount ofimmigrants and fast increasing multiculturalism. As a conclusion, the project has made impact on many different levels. Schools -students, teachers, principals and administrative staff - have had a wonderful opportunityto experience and get familiar with a very different country with amazing cultural andhistorical background. School administration has been, for the first time, involved withclose international cooperation through CIMO which in past has been limited to the schoollevel and teacher movement. For us administrators, the project has given lot of food forthought when trying to promote sustainable development of schooling and education in ourlocal context. Last, but not the least, in personal level we have established friendships thatlast for a lifetime.Peter Johnson Jussi KainulainenDirector of Education, PhD Development ManagerCity of Kokkola Programme Manager EduCluster Finland Abu Dhabi, UAE (2010 -) City of Kokkola, Finland (2008-2010)
  • 10. Reflections and insights into the interior of the Finnish educationalsystemPraising the Finnish educational system isn’t rare at all. For more than a decade nowFinland posts excellent PISA results. Years 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009 showed elegantlyto the whole world what can mankind achieve with patience and perseverance. Theinternet, the media and international educational researchers and reformers, evenministers and policy makers use praising almost dithyrambic comments and statementsmostly based on PISA results. The world is thirsty for success and since we now face thehappy ending let’s be happy and celebrate. Let’s study some good tips, let’s copy someothers and let’s reform. The PISA tests combined with the Finnish success build up anappetite for educational reforms all over the world.Probably a lot of people got familiar with the exceptionally good Finnish school system byhearing about their outstanding PISA results and this was enough for them to form anopinion and condemn all other school systems. However, the situation is much morecomplex than this is and certainly not at all result oriented, in fact the process of teachingand learning is very well organized and the result comes naturally. For an inexplicablereason the Finns still have better results than other countries where the aim is strictly ongood results.While observing recess outside the Holihaka School on the edge of Kokkola a chilly day onDecember 2004, on my first trip to Finland, I asked Principal Jarmo Hamalainen if studentsgo out when it’s very cold. Jarmo said they do. Then I asked again if they go out when it’svery, very cold. Jarmo smiled and said, “If minus 15 [Celsius] and windy, maybe not, butotherwise, yes. The children can’t learn if they don’t play. The children must play.” Fouryears later on my trip number 5 I had the same dialogue with Juha Suhonen, HeadTeacher of Koivuhaka School. ‘’The more they play the more they learn. In fact the socalled ‘’ learning by doing projects’’ are learning by playing projects with more formalname, he said’’.I think that behind this small phrase lies the secret of success, a secret so openly spokenthat still remains a secret as no one can believe that this is the treasure they have beenlooking for. In Finland education is a big game, not so different than their favorite hockeyor Salibandy or any other and they have trained hard enough to become the best they canby enjoying the game and getting the most out of their students. They build on what they
  • 11. are and articulate the best of what they can become as a nation that is already a head ofthe rest of the world on the game of education.It was a great pleasure for me to be a member of this regio team, As a teacher who turnedout to be a researcher, I would like to thank personally each one of the participants for allthe joy and the positive feelings that I experienced. The best is yet to come…Kostas VasileiouTeacher, Manager of European Projects and International Cooperation of PrimaryEducation of Western Thessaloniki, Project Coordinator(More forewords mika ??)
  • 12. IntroductionThis study is the main outcome of the Comenius Regio programme which took placeduring 2009-2011 including two partners: (a) the Directorate of Primary Education ofWestern Thessaloniki, Greece and (b) the Department of Education in the City of Kokkola,Finland, in association with institutions – in both countries – related to education, directlyor indirectly (municipalities, schools, youth centres).The programme was named “Cooperating for better education” and it was built on threemain themes:1. Comparing the school systems2. Social marginalization3. Local community participationThe cross-cutting issue of this study is the comparison of educational systems betweenthe two partners in order to build a better future through cooperation. The study aims tohighlight the main similarities and differences between the two partners under the threemain themes. This study has been made during the two-year programme and it is basedon the current legislation in both countries, eight visits and observations during them andrelevant reference literature and research.Fast facts Greece FinlandOfficial name Hellenic Republic Republic of FinlandGovernment Parliamentary republic Semi-presidential republicPopulation 11,306,183 (2010 est.) 5,352,000 (2009)Area 131,990 338,424 sq.kmCapital Athens HelsinkiOfficial language(s) Greek Finnish and SwedishEducation population and language of instruction in Greece
  • 13. More generally, in 2008 the population aged 0 to 29 years numbered 3 675 596 individualswho comprised 33% of the total population. At the beginning of the 2007/2008 school year,1.074.031 students were enrolled in compulsory education (primary and lower-secondaryschool levels). The language of instruction is Greek.Education population and language of instruction in FinlandThe population aged 0 to 29 years was in Finland 1 892 065 in 2009 and 35.3 % of thetotal population. The percentage of young people (aged 0-29) was 35.6 % in 2007.Finland has nine-year compulsory schooling starting at the age of seven. In 2008, therewere 2,988 comprehensive schools in Finland, with a total of 561,000 pupils, which is thelowest number of the decade. The language of instruction is Finnish or Swedish (6.1%,total 34 500 pupils in Swedish compulsory schools). Local authorities are also required toorganise education in Saami language (spoken by 0.03 % of the population as theirmother tongue) in the Saami-speaking areas of Lappland, in the Northern part of Finland.
  • 14. 1. Comparing school systemsAdministrative control in GreeceAdministration at State levelIn Greece, administrative control remains focused on the central level while measureshave been taken in recent years to devolve responsibilities to the regional level.The Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religions:– formulates and implements legislation– administers the budget– coordinates and supervises its decentralized Services– approves primary and secondary school curricula– appoints teaching staffThere are thirteen Regional Education Directorates under the Minister of Education that:– implement educational policy– link local agents to central services and organizationsAt the next level of the administrative structure, Education Directorates (in each prefecture)and district Offices:– provide administrative support– supervise operation of area schools– facilitate co-ordination and cooperation between schools.Administration at Local levelAt local level (municipality or community), there are Scholikes Epitropes (School Boards),Municipal or Community Legal Entities, that manage the funds allocated to cover operatingexpenses for one or more Primary and Secondary schools, depending on local needs asevaluated by the competent local authorities. The School Boards are assigned to managethe budget for the operational costs of Primary and Secondary Schools.
  • 15. Administrative control in FinlandIn Finland the state is responsible for– Legislation and state budget– Collecting the national taxes– Distribution of the tasks between the national and local authorities– Taking part of the responsibilities in social welfare– Subsidies to the local administration– Control over the local administrationThe local administration is responsible for– The basic services on the local level, including general education, nursing, geriatric care, parts of the social welfare and healthcare, town planning, parts of the trades- supporting, culture, arts, sports, youth-work and recreation– Collecting the local taxesExtent of public-sector funded educationGreece: In 2007/08, 94% of the students enrolled in primary and secondary educationattended public schools, which provide free education. Private schools are not grant aided;they are fully self-financed. Private primary and secondary schools are under thesupervision and inspection of the Ministry of Education, Longlife Learning and Religions.Tertiary Education is comprised exclusively of state institutions.Finland: In Finland, the basic right to education and culture is recorded in the Constitutionof Finland. Basic education and upper secondary education is generally provided inFinland by local authorities (municipalities), which is regarded as public service and is freeof charge. Only 59 comprehensive schools were private in 2007, while another 29 weremaintained by the State. According to the Basic School Law even these schools are free ofcharge.
  • 16. The Greek education systemThe Finnish education system
  • 17. Compulsory educationIn Greece education is compulsory for the age of 5-15 years and it is divided into thefollowing levels: Nipiagogeio (pre-primary education) 5-6 years of age Dimotiko Scholeio (primary education) 6-12 years of age Gymnasio (lower secondary general education) 12-15 years of ageIn Finland primary education is compulsory for the age of 7-16 years, but pre-primaryeducation is not yet compulsory. The Educational system is divided into the followinglevels: Esikoulu (pre-primary education) 6 years of age Peruskoulu (primary education) 7-16 years of ageCurriculum control and content in GreeceCurricula – including subject hours – of primary education are drafted by the PedagogicalInstitute which makes a proposal for final approval to the Ministry of Education LifelongLearning and Religious Affairs. Abiding by the curriculum is compulsory for teachers. ThePedagogical Institute evaluates the school books and makes a recommendation to theMinistry which is responsible for the final selection. It is not possible to choose from amongdifferent textbooks. Organisation of Curricula and preparation of school-books are basedon the Cross-Thematic Curriculum Framework (Pedagogical Institute), which has beenvalid from the school year 2003-2004 in primary and secondary education and has as itsmain target the cross thematic approach to knowledge.In all grades of primary school students are taught Modern Greek Language, Mathematics,Arts Education, Physical Education and Information and Communication Technology (thislast subject has been incorporated and taught through other subjects). The subjectEnvironmental Studies is taught in the first 4 grades of the primary school. Apart fromthese subjects t Religious Education, History and First Foreign Language/English ,aretaught from grade C to grade F while in grades E and F Geography, Natural Sciences,Civics and Social Studies and a Second Foreign Language (French or German).are alsotaught. All subjects are of equal value and compulsory. Slight deviations only from this
  • 18. schedule are in effect for one-teacher or two-teacher schools. In all-day schools thesubject of Information and Communication Technology constitutes an independent subjectand pupils may choose in all grades among the following subjects: Visual Arts, TheatreEducation, Music, Dance and Sports, the latter only in the 3rd to 6th grade). In all-dayprimary schools, time is allowed for study and preparation of pupils. The total number ofhours per week for A and B grades is 25, for C and D grades 30 hours and for E and Fgrades 32 hours. The total of hours per week for all-day primary schools in all grades is45.In the context of application of the Cross Thematic Curriculum Framework in all gradesthere is the Flexible Zone of Interdisciplinary and Creative Activities, which takes up to 3hours per week in the first up to the fourth grade and two hours in the fifth and the sixthgrade. In the framework of Flexible Zone, but also of the optional School Activities, theteachers develop activities in the area of Environmental Education, in Health Educationand in Cultural and Artistic issues. These activities put emphasis on the empirical,interdisciplinary and collective approach so that the students can develop social aptitudesand critical thinking, and at the same time they promote the opening up of school tosociety. The design of the optional programs of School Activities is carried out by teachersin cooperation with pupils as well as Coordination Officers of the relevant projects in theDirectorates of Education. Their implementation is supported by competent bodies andspecialists on a local level. In the school year 2007/08, 1.500 programs on environmentaleducation, 3.285 on health education and 2.882 on cultural education were organized inprimary education.Essential to the application of effective methods of teaching is the contribution of theschool advisors / counsellors of primary education who belong to the RegionalDirectorates of primary and secondary education. The school advisors collaborate with theteachers for the implementation of supplementary educational support in the subjects ofModern Greek and Mathematics for pupils facing learning difficulties.The curricula and timetable of Gymnasia are drawn up by the Pedagogical Institute andsubmitted to the Ministry of Education Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs for approval.The observance of curriculum is compulsory for teachers. The Pedagogical Instituteevaluates the school books based on the approved curricula of Gymnasia and again
  • 19. makes a proposal to the Ministry for approval. Teachers do not have the option ofchoosing among different school books. Curricula and the writing of school books arebased on the Cross-Thematic Curriculum Framework (see also 3.3). In the beginning ofeach teaching year the Pedagogical Institute sends directions to the teachers indicatingthe method and teaching aids for all subjects.The subjects taught in all grades of day Gymnasia are: Religious Education, AncientGreek Language and Literature, Modern Greek Language and Literature, History, English,French or German or Italian, Mathematics, Physical Education, Music, Arts, ComputerScience. During the first two grades students are also taught Geography, HomeEconomics and Technology. Physics and Chemistry are also taught in the final twogrades. In the third grade we have School Vocational Guidance and Civics and SocialStudies. The subject of Biology is taught in the first and the third grade. In the curriculum ofEsperina (Evening) Gymnasia, French, German, Italian, Physical Education, Music, Arts,Home Economics, Technology and School Vocational Guidance are not included.Furthermore, there is a slight differentiation concerning the hours in the timetable of thecommon subjects in day and evening Gymnasia.Apart from the subject of the English Language taught in two different levels (beginners –advanced) per grade (the levels are determined by the degree of linguistic ability of pupils),pupils attend a common program for all subjects without differentiations. In order tosupport the educational level of pupils and confront school drop out, social exclusion andsocial inequality at Gymnasia there are programs of Remedial and Support Teachingespecially for pupils facing learning difficulties. Participation of pupils is optional.Parallel to the national cross-thematic curriculum, innovative actions and themes have alsobeen introduced such as Health Education, Youth Entrepreneurship, EnvironmentalEducation, Flexible Zone of Innovative Actions, School Vocational Guidance, OlympicEducation and the program Kallipatira (a program which focuses on the contribution ofPhysical Education to the issue of equity within the Greek society).Teaching takes place via traditional and contemporary teaching aids, as appropriate.School Libraries are a main area for implementing the above at Gymnasia. SchoolLibraries implement innovative educational actions that aim on the one hand to increasepupils’ critical thinking skills and on the other to provide teachers with the means forgetting familiar with and incorporating new methodologies in the instructional process.
  • 20. School Libraries accommodate drama activities, music concerts, poetry and paintingcompetitions, Educational Television film projections as well as lectures by intellectuals.They also publish magazines and CD ROMs with the work of pupils produced in thecontext of their coursework and school activities. They periodically organize special eventsdedicated to themes from literature, art and science. The activities of the heads of theSchool Libraries also include implementing innovative ideas such as the use of portablemuseum exhibits or educational games, as well as developing cooperation with variousagents such as the Pedagogical Institute, educational television, the National Book Centreof Greece and the Organisation for Child and Adolescent Books.Curriculum control and content in FinlandIn Finland, school curricula are based on the National Core Curriculum created by theNational Board of Education. The National Core Curriculum forms the basis for municipal Educationand school curricula. Together with the Basic Education Act and various decrees, theNational Core Curriculum creates a unifying framework for school work in Finland. Thesubjects and their respective number of lesson hours are defined in the distribution oflesson hours, approved by the Finnish Government.All education providers, such as Finnish municipalities, must have a curriculum in place. Itis standard practice for municipalities to prepare their curricula on the basis of the NationalCore Curriculum, with each school then drawing up their own curriculum based on themunicipal one.The school curriculum defines the key points in terms of education and teaching, such asthe school’s values and objectives; the objectives, contents and work methods of thevarious subjects and cross-curricular themes; and pupil and student assessment. Otherimportant points include cooperation between parents and the school, student welfare, thelearning environment, and the operational policies of the school. Each education provider(usually a municipality) is responsible for drawing up a school curriculum. The curriculumis the basis on which schools provide basic education.If a student can demonstrate that he or she possesses the necessary knowledge andskills, the curriculum need not be adhered to in all respects. For example, studiescompleted earlier on may be considered to form part of a students required courses. If it isnecessary to deviate from the curriculum in the case of an individual student, an individual
  • 21. study plan is drawn up for the student. In basic education it is possible to deviate from thecurriculum also in cases where completing the syllabus would, considering thecircumstances and the student’s earlier studies, be unreasonable in some respects, or forhealth reasons.A curriculum consists of a municipality-specific section to be adhered to by all the schoolsin the municipality and school-specific sections to be drawn up by schools individually.Parents may also participate in drawing up a school curriculum. Each student is entitled toreceive education that is in accordance with the curriculum. The education is provided withdue consideration to the student’s age and abilities and in cooperation with the parentsand carers.In Finland, curricula are revised from time to time to allow schools to better meet the needsof the students and the changing society. The National Core Curriculum is designed forcontinuous, nine-year basic education. In Finland, the distinction between lower-level andupper-level comprehensive school is basically a thing of the past. Thus, in practice it ispossible to organise the education in a single school with grades 1 through 9, or in twoschools with grades 1-2, 1-4 or 1-6 in one school and grades 7-9 in the other. Children’sparticipation in pre-primary education is also taken into account in comprehensive schools.Pre-primary education enhances children’s skills for starting school.In basic education the following subjects are taught: Biology, Information ethics, Physics,History, Social studies, Chemistry, Domestic science, Art, Textile and wood work, Sports,Geography, Mathematics, Music, Health education, Computer science, foreign languages,Religion and Finnish language. In addition there is possibility to choose vocationalsubjects.Length of school day/week/yearThe Greek school year is comprised of 175 days from the 11th of September to the 15thof June for primary schools and the 31th of May for lower secondary schools. Schools areopen five days a week for 35 weeks per year. Instructional hours per week are from 23 to35 depending on the grade or level. Each instructional hour lasts from 40 to 50 minutes.The number of instructional hours for the first two grades of primary education is 25 perweek, reaching 30 hours in the next four grades and 35 hours for all three grades of lowersecondary education.
  • 22. In Finland school year is comprised of190 days between mid-August and the beginningof June (ends the Saturday of week number 22). In addition there is local autonomyconcerning the date of opening the school year and concerning holidays during the year.School week is five days a week, and the minimum number of lessons varies from 19 (firstgrade) to 30 (grades 7-9) depending on the level and number of optional subjects taken.Each instructional hour lasts (60 minutes) has 45 minutes of instruction and the remainingtime is used for a break. (Locally, other variations of the schedule can also be used). Greece Finland School days / year 175 190 Hours / week 23-35 depending on the level 19-32 depending on the level Length of a lesson 40-50 minutes (possibility to 45 minutes (possibility to combine lessons into longer combine lessons into longer sessions) sessions) Starting date Around 10 September Mid-August, 190 days prior to the ending date which is set by the law Ending date Around 15 June Saturday on week 22Class size/student groupingGreece: According to Ministerial Decisions, primary classes may have up to a maximumof 25 students; at the secondary education level, classes may have up to 30 students.Students are grouped by age, thus creating six grade levels in primary education and threein secondary. All schools are mixed gender.Finland: There are no regulations governing class size, except for special needseducation, where the maximum number of students is 6-10 depending on their specialneeds. Teaching groups normally consist of pupils of the same age. However, whenappropriate, pupils of different ages may be taught together, particularly in small schools.All schools are mixed gender.Teachers
  • 23. In Greece, Primary classes have one teacher for all subjects, with the exception of Greecephysical education, foreign languages and music which are taught by subject specificteachers. It is common practice for the same teacher to remain in a class for two years.Secondary education students have different teachers for each subject.Pre-primary and primary school teachers are degree (Ptychio) holders from a four-yearuniversity level course, primarily from Pedagogic Schools. Lower and upper secondaryeducation teachers hold university degrees, Ptychia, in their specialist subject aftercompleting a four-year course and take a three-month introductory teacher training courseupon appointment. Access to teaching posts in the state sector (pre-primary to secondarylevel) is determined by competitive examinations administered by Supreme Council forCivil Personnel Selection (ASEP).The further training of teachers is organized by the Organization of Teacher Training(OEPEK) which is a legal entity under public law supervised by the Ministry of Education.In-service teacher training is made-up of a compulsory phase for the newly appointedteachers and a continuous component (featuring both compulsory and optional stages).Teachers at all levels of the state sector are civil servants.In Finland: Pupils in the first six forms of basic school have the same teacher for most ofthe subjects but subject teachers are also used, particularly in subjects such as visual arts,music and physical education. Pupils in forms 7-9 have separate teachers for almost eachsubject.In Finland, the profession of a teacher is regarded as a well-qualified profession. Allteachers receive their education and training in institutions of higher education. EveryFinnish teacher possesses an extensive knowledge of their chosen subject, goodpedagogic skills, the necessary expertise to guide and support the students, and anunderstanding of the social and cultural dimension of education. The profession of ateacher is a profession for life-long learning. In Finland, teachers are encouraged tocontinue their professional development throughout their careers. (Teacher training 2020,Reports of the Ministry of Education and Culture 2007:44) (7)Comparison of the Teacher and Principal Education in Greece and in Finland
  • 24. Qualification Degree in Greece ECTS credits Degree in Finland ECTS credits (years) in Greece years) (years) in FinlandPre-school Degree from 4 years Bachelor of Arts 180teachers Pedagogic University (3 years)Classroom Degree from 4 years Master of Education 300teachers Pedagogic University (5 years)Subject University degree 4 years + 3 months Master of Arts, 300teachers introductory teacher Master of Science (5 years) training course (Master of Education) and teachers´ pedagogical studiesSpecial University degree 4 years Masters degree in 300education education or special (5 years)teachers educationSchool leaders Teacher’s qualification 8 years working Teacher’s + 25(Principals and experinece as a qualification (AdministrativeHeadteachers) teacher. - studies) Administrative studies & Master or Phd degrees in education or administration are highly appreciated.OverviewIn Greece, education is compulsory for all the children between 5-15 years of age. The Greeceten year compulsory education includes a Pre- Primary class, Primary and LowerSecondary schools. Upper Secondary education comprises two kinds of schools; theGeneral Unified and the Technical Vocational schools. Furthermore, Musical, Athletic andArt Lower and Upper secondary schools operate along with them. University studies arehighly appreciated and entrance to the university institutes is only through exams.Education is also free of charge. The state administers the necessary funds tomunicipalities or communities which in turn allocate the money to the School Board ofevery school in their area in order to cover their operating expenses.
  • 25. The Ministry of Education approves the curricula which are drafted by the PedagogicalInstitute and serve as a mandatory teaching framework. Both the curricula and the schoolbooks are based on the Cross-Thematic Curriculum Framework. Teachers are free tochoose the teaching methods as well as the appropriate teaching aids they considereffective.As regards teacher education, all teachers are university degree holders while some ofthem hold a Master’s or a Phd degree. In addition, their success in very competitiveexaminations is a prerequisite in order to gain access to teaching posts in the publicsector. Moreover, apart from the three month introductory course most teachers have toattend at the beginning of their teaching career, they are also given plenty of opportunitiesfor in service training during the years of their service.Judging from the above mentioned information, one could observe that in both countrieseducation is offered free in all levels. Furthermore, both countries have a nine yearcompulsory educational system while the teachers have a high educational level. Theirmain difference is in the case of curricula. In Greece, the curricula are designed by thePedagogical institute and approved by the Ministry of Education whereas in Finland, whichhas a more decentralized system, municipalities, schools and even parents can have anactive role in the design of curricula, perhaps rendering them more suitable for the needsand interests of the students of a particular area.In Finland, the municipalities are mainly responsible for the provision of basic education. FinlandFinnish children usually start school at the age of seven. The Finnish school system isdivided into comprehensive school (compulsory for all citizens), upper secondaryeducation (upper secondary schools and vocational schools) and higher education(universities and polytechnics). These are complemented by units providing adult andcontinuing education, some of them private. A comprehensive school or upper secondaryeducational institution may also be private. It is also possible for a student to complete hisor her compulsory education in an alternative school that is equivalent to comprehensiveschool, but this is rare. On the other hand, schools can be classified according to theirpurpose as providing basic skills, general education, vocational education, specialisteducation, or scientific education. An institution providing pre-primary education is alsoreferred to as a school.
  • 26. What is essential here is that the defining characteristics of the Finnish school system area modular curriculum, freedom of choice in terms of teaching methods and content,continuous assessment of the students, assessment of the teachers, and the importanceof research. The Finnish model also meets the need for extensive general knowledge andeducation, while also catering for the needs of the labour market through the provision ofsufficient vocational education and training. Further points characteristic of the Finnishsystem of education are the decentralisation of decisions concerning education, thesimultaneous funding of schools by the state and municipalities, and the active role ofuniversities in entrance exams.In Finland, special attention is also paid to the following: the role of municipalities in theeducation sector; the university entrance exam system and their autonomy; thecharacteristics of polytechnics; extracurricular activities; free school lunches; equalopportunities in learning; the education level of the teachers; fluent cooperation betweenthe various operators; continuous assessment of students; the role of the National Boardof Education; and the efficacy of the education system.
  • 27. 2. Local community participationThe following diagrams present an overview of the administrative models for local-leveldecision-making in Kokkola and Ampelokipi. Local decision making in Finland - Example from the City of Kokkola
  • 28. Local decision making in Greece- Example from the Municipality of Ampelokipi
  • 29. Local government in GreeceThis chapter explains the work of municipal and prefectural councils, cultural centres andmunicipal enterprises.The tendency for delegation of authorities from the state to the local government started toemerge about two decades ago. Nowadays, many of them like school construction,municipal police, school traffic wardens, distribution of functional expenditures, nurseryschools and many others have been transferred to the local government but without thetransference of the necessary funds when it is known that the finances of the majority ofthe municipalities show negative numbers.This period (2010-2011), an administrative reform named “Kallikratis” is being performed inGreece. According to this reform, big municipalities and prefectures with increasedauthorities are created, which might topple working and social rights, create functional andfinancial problems. It is necessary for these new administrative forms to demand from thestate the necessary funds in order to respond to the new data which will be created.Local community participationSchool Boards, school councils, municipal and prefectural committees of education,national council of education. School Boards consist of five to fifteen members and theirduty is the handling of money for the functional expenditures, the commissioning of theschool canteen after a competition with award to the highest bidder and the tackling offunctional problems.The duty of school councils focuses on the safeguarding of the normal functioning ofschool and the mutual communication between teachers and parents.Municipal committees of education deal with issues which have to do with the betterorganization and functioning of schools and the distribution of money for functionalexpenditures. Furthermore, they keep a careful watch on works of construction, repairingand maintenance of school buildings, the work of school commissioners and they proposethe borders of school regions.The national council of education proposes to the government issues of educational policyfor all the grades of education, and the continuing adult education.
  • 30. Practical example from the municipality of AmpelokipiThe municipality of Ampelokipi, having as its target to offer upgraded services and creativeactivities to students, operates a cultural centre (youth centre), and offers events, incooperation with the schools and parents, such as lectures, meetings, discussions oneducational, social, health, drug prevention and road safety issues.Moreover, it organizes awarding of prizes to the best students and those who havesucceeded in the university entrance exams, as well as those who excelled in arts, sportsand civilisation. It provides all school events with material and technical help.The cultural centre offers many lessons such as painting, pottery, engraving, traditional,latin and modern dances, gymnastics, ballet and drama. These lessons are attended by564 students.Finally, during winter and summer, films are shown free of charge and art, poetry andphotography competitions are organized. In the municipal music school, students aretaught musical theory and musical instruments. There is also a choir and a philharmonicorchestra. The sports department of our municipality includes: football, basketball, tennis,volleyball, track academy for boys and girls, tae-kwon-do, apparatus gymnastics, aerobicfor women, Swedish gym, musicokinetic education for pre-school children and a fullyequipped indoor gymnasium. 752 people participate in the sports department.On June 7th 2010 Law 3852, which is called “New architecture of local government anddecentralized government- Kallikratis programme”, was passed.According to this law, the 1033 municipalities of Greece were reduced to 325, while 13peripheries and 7 state administrations were created.The old municipality of Ampelokipi was united with the municipality of Menemeni and sothe new municipality of Ampelokipi-Menemeni with a population of about 100000 peoplewas created.On November 7th and 15th elections took place and from January 1st 2011 all theservices started to operate according to this new united form.In the new organization chart which is presented above (page....), the departments whichdevelop activities for children, apart from those for adults, are referred.
  • 31. A) The Deputy Mayor’s Office for Education, the independent office of Education andSchool Boards, the Library Offices. These departments cooperate with all Primary andSecondary Education schools. 3609 students attend Primary Education. In Secondaryeducation 1702 students attend the 8 junior high schools, 193 the Evening junior high and150 the Art school. In the 5 Senior High schools there are 1150 students, 107 in theEvening Senior high school, 272 in the Technical Senior High school and 64 in the AthleticSenior High school.There are two libraries for adults and three for children with a total of 40000 books.The municipal Education Boards deal with the organization and operation of schools,distribute the money for the functional expenditures, propose foundations, closures andmerging of schools, care for the repairing and maintenance of school buildings andsupervise the work of school boards.B) The Deputy Mayor’s office for Sports comprises the Office of Coordination, Planningand Secretarial Support, the Department of Sports as well as the Office of Maintenanceand Sprucing up of Athletic Facilities.It deals with all the issues that concern mass and individual athletics for children of pre-school, school and adolescent age. It organizes skiing and swimming lessons, cyclingraces, musicokinetic education, apparatus gymnastics, eurhythmics and sports meetings.It cares for the repairing, maintenance and the cleaning of the athletic facilities.The Athletic Council is responsible for the coordination of all athletic actions.There are 787 student-athletes.C) The Independent office of CultureCulture in Education plays a very important role. We believe that local communities shouldbe hives of cultural creation and the local government should promote and show thecultural level of the city and lead to its strategic revival. With the support of themunicipality, students have many opportunities to show their cultural activities throughdrama, music and dance, exhibitions of painting, pottery and photo, traditional and moderndances, book exhibitions, choir meetings, concerts, shows etc. Furthermore, a lot ofstudents’ cultural events are held in the school premises throughout the school year.In the Municipality, there is an Educational Centre, a Cultural Centre, a Music school andtwo cinemas. The activities of the Educational centre are attended by 403 students.
  • 32. D) The Independent Office of Social PolicyThis office is responsible for the social services that concern not only adults, but schoolchildren as well. Those are the Youth Information Centre, the programme of creativeemployment for people with special needs, camps, nursery schools, programmes of TrafficEducation, Environmental Education, Health Education, dental check and studentinsurance.We are in the beginning of a new era for local government in Greece. The challenge isgreat. The effort is continuous. We move forward with optimism, planning and confidence.for a powerful, modern, efficient and friendly municipality with social sensibility (VasileiosMezikis, Municipal Counsoulor, Principal of the 7th primary school of Ampelokipi).Local Youth Service and Lifelong Learning Institutions(A) Drug Abuse Prevention and Health Promotion Centres(Services of psycho-social support, which develop and implement activities for theprevention of drug abuse and for the promotion of health in the local community). Thereare 71 Drug Abuse Prevention and Health Promotion Centres all over the country. Theyimplement school and community prevention programmes which aim to enhanceprotective factors concerning drug abuse and reverse or reduce risk factors. Most of theactivities are focused on primary prevention.The main activities are:• Organizing informative & education campaigns in order to raise the awareness of the community, concerning drug prevention.• Training of teachers, parents, mental health professionals, "key persons" in the community and politicians, in order to transfer to them the methodology and the skills to enhance the protective factors in the environment of children and adolescents.• Leisure time activities and festivals for children and adolescents.• Counselling for adults, children, and adolescents who are in trouble, in order to help them clarify their needs and assist them to the appropriate therapy centre.
  • 33. • Supporting the creation of volunteer groups for the health promotion. (Educating and providing continuous support to volunteer activities for the prevention of addiction and for the health promotion in the neighbourhood and in the wider community).Prevention programs for school communitiesIn detail, the prevention programs in schools include (among others):Primary Schools:− Continuous education and training of teachers in the implementation of health education programs and in special child development issues− Support for the running of health education programs for students (aiming at training in life skills)− Activities for students and publications aiming at informing students− Informing parents regarding child psychology issues− Parental groups counselling aiming at strengthening the parental role− Encouraging the cooperation between parents and teachersHigh Schools− -Training the teachers in the implementation of prevention programs with students− - Educational programs for secondary school teachers specializing in teenage issues (e.g. aggression, sexuality, drug use and others)− - Training teachers in active learning methods− - Holding informative discussions with parents in relation to issues of adolescence and prevention of addiction− - Informative discussions with students aiming at strengthening their views against drug abuse− - Special programs aiming at supporting students with behavioural problems in the classroom (programs that are taking place in school groups)− - Publications for students
  • 34. (B) Environmental Education CentresThere are 64 E.E.C. all over Greece. Their main goal is the creation of a cognitivebackground and a shift of values for students and young people so that they developresponsible and cooperating attitudes which will contribute to the protection of theecological balance and the quality of life and the promotion of sustainable development.The Environmental Education Centers design and materialize environmental educationprograms, participate in national networks, organize and produce educational seminars forteachers, support and promote environmental education programs in the schools of theirjurisdiction.Local government in FinlandFinnish municipalities are under obligation to provide basic education for children withintheir area. Municipal school authorities may also provide education at other levels. Theprovision of education services in Finnish municipalities is the responsibility of the Board ofEducation or another board appointed by the municipality.The municipal School or Education Department is responsible for the planning, preparationand implementation of educational matters in accordance with the decisions of the Boardof Education. Every school or educational institution is led by a head teacher, who hasoverall responsibility for the institution’s activities. The activities of the education providersare steered through the National Core Curriculum and the objectives laid down ineducational legislation. A curriculum may be approved as municipality- or school-specific,for example. The boards are charged with setting the objectives for their field of educationand the development of resources and the organisation. Among other things, the boardsallocate the funds approved annually by the city council to the appropriate business unitsand operational units. They also make decisions on plans, purchases, agreements and thedistribution of subsidies in their fields. The Educational Services of the City of Kokkola isresponsible for basic education and upper secondary school education. Thecomprehensive school network is divided into six cooperation areas. There are 22 Finnish-speaking and eight Swedish-speaking comprehensive schools. Kokkola has three Finnish-speaking and one Swedish-speaking upper secondary schools as well as a vocational
  • 35. secondary school. In terms of administration, the Educational Services in Kokkola isdivided into a Finnish-speaking and Swedish-speaking department, both subject to theBoard of Education.The next section provides an overview of the roles of school boards, student associationsand parents’ associations in local-level activities in Finland.In Finnish schools there is usually a school board which is appointed for a fixed term.Schools may also share a joint board, which is also the situation in Kokkola. School boardshave several duties. The board approves school regulations or issues other regulations tobe observed in the school or educational institution. It also submits proposals concerningthe curriculum and other school- or educational institution-specific plans relating to theprovision of education. Based on the curriculum, the school year plan is also approved bythe school board annually. The board approves the plan on the use of the budget for theschool or educational institution, and, where necessary, appoints the teacher who acts asa liaison between the school and the student association. If necessary, the board alsoconfirms the rules of the student association and school clubs. The board is authorised toexpel comprehensive school pupils and students in upper secondary school or vocationalinstitutions. It also decides on the right of an individual student in upper secondary schoolor vocational institutions to participate in the education provided by the school.Additionally, the board performs all other duties imposed on it by the Board of Education orone of its sections.The student association is a body consisting of the pupils or students of an educationalinstitution. All pupils or students studying in a certain educational institution are membersof the student association by default. Student associations usually have a board tomanage their daily activities. Usually all grades are represented in the board. A studentassociation can also elect a council from among themselves, which traditionally exercisesthe highest power of decision. The activities significantly promote the inclusion of thestudents. The resources necessary for the steering of the activities of student associationsare provided by each municipality. The students’ participation and student associationactivities are included in municipal activities for children and youth.According to current legislation, student associations are no longer statutory incomprehensive schools. However, in most comprehensive schools there is one to act asthe students’ representative and to organise various activities. These activities are usually
  • 36. supervised by a teacher appointed for this duty. To carry out its duties, a studentassociation can own property.A parents’ association is open for everyone and its purpose is to act as a liaison betweenparents on one hand and the parents and the school on the other. It also aims to impactlocal decision-making. The activities are voluntary, and the ideological background is thewelfare and harmonious development of the students. Parents’ associations can organisefund-raising events to support classes or individual students. For example, fund-raisingcan take the form of camp school subsidies, hobby competitions with prizes, studentgrants, and the acquisition of various kinds of equipment for student use.The nature and role of communal youth work in Kokkola and Finland ingeneralThe nature of youth work and its overall tasks in Finland rise in the public debate at bothlocal and national level from time to time. One reason for the recurrence of the discussionsmay be the unstructured concepts and the lack of long-term basic research in youth work.The reason for recurring discussions about the nature and tasks of the communal youthwork can also be derived from the open Youth Act in Finland. Youth Act defines 0-28 yearold as youth work target group. It can be considered self-evident that the interests, needsand desires of 0-29 year old are not identical. Whereas a ten year old needs boundariesand stability, a 19 year old might need support in breaking the boundaries of childhood andin starting independent living. Due to the heterogeneity of actions in youth work, it can bedifficult to perceive the basic task of youth work, which can lead to unrealistic expectationsin municipal residents or e.g. partners.During the last decade youth work in Finland has strongly been professionalised. Thereare many reasons for the professionalization of youth work but the development of’ youthworkers’ professional education in a polytechnic level and the increase of youth researchdue to the pressure of the Ministry for Education and Culture can be considered as two ofthe main reasons. Nieminen (2007) states that due to the rapid pace of practice in youthwork the theoretical and conceptual structuring of tasks can be left in the background. Inorder to justify the social and individual significance of youth work it is important for the lineand the profession that relying on theory the actors form a parallel understanding
  • 37. concerning the purpose of the work. Nieminen has specified four general tasks of youthwork. Below follows a description of tasks of the professionalized municipal youth work.Socialisation function means connecting young people to culture and as members tosociety and community. Traditionally socialisation is referred transferring the surroundingculture and society, found in favour of the values, roles, behaviours and approaches to thenew generation. Socialisation should not be seen only as adjusting and one directionprocess but as such that includes also transferring such information, skills, values andattitudes that enable youth participation in developing and renewing communities andsociety.The purpose of Personalisation function is to guide a young persons personaldevelopment. Accomplishing this function requires that youth work is able to recognize andsupport the individuality, uniqueness and originality of the youth engaged. Youth workoffers opportunities for positive growth and enthusiasm for learning experiences tostrengthen the personality. Personalisation characteristic of youth is a young person’svoluntary involvement, which results in youth work, in principleand includes listening toyoung peoples needs which in turn means that learning environments are built oninteraction with young people and youth workers.The purpose of Compensation function is to moderate and resolve the difficultiesthat occur in the socialisation and personalisation of young people. The idea is that withyouth work young people who have problems in joining the society or in fulfilling their ownpersonal possibilities are helped and guided. Youth work is used to correct problemsconcerning equality, parity and personal life management problems as well as providingactivities targeted at disadvantaged and special groups of young people.The fourth function of youth work is resourcing and allocations function. The functionpurpose of this function is to affect the resources and their redirection provided by thesociety. The successful implementation of resource and allocation function requires alsoactivity in matters concerning young people, also in other lines and social power centres ofsociety in addition to youth work.It should be noted that in the implementation of the above-mentioned functions youth workis not the only guiding institution. It is therefore important to be aware of what is thespeciality area of youth work in these functions. The specific areas of functions must be
  • 38. determined taking into consideration local circumstances and seasonal phenomena andtherefore specialities cannot be determined permanently. What comes to the four functionsit is also to be noted that the functions are not mutually exclusive, and more than onefunction can be implemented simultaneously. Youth work is more characterized by multi-function and functional differentia than most other lines working with young people.The four functions mentioned above, describe well the aim of youth work done in Kokkola.The mission of youth services is to support the growth of young people and to promoteliving conditions of youth, wellbeing and active citizenship by creating premises andproviding a safe caring presence. The ways of fulfilling this mission in youth work inKokkola and in national level are as complex as the life situations and interests of youngpeople. Mainly the mission is being fulfilled through seven youth houses, the school ofperforming arts, and various multi-professional projects and events. In practice the youthleaders plan and carry out their work according to the needs of an individual or groups. Incurrent status and in the nearby future fulfilling the resourcing and allocations function willprove to be a challenge in Kokkola. Youth service is, compared to the other divisions ( work, education) a very small division in size and resources and its effectivenesscan be, precisely due to the small size, remain inadequate for resourcing and allocationfunction. Youth service’s division in Kokkola seeks to reply to the challenge byemphasizing their expertise and it’s development of youth life situations, youth culture andyouth. The assumption is that expertise and the appreciation of the expertise, would leadother divisions and lines to turn towards youth services when planning and deciding onmatters concerning the youth. Hence the effectiveness of the youth services would expandfrom the immediate interaction between the leader and the young person also towardscollaborating institutions and other actors in the city via the indirect influence.OverviewIn this chapter, attention was directed to municipalities and organizations operating in locallevel. It became evident that the municipalities under discussion provide a considerablenumber of services in both countries. More specifically, the municipality of Ampelokipiallocates the money to school Boards and caters for the construction, repairing andmaintenance of schools. Furthermore, it operates a cultural and an educational centrewhich offer diverse services to its citizens. It should also be stressed the valuable
  • 39. contribution of organizations such as the Drug abuse Prevention and Health PromotionCentres which offer a supportive environment to people in need and the Environmentalcentres which contribute greatly to the protection of environment and the sensitisation ofstudents to matters of sustainable development.The municipality of the city of Kokkola plays an important role on the sector of education.Among its other duties, the municipality is responsible for education provision, curriculumapprovement and allocation of money to schools. Moreover, the Youth Centres of Kokkolasupport young people and promote their wellbeing by providing a safe and caringenvironment.When comparing the Greek and Finnish systems on the basis of what was said above, weshould bear in mind that the Finnish system is more decentralised than the Greek system.The Greek system is probably best described as open and flexible.
  • 40. 3. Social marginalizationThe following section focuses on the prevention of social marginalisation in Greece and inFinland. First of all we shall take a look at the support measures available for students inthese school systems.Support for student in GreeceSpecific Support Measures(A) Special needs in Greece - Special EducationLaw 3699, passed in the fall of 2008, establishes the compulsory nature of education forstudents with disabilities and special educational needs, affirming that it is an integral partof public free education and promoting the principle of integrated education. Greece(October 2009).Education for students with disabilities and special educational needs is provided in eithermainstream or special schools and extends from the preschool years to the age of 23.Diagnosis and assessment of special educational needs is provided by the interdisciplinarystaff of the local Centres for Differential Assessment, Diagnosis and Support of SpecialEducational Needs (KEDDY) that are also responsible for recommending the mostappropriate schooling type for students and drawing up an individualized educationalprogram. The staff of these Centres cooperates closely with teachers of special needsstudents and provides a range of support services for the students and the schools.According to the above assessment on the type and the degree of disability that a studenthas, they may be enrolled in: a) mainstream schools attending either the regularclassroom with parallel support or special sections/classes of the school, or b) SpecialEducation Schools. The Special Education Schools cover pre-school, primary andsecondary education levels including vocational education.Within the framework of inclusive education, Special Education objectives are achieved byimplementing special curricula and rehabilitation programmes, adapting educational andteaching material, utilising special equipment including hardware and software andproviding those amenities or ergonomic arrangements recommended by KEDDY. In
  • 41. inclusive education at mainstream schools, systematic intervention services are alsoprovided, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy and any other service contributingto the equal treatment of pupils.Local KEDDY play a central role in the process. Besides assessing the type and degree ofspecial educational needs of individual pupils and recommending the most suitableeducational setting for them, they also undertake the following:− Planning for Personalised Education Programmes (EPE). In other words pupils’ personalized programmes of psycho-educational and instructional support and creative activities developed in cooperation with class teachers and Special Education Staff, drawing on professional, social and other provisions− Planning the corresponding programmes for groups, which include psycho-educational and instructional support and creative activities− Preparation of individualized reports and proposals with respect to new educational approaches, innovative aids and cutting-edge advanced technology. These could potentially support the functionality and participation of each individual pupil with disabilities or/and special needs in the context of inclusive education− Counselling and guidance to teaching staff, as well as parents− Issuing decisions on which pupils with disabilities or special educational needs undergo oral or other type of tests instead of the written examinations required for progression from one grade to another, receiving a school leaving certificate and entering tertiary education. In general, KEDDY recommend the most appropriate alternative manners of examination and assessment. Specifically for pupils with learning difficulties (dyslexia, dyscalculia, etc.), KEDDY recommend teaching and assessment methods appropriate for the monitoring and certification of pupils knowledge in the tested subjects.It should be noted that the pupils’ guardians or parents can provide input in shaping thePersonalised Education Programmes (EPE).Pupils are supported by the class teacher and, as the case may be, with the concurrentsupport of Special Educational Staff or a Special Education Teacher. Special AssistanceStaff is employed to facilitate students autonomous action and functional accommodationin the school environment. In all matters of educational support, cooperation between the
  • 42. class teacher, School Advisors of general and special education and Special EducationStaff is of key importance.With regard to mainstream classes attended by pupils with disabilities and specialeducational needs, the total class size is decreased proportionately, whereas theaforementioned pupils must be equally distributed among all classes of the same grade.Integration classes in the general school operate with 3 and up to 12 pupils in cases whereintegration classes are formed by schools located at the same facility or by neighbouringschools.In order to accommodate pupils with disabilities and special educational needs, theprinciples of "Design for All" are applied both in terms of planning educational programmesand materials as well as in choosing equipment and infrastructure. As mentioned above,the KEDDY define the type of educational aids and technical equipment used to facilitateaccess to the school premises and the learning process. They also makerecommendations to the School Buildings Organisation for appropriate building, material ortechnical modifications in the schools that fall under their area of authority.In the cases of pupils with vision, hearing and physical disabilities, chronic diseases,mental disorders, autism spectrum disorders, as well as other disorders requiringmedication, KEDDY must work together with the competent medical services in order topropose requisite ergonomic modifications.The Department for Special Education of the Pedagogic Institute also plays a vital roleregarding educational support and the teaching setting, mainly at the level of research andplanning. In addition, the said Department of the PI develops curricula for specialeducation and promotes the use of modern technology in special education.In the 2007/08 school year, there were 23,470 students enrolled in programs of specialeducation, of whom 16,118 (72 %) attended mainstream schools (special sections andregular classrooms) while 6,659 (28 %) attended Special Education Schools (of all levelsand types).(B) Remedial Teaching and Additional Teaching SupportRemedial Teaching (ED) is an autonomous teaching programme for pupils of primary andlower secondary school who are experiencing learning difficulties in certain subjects or
  • 43. who wish to improve their performance in specific subjects in lower secondary school(Gymnasio).The ED curriculum in Primary School covers Language and Mathematics. Small groups ofup to 5 pupils are formed upon recommendation of the Teachers’ Association and theprogramme provides from 1 to 2 teaching hours daily and up to 6 hours weekly, during orafter regular school hours.In lower secondary school (Gymnasio) the subjects covered by ED are Language,Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Foreign Languages. The daily schedule provides 1to 3 additional teaching hours. Each pupil may receive small group tuition in one up to allED subjects with a limit of 15 hours weekly. ED programmes may be implemented duringor after regular school hours, as well as in combined sessions organized by neighbouringGymnasia. Groups are limited to between 5 and 10 pupils. In exceptional cases the abovelimits can be changed, which requires the Head of the Directorate or Office to issue ajustification for such change.The services of the Ministry of Education have designed the inclusion of “RemedialTeaching” in lower secondary schools (Gymnasia) under the OPERATIONALPROGRAMME “EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING” (programming period 2007 –2013). The programme is co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) in the context ofactions aiming at increasing participation in lifelong learning and reducing the number ofpupils that leave school at a young age. The purpose of Remedial Teaching is the re-inclusion of pupils in the learning process, improving their performance and enhancingaccess and participation in the educational system.(C) Cross-Cultural Education in GreeceIt was back in 1996 that the Ministry for National Education and Religious Matters laid thefoundations of a system designed to meet the educational needs of social groups with aparticular social, cultural or religious identity. The Ministry adopted cross-cultural education- a new form of education in Greece - as part of this policy. The thematic frame ofintercultural education is given in Law 2413/96.The aim of cross-curriculum education is to set up and run primary and secondary classesthat provide education to young people with a specific educational, social or culturalidentity.
  • 44. In cross-cultural schools, the standard curriculum is adapted to meet the specificeducational, social or cultural needs of the students attending them.Cross-cultural schoolsA total of 26 cross-cultural schools have been set up throughout Greece since 1996.These schools, which will continue to increase in number, guarantee equality ofopportunity to every student in the country, while the cutting-edge approaches to teachingand learning utilised in these schools have a positive knock-on effect on the Greekeducational system as a whole.• Of the 26 schools, 13 are primary schools, while there are 9 junior high schools and 4 senior high schools.• A school can only be described as cross-cultural when repatriated Greek and/or foreign students account for at least 45% of the total student body.• The educators in these schools receive special training, and are selected on the basis of their knowledge on the subject of cross-cultural education and teaching Greek as a second or foreign language.On the subject of teaching methodology and pedagogic practices, the law does not set anyspecific context. Only general principles emerge which concern the teaching of Greek inevery form of intercultural education.Regarding the teaching material, the Pedagogic Institute and I.P.O.D.E. (Institute ofEducation Abroad and Intercultural Education, supervised by the Ministry of Education),through programs that were financed by the European Union, designed the “Curriculum forthe teaching of Greek to Repatriated and Foreign students”.Helping the ChildThe majority of children of foreigners, refugees and repatriates, need some form of specificreinforcement in the school of the reception country. However, if we set aside theircommon language problem, these students do not constitute a homogeneous group, andthe school cannot treat them all in the same way, but it should decide to treat them in adifferentiated way.
  • 45. The main starting point for the development of a school environment that would facilitatethe education of all children should be the common needs and wishes of both indigenousand foreign students.Bilingual Students’ Instructive SupportAccording to the international experience, the students need at least 3-6 months ofintensive linguistic teaching and this is the reason that they are “pulled out” from theirregular class usually in linguistic and philological courses for about 12 to 15 hours weekly(Cummins, 1999).The reinforcement of linguistic teaching is structured on at least two levels: beginners andadvanced. The transition from the first level to the second is combined with the applicationof a Diagnostic Test.Reception Measures in the ClassThe bilingual student after half to one year of intensive linguistic teaching, does not stillpossess the Greek language to the extent that would allow him/her to attend his/herregular class. He/She continues learning the language in relation with the course’s needs.In order to cope with the double challenge - language plus learning, the student needs tobe supported in the regular class too, for at least 2 to 3 years (Akritidis & Keskilidou).(D) Minority Schools198 Minority Schools operate in the geographic region of Thrace, in regions whereresidents belong to the Muslim minority (Pomak, Roma and Turkish origin). 194 of theMinority Schools are primary education schools. The languages of instruction are bothGreek and Turkish. Those schools operate on the basis of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923)and pursuant to legislative measures and regulatory decisions issued within the frameworkof international cultural agreements. In addition, since 1997 a special programme for “Theeducation of Muslim children” operates in the Minority Schools of Greece that aims atimproving educational outcomes for the Muslim minority.Support for student in Finland
  • 46. Student counsellingA task for every teacher is to counsel a student to study different school subjects, help himto develop the skills that are needed to study and learn, and to prevent the problems withstudies. Counselling means also to strengthen students self-confidence and supportstudent’s personal growth. Every student has a right by law to receive counselling with hisstudies. It is extremely important to counsel students at transition points when he movesfrom lower grades to upper grades and when choosing graduate studies.Topics to handle at counselling are study skills and school attendance, self-knowledge,possibilities for (post)graduate studies, professions and work life. All students receivestudent counselling not only in classes but also personal counselling or small groupsessions. Also, students are guided to find out what kind of advice and counsellor servicessociety has to offer.Students at grade 7-9 are able to familiarize with the work life at working periods indifferent workplaces. These periods usually last one to two weeks.Students with special educational needs receive more personal counselling. To everystudent a work place and also proper study places are sought personally.Teachers, student counsellors and other professional groups work together very closely.Flexible basic educationDevelopment of “flexible basic education” was started in 2006 by Ministry of Education asa respond to worries about those students who were at risk to be marginalized becausethey were quitting the school without a basic education certificate and/or place for furtherstudies. A teacher and a social counsellor or youth worker –as a professional partner-work in flexible education group. There are also other adults to support as schoolassistants.IEP or personal learning plan is made for every student. Studies are partly arranged atschool and partly at work places. Other learning environments could be for example otherschools and institutions, nature, culture centres. School counselling is personal and everystudent is guided to further studies.
  • 47. Special educationThe number of students with special educational needs in Finland in primary school is8,5% (47 300 pupils in 2008). The number of students with special educational needs hasgrown in 21st century. The growth is 48% in primary and 27% in vocational education.43% of students with special educational needs in primary school and 65% in vocationalschools are integrated partly or wholly to mainstream classes.Development of integration (mainstreaming) and inclusionThe reforms of school administration in the 1990s with the decentralization of decision-making to the municipalities have decreased the number of special schools, while specialclasses have been founded in mainstream schools. The state maintains eight specialschools providing comprehensive school education. These schools are primarily intendedfor pupils with hearing or visual impairments or with a physical or other impairment.The state-owned special schools are national development and service centres, whichprovide expert services for municipal and other schools and temporary education andrehabilitation for pupils of compulsory school age studying at other schools, in order tosupport their studies. The schools may also provide rehabilitation for disabled peopleunder compulsory school age and those who have completed comprehensive school. Thetasks of state-owned special schools are to develop basic education and the relatedrehabilitation, curricula, teaching and rehabilitation methods, teaching aids and learningmaterials; to provide guidance and information services for pupils at other schools, theirparents or other guardians, teachers and other staff; to steer the preparation of educationand rehabilitation plans; and to promote the transition of pupils into further study, workinglife and society.It is the duty of the municipality and the individual school to include pupils with specialeducational needs in the mainstream educational system. The first alternative for providingspecial needs education is to include pupils with special educational needs in mainstreamclasses and, when necessary, provide special needs education in small teaching groups.Only when this is not feasible, is the second alternative considered: the provision ofspecial needs education in a special group, class or school.Legislative change in special education from 1.1.2011
  • 48. In June 2010 the parliament adjusted and changed the law for basic education. Thepurpose for this change is to enhance every student’s right for organized and structuredsupport in the learning process, focusing on the special education in early stages. The newlaw emphasizes strongly mainstreaming and inclusion and requires new kind of attitudeand practices at schools. Schools must put the new law into effect from 1.8.2011. Supportfor students is three-tier: Basic support, Enhanced support and Special support.Basic supportRemedial teaching is meant for students who need support for their studies for differentreasons. Remedial teaching should be given immediately when a student starts to haveproblems with his studies. Remedial teaching can also be used as a preventative method.Students, who need more support than remedial teaching is able to give, are allowed toreceive remedial special education. Learning takes place in big class, smaller group orindividually. The responsible teacher is a special needs teacher. He works closely with theparents.Enhanced supportStudents who need more support than remedial teaching and remedial special teachingare able to give, are allowed to receive enhanced support. After pedagogical evaluation anindividual educational plan is made. The Individual learning plan is a plan of the progressof the student’s school work and studies. The Intention of the plan is to guarantee that thestudent receives all the help he needs with his studies. The Plan is made with the studenthimself, his parents and a multi professional group, so that everyone is committed to theplan. Enhanced support may mean more support from the special teacher, more remedialteaching etc.Special supportIf a student has wider problems with his studies a ”decision of special education” must bemade. The reasons for these problems can be social, psychological, pedagogical etc. Thisdecision provides for the student those services he needs so as to be able to pass hisstudies.
  • 49. This Decision is made with the cooperation of the school staff, the parents and a multiprofessional group.Every student, for whom this kind of decision has been made, his own individualeducational plan, “IEP” is drawn. There, it is stated what kind of help this person needswith his studies and if he is studying in a mainstream class, a special class or specialschool. Usually learning happens in a mainstream class. The parents, the student, theteacher and other professionals write out the plan together. The plan is regularlysupplementedThe plan also includes what other support this person needs with his studies. Thesesupport measures may be for example:Special need assistance and special toolsA person with special educational needs has a right to receive that kind of free help heneeds to pass his studies. This help can be for example assistant or interpretationservices.Adjusted syllabusThe main goal is that the student would be able to follow the basic curriculum in allsubjects. If that is not possible he is able to follow an adjusted syllabus. All adjustedsubjects and their contents are written down to student’s IEP.Advanced syllabusIf a student is not able to pass his studies in nine compulsory years, he can start hisstudies a year earlier .Then, his studies last eleven years. The reason for this is to supportthe student to pass his studies and help him to continue studying.A successful way to prevent social marginalisation among youngsters/ goodpractises:Preventing youth from social marginalisation has been one of the main targets in youthwork in Finland for the last decade. The ministry of education and culture started to financea new work form in the year 2008 called outreach youth work. One of the reasons to startfinancing this new work form was a report of decreasing polarisation among youngsters.According to the report (Polarisaatiomuistio, Häggman 2007) the number of young people
  • 50. who cannot be seen in official statistics who do not have the support of any servicenetwork or who use the available services poorly has decreased a lot. Outreach workreached a significant number of youngsters during its two first years. As complimentary toOutreach work the ministry started to finance another work form, Social youth work, thatoffers alternative tools and resources for young people who run the risk of marginalizationin their life situations. Social youth work and its different services are mainly directed toyoungsters from Outreach youth work. Outreach youth work is administrated by KokkolaYouth services and carried out in co-operation with Kokkotyö-foundation and the Socialyouth work is administrated and carried out by Youthcentre Villa Elba.In the two chapters below the actors of Outreach work and Social youth workdescribe their work forms.(A) Outreach youth workAnu Suoninen, outreach youth worker & Arja Savela, youth trainerThe aim of outreach youth work is to find and support those 15-28 year olds, who cannotbe seen in official statistics, who do not have the support of any service network or whouse the available services very scarcely and guide these young people to different forms ofpublic service. One of the main goals is to improve young people’s access to the publicservices they need. Typical clients are young people, who do not have any vocationaltraining either because they do not have a study place or because they have dropped outfrom school. Outreach youth work is conducted by a youth trainer from Kokkotyö-foundation and a youth leader from Kokkola city. Participating in the outreach programmeis voluntary for young people and committing oneself to the programme is fairly easy sincethe outreach workers do not represent official authorities.The work area is the city of Kokkola (since the beginning of 2009 also the municipalities ofKälviä, Lohtaja and Ullava). The main duty is to create and deepen contacts to authoritiesin various sectors and other organisations doing youth work.The target group consists of 15-28 year olds, who do not have the support of any guidanceor service network. This group consists of graduates from elementary school (class 9),drop-outs from secondary level schools or those who are under the threat of dropping out
  • 51. from secondary level schools, young people who have not been able to get a study placein a secondary level school and young people with immigrant background.Outreach youth work is multi-professional work done in pairs. This pair plans, reports andtakes responsibility for the decisions made in the field. The outreach youth worker forms alink between the young person and the service systems. Outreach work consists ofmethods such as mapping, observation, searching, making contact, the building anddeepening of trust, motivating both inner and outer change and guidance towards existingsupport measures and service systems.The outreach work is preventive, i.e. “fishing” for young people before they disappearoutside the service system’s safety net. The work is based on identification data on youngpeople received from the Employment and Economic Development Office and the studentwelfare groups of secondary level schools (vocational education or upper secondaryschool).The emphasis of outreach youth work is on getting to know young people and creatingrelationships based on trust and confidence. The workers’ professional skills are at youngpeople’s disposal, but the young people themselves decide what kind of changes theymake in their own lives. The workers help young people and encourage them to find theirown solutions. The main stress is on guiding young people towards schools and studying.Some of the young people are, however, transferred from outreach youth work toKokkotyö-foundation’s youth workshop and its individual coaching. When possible, theoutreach youth workers guide young people e.g. to practical work training outside theworkshop.Young people participate voluntarily in the outreach programme. The young person canmake the decision him/herself when and how he/she wants the contact to proceed into aconfidential relationship. He/she can also determine the issues to be discussed with theoutreach worker. The workers are bound by the obligation of secrecy. Therefore, theyoung person can trust that the matters discussed will not be taken further without his/herpermission.The work focuses mainly on actively making new contacts, discussing and spending timewith young people. The workers do not have foreknowledge of the young people, whichenables them to be open-minded and without prejudices when meeting young people. Theworkers help and encourage in different life situations and in potential difficulties. The goal
  • 52. is to support young people, make them believe in their own abilities, competence andresources to handle their own everyday lives. One intention is to make young people thinkabout their own lives, their future and the impact of their own choices to present and futuresituations. Soul-searching is an efficient method for a young person to find solutions forhis/her present situation.In the outreach youth work it is of great importance to carry out continuous follow-ups andto report in order to get an adequately accurate insight of the field. Effective and fruitfulmultidisciplinary collaboration is done continuously between authorities in various sectors.Opportunities to influence improve when data on the conditions in which young people liveis gathered, when the outreach youth workers document their own work and the gatheredinformation is passed on to other actors in the network. The employment situation,inhabitation, educational situation and problems of young people will be observed.Outreach youth work started in Kokkola in May 2008. Since that date until July 2010 therewere approximately 250 contacts between outreach youth workers and young people inKokkola. However, all contacts did not lead to successful collaboration.Young people in need of support measures and reached through outreach youth work inKokkola (May 2008 – 31 July, 2010)17 year olds 17-20 year 21-24 year 25-28 year female male olds olds olds 9 44 13 2 29 3984% of these 68 young people had dropped out from their studies. 21% had been able torestart their studies. Young people were supervised to career planning services andthrough employment services to practical training or to the workshop. These measureshave been introduced in order to acquaint young people with different lines of work.Several clients have been in need of and helped to intoxicant- and mental health services.Assistance with housing issues and matters concerning income support has also beengiven.In 2009, outreach youth workers nationwide were in contact with 8200 young peoplealtogether, 5129 of them boys and 3071 girls. Successful collaboration was reached with3300 youngsters. During 2009 outreach youth work had more than 32 500 contacts with
  • 53. official authorities in matters concerning young people needing special support andguidance. All in all, 137 persons worked as outreach youth workers in Finland. 40% of themunicipalities took part in the programme.The majority of the young people reached were 16-20 year olds (66%). 7% were pupils inelementary school, 4% elementary school drop-outs, 25% without study place afterelementary school, 1% in upper secondary school, 2% upper secondary school drop-outs,1% graduated from upper secondary school, 2% graduated from upper secondary schooland completed the matriculation examination, 13% in secondary level vocationaleducation, 25% vocational basic degree drop-outs, 7% completed a vocational basicdegree, 1% university drop-outs not having completed an academic degree and 3% havingcompleted some other degree. Specific data on 10% of the young people was unavailablewhen information was gathered.The proportion of the young people reached with immigrant background was 10%. 28% ofthese were registered as unemployed job seekers. 18% were unemployed, but notregistered as job seekers. 42% of the young people with immigrant background livedtogether with their parents and 30% in their own rented apartments.The majority of the requests to reach a young person and offer him/her support and heltcame to outreach youth workers through young people’s different social networks (27%),health care and social services departments (17%), secondary level educational institutes(15%), and through youth work and workshops (14%).(B) Social youth workPäivi Hakola,. coordinatorThe youth work unit at the ministry of education and culture made a decision this year tolaunch new forms of social youth work activities in our country. This work is accomplishedvia the national youth centres. Our goal is to create continuous activities comparable towhat camp schools are for the youth centres’ of today. Although now the activity is, insteadof schools, linked as a part of the social youth work field. Our goal is to offer those who areemployed by the communities to work with the Outreach youth work programme and otherco-operations, directions alternative tools and resources for young people who run the riskof marginalization in their life situations.
  • 54. The social youth work’s trafficator is social teaching, which is a society scholarly subjectintegrated with the social and pedagogic field. Social-pedagogically oriented work is thegoal of a healthy person that is independent and has control over there lives, as well asalone and with other people.The youth centres form, at least regionally, a network of Outreach youth workers, socialworkers, school organizations and other social youth work. The activity is in the beginningemphasized to Mid Ostrobothnia and possibly also to other communities’ cooperativedirections in Finland that are established via camp school activities and also to Swedish-speaking regions.The activity is new and just in the beginning of it’s existence. All ten national youth centreshave had the summer to recruit a social youth work coordinator to their services, who willlaunch the activity by at first networking with the communities in the neighbour area andthen build up a cooperation network as support for the youth. In youth centre Villa Elba thiswork is done by society pedagogue Päivi Hakola, who was employed in the beginning ofJuly.The activity includes short termed youth everyday skills sections, weekend camps andadventure and experience teaching methods, which are carried out by youth centre VillaElba. The young people are offered service and career guidance and training for the initialphase. Our goal is to estimate and strengthen the resources that supports the ability foryouth work and activities and also create individual paths to education or work. It’s alsopossible that, via the project, go on an international Rückenwind training and voluntarywork with the Short EVS programme.OverviewThe prevention of social marginalization in Greece has received tremendous attention bythe Ministry of Education which has taken specific support measures to eliminate suchphenomena in school life.Education for students with disabilities and special educational needs has becomecompulsory by law enforcement and is an integral part of public free education.Education for disabled students can occur either in mainstream schools or in specialeducation schools.
  • 55. The local diagnostical centres known as KEDDY play a vital role in the assessment of thetype or degree of disability, in the recommendation of the proper educational setting, in theplanning of the personalised education programmes, in providing counselling andguidance. The cooperation between the centre and the student’s parents and their closeobservation throughout the process are unquestionable. There is a chain of collaborationbetween the local centres, KEDDY, with medical services and the School BuildingOrganisation whenever their contribution is needed, setting as a priority the alleviation ofthe student.Remedial Teaching is the second measure taken against marginalization, providing forstudents with learning difficulties in certain subjects the proper help in order to improvetheir performance. It applies to primary and secondary level of education.Cross-cultural education was also applied with law enforcement aiming at providingeducation for young people with a specific educational, social, cultural, and religiousidentity. Cross-cultural schools have the option to adjust the standard curriculum accordingto the needs of their students. This flexibility can lead to better results.The primary aim of the Ministry of Education and each and every one involved ineducation in general, is to help every young student find his path towards becoming anequal and active member of the school society, overcome his difficulties and enhance hisabilities and confidence. Emphasis is put on the belief that everyone should feel acceptedand needed in our society. “Inclusion” and “Active membership” are the main objectives.The Finnish support system for students is versatile, quite comprehensive and focuseson many potential problems points. The aim is to develop new ways of supportingespecially those young people in danger of becoming marginalised in comprehensiveschool. The measures are primarily aimed at young people who face severe difficulties intheir daily lives.On the basis of what was presented above, it is apparent that in Finland the aim is toincrease young people’s ability to control their lives and to motivate them to educatethemselves and find employment. Another aim is to increase cooperation between youthwork, school, employment administration and social and health care services in theprevention of marginalisation. Finnish authorities also endeavour to clarify the division ofresponsibilities between the various authorities in support activities and to assess the
  • 56. accessibility and sufficiency of support services. The aim is to reduce the number of youngpeople in danger of becoming marginalised through workshop activities and the extensionand establishment of preventive youth work, for example, as well as to create anenvironment that supports the welfare of children and youth at local level.The aim is to have at least half of all comprehensive school pupils involved in extra-curricular activities. A necessary condition for the development of morning and afternoonactivities for schoolchildren is making this service available for all families with children.We should also ensure that children are not prevented from participating in morning andafternoon activities by high fees as these activities prevent the marginalisation of childrenand youth and provide them with a form of early support. It is also important to encouragechildren and youth to find themselves interesting hobbies and to become actively involvedin sports, art and culture.High-quality basic education and support for learning and development are importantfactors in the prevention of the need for special support. More than before, the emphasis inFinland is shifting towards early support and preventive action, while the systematic natureof the support aimed at students is also being enhanced.
  • 57. 4. Current reforms and priorities in Greece and FinlandA. Current reforms and priorities in GreeceOngoing reforms and policy initiatives (related to ET 2020 strategic framework)I. Making lifelong learning and mobility a realityII. Improving the quality and efficiency of education and trainingIII. Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenshipIV. Enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training Making lifelong learning and mobility a realityLifelong learning strategiesAs part of an effort focusing on citizen’s needs aiming at decreasing social inequalities byovercoming educational deadlocks, a new law 3879/2010 on lifelong learning has been inforce since September 2010. It is titled "Development of Lifelong Learning and otherprovisions" and its goal is the development of lifelong learning via alternative educationalpaths as well as the association of lifelong learning bodies with those of quality assuranceso as to successfully connect lifelong learning with occupation and to provide this type ofeducation beyond the formal educational system. This specific framework has clearprinciples setting up qualitative and quantitative realistic targets as well as establishingspecific political proposals for carrying out these targets. It also responds to the currentneeds of changing the educational model and of focusing the states interest on studentsbenefit. Improving the quality and efficiency of education and trainingProfessional development of teachers and trainersAiming at completing the program within three years time, the ministry of Education startsthe in-service training of all teachers in September 2010. This process will try to take
  • 58. advantage of the progress of Information and Communication Technologies. The in-service training focuses on: a) discipline, b) teaching methods, c) new technologies and d)the guidance and administrative staff of education. The training programs comprise: a) abasic seminar, b) distance learning and c) a feedback seminar. The duration of in-servicetraining will be 200 hours, of which 50 hours are vivavoce and 150 are distance learning.The process will be specialized and bound to the forthcoming changes of the curriculawhich teachers are called to implement but also to contribute to form their final content.Respectively, there will be training in relation to the educational practices accompanyingthose programs. This training will commence at least six months before the pilotimplementation of the new curricula and according to the rate the latter are effectuated.The ongoing process of improving the staff involved to education comprises a change inthe selection of the administrative staff of education. The equal access of teachers in theselection process for such posts as well as the widening of the basis of candidates isattempted through law 3848/2010. Selection process takes into account knowledge andcompetences acquired via professional experience. Training with the contribution of theNational Centre for PublicAdministration and Local Government (E.K.D.D.A.) in issues connected to administrationof education is also obligatory. The formation of a framework of the administrative staffprofessional progress is served by the same law. Prerequisite of selection will be theparticipation in self-evaluation programmes and, at a second stage, in evaluationprogrammes. Except from the aforementioned law, a public consultation took place in June2010 as part of a national teachers in-service training strategy. Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenshipLearners with special needsIn the field of special needs education, the basic principles of the ministry of Educationpolicy aim at social integration of the disabled pupils and are as follows:• No child with disability or special educational needs will face problems in enjoying thebenefits of education. For this reason, all disabled pupils or pupils with special educationalneeds are monitored. They acquire pupil identification number and are integral part ofpupil population in a school.
  • 59. • Constitution of a special committee for the harmonization of the Greek educationallegislation with the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (December2006) as well as the Greek Constitution in order to move towards the elimination ofdiscrimination and social exclusion.• Use of all staff specialists in this field in order to respond to the growing demand forspecial needs education teachers.• Forwarding physical accessibility and e-accessibility by developing specializededucational material.• Establishment of proficiency certification procedure for blind and deaf children in Greeksign language and the creation of a certification mechanism of the Braille system.• Mapping, monitoring and evaluation of special needs education. The qualitative andquantitative mapping is the base for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of alleducational actions and structures.• Establishment of the annual preparation and publication report of conclusions followingthe appropriate methodology. The report will refer to the situation in special needseducation with measurable evaluation of policies and measures implemented.Other important ongoing reforms and policy initiatives at national level- School EducationAll-day primary schools planGradually, all primary education schools are becoming all-day schools with a unifiededucational program. Pupils in those schools will attend foreign language classes leadingto certification, they will do sports and they will become familiar with the arts or othercreative activities. Study (single or collective) in the first grades, takes place within theworking hours of the school. For the 2010 – 2011 school year a plan for directinterventions is forwarded. The details of the plan refer to:• The reduction of the educational contents,• The expansion of the compulsory working hours,• The focus on Greek language and on mathematics,• The aiming at foreign languages,
  • 60. • The priority to ICT and• The augmentation of hours for teaching culture and literature.The new school planThe ministry of Education Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs seeking to confrontproblems related to the operation of schools and to the education offered to pupilssuggests measures according to the pupil first principle. Yet, it does not ignore otherparties involved in the education system. The Ministry having incorporated the EuropeanCommission priorities on the Improvement of Competences for the 21st century (July2008), and having taken into account the Primary and Secondary Education Councilconclusions (November 2009) as well as the evaluation studies conducted by thePedagogical Institute aims at creating the new school, so that new generations to be ableto:• Firmly step upon values and principles,• Continue their effort to learn throughout their lives,• Participate successfully in economic life and to have opportunities to upward socialmobility,• Act as responsible citizens and• Be active citizens.Within the new school the common in the European Union strategic educationalobjectives will be served: a) development of lifelong learning, b) education qualityimprovement, c) social cohesion and active citizenship and d) innovation, creativity andentrepreneurship.The priorities previously described regarding lifelong learning, all-day primary educationschools, use of ICT in in-service training of teachers, the enhancement of educationaladministrative staff role, the improvement of pupils competence in the Greek language,the foreign languages pupils are taught and special needs education are parts of thereform taking place for the constitution of the new schoolOn the basis of the aforementioned, teachers, pupils, parents and citizens were informedof the principles, the framework and the initial propositions on this issue. After public
  • 61. consultation in May 2010 the law 3848/2010 was ratified by the Greek Parliamentregulating issues of the new school, and other wider educational issues concerning:a) The process of teacher appointment (proceeding of the competition, appointment in thenew posts) whether the case of permanent staff or part-time staff, in both state and privateeducation.b) The selection of other primary and secondary education staff such as School Advisors,heads of the Directorates of Education (Prefecture) and of the Education Offices(Province), the School Principals (prerequisites and selection criteria) and the councilschoosing the specific staff.c) Issues of official alterations (transfers, detachments, transferences) and of teacherevaluation.d) The modernization of the university sector institutes of higher education including theselection of the instructional personnel, the distribution of books, access to highereducation, research and so on. It also regulates issues of Quality Assurance Agency inHigher Education (ADIP).e) Religious education (ecclesiastic schools of lower and upper secondary education) andits staff.f) Finally, the Post-secondary Education Centres (former Colleges) and the GeneralSecretariat for Research and Technology (the latter since the end of 2009 has beenaffiliated by the ministry of Education).- Higher EducationWide reforms take place regarding higher education and the Bologna Process. Law3794/2009 harmonized the operation of the university and technological sectors of highereducation and put at the same level Universities and Technological Education Institutions(TEIs) ( YouthIn 2010 the General Secretariat for Youth via the programme “Support of Initiatives forYouth 2010” attempts to support actions, programs and initiatives for youngsters, based on
  • 62. three thematic priorities: a) labour relations, employment, combat of unemployment, b)social integration – combat of social exclusion and c) environmental awareness, greengrowth, climate change, environment.- Research and technologyA major reform in the research area is ongoing in Greece. It is commonly accepted that theincrease of the outlay on scientific research is the necessary prerequisite for theimprovement of Greeces international competitiveness. For this reason and by taking intoaccount the EUROPE 2020 strategy, the action plan for research in Greece sets theobjective of 2 % until 2020 for the expenses for research and technological development,that is the tripling of the expenditure for research as a percentage of GNP approved untilnow.An action plan for the enhancement of research, technological development andinnovation has been submitted in public consultation by the Greek Ministry of Education,Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs in the official site of the Greek government( The objective of the action plan is towards a new architecture of theGreek system of research and towards the unification of the research area, which is nowcut up, as mentioned above, in various scientific areas.The newly elaborated National Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation(2010-2015) constitutes a turning point of the reform of the legislative framework ofresearch in Greece and will have the form of a Programme-Framework for Research,comprising 5 different axes, research funding included. The so-called axes are thefollowing:i) axe of targeted scientific/research worksii) axe of direct support of the innovationiii) axe of unified research areaiv) axe of research infrastructurev) axe of research work staff.Overview
  • 63. The need for a change is apparent more than ever before. The world and societies changeat unprecedented rates. If we want to keep up with the times it is vital that there arechanges in the education system.The Ministry of Education and Lifelong Learning has set new priorities and hasimplemented, by law, ongoing reforms aiming at decreasing social inequalities. Some ofthe frameworks introduced are the development of Lifelong Learning, since it is closelyconnected with occupation, the in-service training of all teachers which will lead to theimprovement of both the quality and the effieciency of education. In order to promotesocial equity, the social integration of disabled pupils and people is the top priority. Thespecific measures that have been taken on this field have been mentioned explicitly in theprevious chapter.It is the intention of the Ministry of Education to change all primary education schools intoall-day schools sharing the same educational programme. Special emphasis is placed onGreek language and Mathematics, on foreign languages and on information andcommunication technologies. These reforms have already been put into practice. Allreforms are based on the principle “Pupil comes first” without, of course, ignoring the otherparties involved in the education system. The Ministry aims at creating “The new school”for the generations to come. It is within that new form of school that the European UnionStrategic Educational objectives will be served.All the priorities already mentioned, are reforms that will lead to the constitution of the newschool. These reforms along with wider educational issues like the appointment ofteachers and administrative staff and issues concerning higher education are regulated bythe law 3848/2010 put in force since May 2010.The dawn of change is already here. (Emilia)B. Current reforms and priorities in Finland.In Finland, now it is the crucial moment to focus more on the sustainable developmentparadigm on the fields of educational governance, development and finance. Instead ofthe wild jungle of projects and mixed messages of the steering system, the local schooladministration and schools, like to have a sustainable steering system based on thecurriculum development system and self evaluation.
  • 64. In Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture has published a list of objectives for 2020for the various sectors. Next, we shall examine the objectives for basic education as anexample of how targets are set in the Finnish education system.The aim of the proposal is to develop basic education and its objectives in a consistentway by taking into consideration the present strengths of basic education and thedevelopment needs for the future. It examines major changes in the national andinternational operational environments.The expert group has set the future objectives for the renewal of basic education: to clarifyand enhance the mission and integrity of basic education, to ensure the high level ofknowledge and skills, the provision of individual support and guidance as well as to clarifythe principles of basic education. The general national objectives have been defined onthe basis of the goals in the Basic Education Act and on the basis of the objectives forrenewing basic education for the future. They reflect the view of the task and quintessenceof basic education in the future Finnish society. In order to guide teaching, explicitobjectives for skills in basic education should be set. It has been proposed that theknowledge-based contents of subjects as well as teaching hours should be checked.The objectives for the skills and individual needs in the society have been classified intofive groups: Thinking skills, Ways of working and interaction, Crafts and expressive skills,Participation and initiative, and Self-awareness and personal responsibility. Citizen skillswill be defined as part of the general national objectives by the new basic educationdecree and they will be included in the objectives of multi-disciplinary subject groups andof separate subjects. The basic education curriculum consists of compulsory and optionalsubjects, which will be defined as multi-disciplinary subject groups, and different subjectsas their components. Each multi-disciplinary subject group will be defined by its ownspecific objectives that will combine the general objectives and core contents as well asmethods appropriate for each field of knowledge. According to the proposal, there will besix different multi-disciplinary subject groups: Language and interaction, Mathematics,Environment, science and technology, Individual, enterprise and society, Arts and craftsand Health and personal functionality.Pupils’ opportunities to choose optional lesson hours in these subjects will bestrengthened. The proposal aims to enhance pupils’ freedom to choose optional lessonhours in an equal and equitable manner. The number of elective lesson hours will be
  • 65. increased significantly in grades 3-9. This aims to give pupils and education providersmore opportunities to different options and flexible solutions as well as to increase themotivation to study. (Basic education 2020 - the national general objectives and Basicdistribution of lesson hours, Series of publications, Reports of the Ministry of Education hoursand Culture, Finland 2010:01, Published, 01-06-2010 )The skills an individual needs in the society in the future are:Citizen skillsThinking skills• problem-solving, deduction, argumentation and drawing conclusions• critical, analytical and systematic thinking• creative and innovative thinkingWork and interaction skills• skills for the retrieval, processing and use of information• communication, cooperation and negotiation skills• skills for independent and sustained work• time management and flexibility• entrepreneurship and change management skills• skills for the use of information and communication technology and other technology• study skillsCrafts and expressive skills• body coordination• skills and courage for versatile expression and performance• planning and production skills• resourcefulness, experimentalism and use of imaginationParticipation and initiative• perception of community and society
  • 66. • initiative and leadership skills• ability to act in a constructive way and solve conflicts• acceptance of multiplicity and differing viewpoints• media skills• ability to visualise and shape the futureSelf-awareness and personal responsibility• self-awareness and reflection• looking after one’s health and safety• ethical thinking, responsibility and acting as a member of a community• good behaviour and empathyCitizen skills will be systematically included in the general objectives for basic education aswell as the cross-curricular themes and objectives for individual subjects. They will bedefined as part of the general objectives for basic education in the new basic educationdecree, and their implementation and assessment will be defined more accurately in theNational Core Curriculum for basic education. The Citizen skills should be realised atnational level in the principles governing the planning of education and its implementation.They should also be realised in curriculum work at local level and, most of all, in thedevelopment and implementation of education.C. Currently emerging themes of change1. Personal roadmap for learning.It is important that each young person learns certain basic things, such as reading, writingand using mathematics, in school also in the future. In the future, however, it is becomingimportant that students will have alternative ways to learn these basic things. Children willlearn more and more of what we used to learn in school out of school: through media, theInternet and from social networks to which they belong. This is leading to a situation whereincreasing number of students find teaching in school irrelevant because they havealready learned what is meaningful for them from elsewhere.
  • 67. Good solution to address this is to rethink schools so that learning in them relies more onindividual personalized learning plans and less on teaching drawn from same curriculumfor all. The art of future education is to find a balance between these two. Due toexpanding educational possibilities in digital world young children enter schools with hugedifferences in what they already know and are able to do. This also means that youngpeople are interested in great variety of issues that may be completely foreign to teachersin their schools. Personalized learning must not mean that students will study alone withtools and information from the Internet. It should mean that they have a well-prepared, richand educationally justified individual plan for learning that is jointly designed and agreedwith teachers, parents and the student. (1)2. Less classroom-based teaching.Developing digital forms of learning eventually leads to a situation where people can learnall the knowledge that is now taught in schools in the Internet wherever and whenever.Hand-held portable gadgets will provide online access to knowledge and other learners.Shared knowing and competences that are becoming integral part of modern expertiseand professional work will enter also schools and traditional classrooms. Finland and someother countries have shown that it is not the time, i.e. length of school year or school days,that matter most. Less teaching can lead to more students‘ learning if the circumstancesare right. These include trust in schools, adequate support and guidance to all studentsand curriculum that can be locally adjusted to meet the interests and requirements of localcommunities.Rather than to continue thinking of future schooling through subjects and time allocationsto them time is right now to make a bold move and rethink the organization of time inschools in Finland. This would mean having less time allocated to conventional subjects,such as mother tongue, mathematics and science, and more time for integrated themes,projects and activities. Naturally, share of organized lessons should be more available atlower grades of primary school and then gradually increase as pupils‘ skills of managingtheir own behavior and learning develops. This would also mean a shift from curriculum-based teaching to individual learning plan based learning in schools. This would also leadto extended time all students spend in their schools when they engage themselves inworkshops, projects and problem-solving that is real and meaningful to them. (1)
  • 68. D. Developing social competencies and problem-solving.People will spend tomorrow more of their time and their personal attention on media andcommunication technologies than they do today. This , means an from educational pointof view two things. First, people in general will spend less time together with other peoplein a concrete social setting. Social interaction will be based on using social networking andother future tools that rely on digital technological solutions. Second, people will learnmore about the worlds and other people through media and communication technologies.Especially, expanding engagement in social media and networks will create a whole newsource of learning from other people who have similar interests. By default, these newsocial tools will increase opportunities for creative actions as people can be part of opensource projects designing games or digital solutions in collaboration with others in thesenetworks.Schools need to rethink carefully what will be their core business in educating people. Itcannot remain as it is today: to provide basic knowledge and skills that young people needin future. The future is here and many young people are already using those skills in theirlives now. Schools need to make sure that all students learn to be fluent in reading,mathematical and scientific literacy and posses the core of the cultural capital that is seenas essential. Equally important is, however, that all students will develop attitudes andskills for critical use of available information and opportunities. They also need developbetter competences for social interaction both virtually and in real with other people, learnto cooperate with people who are very different to themselves and to cope in complexsocial networks. What most people in the future need that they are not likely to learnanywhere else is real problem solving in cooperation with other people. This is what willbecome one of the basic functions of future schools: to teach cooperation and problem-solving in small groups of different people. (1)E. Engagement and creativity as pointers of success.Current education systems judge individual talent primarily by standardized knowledgetests. At worst these tests include solely multiple choice tasks, at best they expand beyondroutine knowledge and require analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • 69. However, they rarely are able to enter the intellectual domain of competences that wouldinclude creativity, complex handling of information or communicating new ideas to others.It is important to assess how students learn the basic knowledge and skills in school. So isto know how they can develop their communication, problem-solving and creativity as aresult of school education.Conventional knowledge tests as we know them now will gradually give space to newforms of assessment in schools. As schools move to emphasize teaching skills thateverybody needs in a complex and unpredictable world, also the criteria of being asuccessful school will change. People will learn more than before of what they needthrough digital tools and media and therefore it will become increasingly difficult to knowwhat role schools have played in students‘ learning (or not learning if you wish) of intendedthings. (1)F. Two themes will be important as we move towards the end of thisdecade.First, engaging all students in whatever they have decided to learn in school will be moreimportant than ever. Lack of engagement is the main reason for many, if not most of thechallenges that teachers face in schools today. It is well known from research and practicethat as children get older their interest in what school has to offer decline. By the end ofperuskoulu a growing number of young people find school learning irrelevant and they aretherefore, seeking for alternative pathways to fulfill their intentions. Therefore, engagementin productive learning in school should become an important criterion of judging thesuccess or failure of schools.Second, students‘ ability to create something valuable and new in school will be moreimportant than ever. Not just some students, but most of them. If creativity is defined ascoming up with original ideas that have value, then in future school creativity is asimportant as literacy. Finnish schools have traditionally been open to risk-taking, creativityand innovation, these traditions need to be strengthened. When performance of studentsor success of schools is measured, creative aspect of both individual learning andcollective behavior should be given high status. In other words, successful school is ableto take each individual – both students and teachers – further in their development thanthey could have done by themselves. (1)
  • 70. Title??Education policies are necessarily interdependent on other social policies and on theoverall political culture of a nation. The key success factor in development of a well-performing knowledge economy with good governance and a respected education systemis its ability to reach broad consensus on most major issues concerning future directions ofthe respective country. The conclusion is that successful education is built onimplementing and maintaining seven key policies that constitute sustainable leadershipand change, as defined by Andy Hargreaves and Dean Fink: Fink(1) Depth: The purpose of schooling remains focused on holistic development ofpersonality including knowledge, skills, values, creativity, and interpersonal characteristics.Schools are places for learning and caring, where learning comes before testing;achievement is defined in relation to one‘s own development and growth, rather than inrelation to universal standards.(2) Length: Education policy development has been built upon longer-term vision andstrategic principles, such as equal opportunities for all and putting learning beforeteaching. Rather than seeking short-term gains, education development has focused onconsolidating these basic values within the education system.(3) Breadth: Education leadership has gradually diffused from the centre to local levels.Leadership is not only limited to daily managerial duties and administration but especiallyaddresses the responsibility and right to lead continuous development of the educationsystem.(4) Justice: Attaining the goal of offering equal opportunities to a quality education for allhas required creating and maintaining a socially just school network consisting of uniformlyexcellent schools.(5) Diversity: The school network is based on the idea of inclusive education thatpromotes diversity in schools and classrooms. Steering of teaching and learning has neverbeen based on written standards, but rather upon guidelines encouraging creativesolutions within increasingly diverse social and human environments.(6) Resourcefulness: Young talented, creative individuals have to be appointed to leadschools, local education offices, and central departments, guided by the belief thatcompetencies often override routine experience. Systematic and research-based ways to
  • 71. prepare and continuously develop leaders and to maintain their knowledge and skillsshould be introduced.(7) Conservation: Education development should represent a balance between bringingin new innovations and employing existing good practices. The public recognizes thatmany needed educational innovations already exist somewhere in the system. This was akey acknowledgement of teachers‘ wisdom and realization that learning from pastexperiences is at least as important as introducing totally new and often alien ideas inschools. (4)There have been numerous attempts to define future competences in extensiveinternational projects as well as in conjunction with the development of the educationsystem and review of curricula inmany countries. The underlying question is: what kinds ofskills are needed in terms of education for a person to cope as well as possible as anindividual, worker and citizen in a world that is constantly changing?Among the best-known international projects is OECD’s global PISA Programme(Programme for International Student Assessment) launched in 1997. PISA assesses howfar students near the end of compulsory education have acquired some of the knowledgeand skills that are essential for full participation in society as an individual, worker andcitizen. The assessment focuses on reading literacy, mathematical literacy, scienceliteracy and problem solving. According to 2009 PISA results, Finland fared extremely wellin the survey. Despite this, we should be concerned about the quality of education, equalopportunities and educational resources in the future. There have also been demands forcourage in educational reform. (8)The European Union has also set its objectives for the future. Published in 2006, the EU’skey competences for lifelong learning include eight competence areas connected by sevenwide-ranging skills. The eight key competences are: are1. communication in? the mother tongue2. communication in? foreign languages3. mathematical? competence and basic competences in science and technology4. digital competence?5. learning to learn?6. social and civic? competences
  • 72. 7. sense of initiative? and entrepreneurship8. cultural awareness? and expressionThese eight key competences are connected by seven wide-ranging skills: critical thinking,creativity, initiative, problem solving, risk assessment, decision-taking and constructivemanagement of feelings.In Finland the thinking seems to be that as the demands of society increase and change,so the expectations on the quality of education providers and schools become higher yearby year. The objectives and essential content of education are steered through laws,decrees and the National Core Curriculum. These measures aim to support the educationproviders’ existing development work. Thus, in Finland the responsibility for the practicalorganisation of school education and the development of its quality lies with the educationproviders and schools. Steering through knowledge has become increasingly important asthe laws governing the provision of education have been mitigated and the educationproviders’ resources for finding practicable solutions have been increased. In addition tolegislative means, curricula, the assessment of education, and various types ofknowledge-based steering processes, education in Finland is steered through variouseducational funding systems. The costs of education are borne by the Government andFinnish municipalities. The operating costs of basic education are partially covered bystatutory Government transfers. The aim in the creation of criteria for basic education is tosupport education providers’ - such as municipalities - decision-making processesconcerning basic education. The decisions concerning the provision of education haveboth a direct and indirect impact on schools.In Finland, making objectives concrete and opening them up through the definition ofCitizen skills that will be necessary in the future (Basic education 2020 - the nationalgeneral objectives and distribution of lesson hours) is considered extremely important.Currently, the key objectives for basic education in Finland are related to thinking skills;work and interaction skills; crafts and expressive skills; participation and initiative; and self-awareness and personal responsibility.Ensuring the availability of a competent workforce as the workforce declines and meetingincreasing international competition are the major challenges that the Finnish educationsystem has to tackle in the next years. At the same time, education should preparestudents to become responsible citizens in a multicultural society where the goals of
  • 73. sustainable development are emphasized. From an international perspective, the Finnisheducation system is able to yield relatively good results with reasonable resources. Yet theupgrade of education systems is one of the key socio-political objectives in all OECDcountries. Faith in the development of human capital appears to remain strong. (FinnishEducation Systemin an International Comparison, Ministry of Education Policy Analyses2009:2) (3)The challenges ahead can only be overcome with a much more concerted and dedicatedeffort by individuals, private and public sector employers, trade unions, education andtraining providers, public services and governments at all levels, working closely togethertowards a common agenda. (5)The European Commission aims: The majority of Europeans spend at least nine or tenyears at school. It is where they gain the basic knowledge, skills and competences thatthey need throughout their lives, and the place where fundamental attitudes and valuesdevelop.Schools should set their pupils on the path to a lifetime of learning, if they are to preparethem for the modern world. A sound school education system also helps ensure open anddemocratic societies by training people in citizenship, solidarity and participativedemocracy. The present inequalities in education and training have significant hiddencosts for individuals, societies and economies. Education should be efficient in producing ahigh standard of excellence and equitable in raising the general level of skills. Socialinclusion is another key concern.
  • 75. Experiences from the project…It would be risky for anyone if he/she tried to assess in a few words what has beenachieved during the two years of the Comenius Regio programme. Besides, it is fullydescribed and analyzed in the previous pages of the present work. What can definitelybe said with clarity is the impression that one gets from this educational practice. It isknown that neither the educational sizes of the two cities-Directorates nor the ranking ofthe two countries in the worldwide Programme for International Student Assessmentlead to safe conclusions. For everyone who comes in contact with the two educationalsystems, is easy to understand the fields that one is superior to the other:• In infrastructure (the same for all students and all schools)• In organization of every forms of administration (to all levels of educational hierarchy)• In strategies and targets in the long run (planning in every level and specialized measurable targets for all the involved agents individually and collectively)• In flexibility of the curricula (a central planning with flexible variations)• And of course in duration (a follow-up of any educational policy that will be determined with re-identification of each and every target without subverting the implemented policies).In conclusion, I believe that all the above are the missing parts from an educationalsystem which are necessary to give an impulse in everything new that is to be applied.Because, only if there is stable orientation to target and meritocracy in all selections,then confidence can be regained on the one hand and everyone who should supporttheir endeavor can be inspired to progress.Vasilis K. ChatzisManager of Educational Issues of the Directorate of Western Thessaloniki
  • 76. When our school was invited to participate in the Comenius Regio programme weconsidered it a challenge to work with colleagues from Finland with an educationalsystem regarded as one of the best in today’s world according to the results of theevaluation system of Pisa.During this programme we were given the opportunity to experience personally thesuperiority of the Finnish system. We worked with excellent colleagues who introducedus to some of the factors that have led to the “Finnish miracle in education”. Weexchanged views, ideas, shared teaching experiences and we had the chance to get toknow each other’s everyday school reality.Despite the numerous differences on the working conditions, on the funding of theschools, on the long-term planning of education policies of the two countries involved,our educational objectives are quite similar. Getting to know how school operates onadministrative level, the cooperation between the school staff, the communicationbetween the school and the local society, and the vital role of the local administration inthe Finnish education, was a constructive experience.It is our belief that this programme was a very significant step for the improvement ofeducation and it was beneficial to every participant. Emphasis should be also put on theexcellent collaboration between the Greek participants. Strangers ourselves but workingas a team, we carried out the task efficiently.We are thankful to everyone who helped to the materialization of this project which hasleft us with the best of impressions.With kind regards,Mrs Sehidou Olga, Principal of Primary School of Assiros. OlgaMrs Katsiveli Emilia, Teacher of the English Language of Primary School of Assiros. Emilia
  • 77. We eagerly agreed to participate in the Comenius Regio programme because webelieve that such programmes contribute positively not only to the enhancement ofeducational systems but also to our personal improvement as teachers.Two geographically different countries with different cultures, different educationalsystems and views met having a common aim “Better Education”.It was an interesting cooperation which was carried out in a fraternal and healthyclimate. The teacher exchanges, the meetings and the discussions were held in a reallywarm and friendly environment. All the participants had the opportunity not only toapproach the educational system of each country but the way of thinking and working ofthe other teachers as well.We were given the chance to visit in both countries schools, youth centers, educationaland cultural centers which contribute in their own way to what we call “LifelongLearning”.We consider important the fact that through this cooperation we managed to take part ina sincere conversation on all educational issues without an attempt to glorify the realsituations. On no occasion was there a demonstration of power or superiority.Furthermore, apart from the differences and the way the two educational systemsfunction, our common attempt and wish for better education as well as the importantrole of the teacher became evident.Concluding, we would like to add that through this cooperation we gained a doubleprofit: a) human communication and meeting of different cultures b) development ofinteraction on educational matters.With kind regards,The teachers of the7th primary school of Ampelokipi
  • 78. The project under Comenius Regio Program, where I have participated, aimed topresent a comparison between Greek and Finnish educational system. Therefore, theaim of the project was to provide an up-to-date contribution on various aspects of class/school life in region of Kokkola (Finland) and respectively in Western Thessaloniki(Greece).Presentations were designed both sides, portrayed particular aspects of educationalsystem that could be used as initiators for group work and further discussion. Throughpresentations and visits in various schools I was introduced in new and importantaspects of every day life in class/school, such as time tables, school playground, schoolbuilding, alongside other aspects such as textbooks, learning media, school staff andinteresting learning activities. Furthermore, we introduced in the communication andcollaboration between various organizations and departments focused on students’problems and school’s drop out.Consequently, it was possible to me and to my colleagues to identify the similarities andthe differences. Thus, the aim of this program, as concerning me, I consider that wasfulfilled.Yours Sincerely,Nikolaos Akritidis, School Consultand AkritidisThe effects of the project have been a good way of getting to know the learningenvironment of another culture. It’s been an experience, widening the views of theteachers participating and increasing the number of valuable contacts. It has been easyto co-operate with all the participants and the forms of co-operation have clarifiedtowards the end of the project.
  • 79. In addition to international co-operation this project has given Kiviniitty School thechance of being a part of the developing process of internal co-operation within thetown of Kokkola. It can be mentioned that during the project the ability to work togetherwith other colleagues has improved and at the same time the other staff of the city hasbecome closer to our own school. At this point it’s easy and constructive to continuedeveloping the town.In the course of the project we have been able to see and learn about the educationaland cultural systems and backgrounds of the other country wider. Hopefully we will beoffered to achieve more similar experiences and also others will be lucky to share samekind of experiences in years to come.Yours Sincerely,Reijo Timonen, The Principal of Kiviniitty School TimonenThe project has provided us with an opportunity to update our cooperation network. Wehave met many interesting and friendly persons from Thessaloniki. We have alsolearned that although we live and work almost at the opposite ends of Europe, at leastin the north-south direction, the objectives of our work are not that different.To be sure, we have observed some differences in the educational policies of Greeceand Finland as well as in the structures of their education systems. In my opinion, manythings have reinforced my view of Finland and “the major lines” in Finland being inmany respects on the right track, even if there is still a lot to do and many changes tobe made.Even though we do have a cooperation network in place, built over a long period oftime, we still need to improve in how efficiently we utilise this network and how thevarious members of our network could utilise the school more efficiently in theiractivities.
  • 80. I think we Finns and inhabitants of Kokkola have a lot to learn from our friends inThessaloniki, not least in how to cherish our cultural heritage proudly and with specialemphasis and how to make local sources of pride part of our curriculum. This will helpfuture generations to grow up as proud builders and keepers of our own culturalheritage - change as it may in the course of time - and to pass that heritage on to newgenerations in their turn.Kind regards and all the best,Juha Suhonen, Head Teacher, Koivuhaka SchoolDuring this cooperation project we have had the pleasure of receiving visitors fromThessaloniki, Greece on three occasions. The persons who participated in these visitswere not always the same, but they were offered the opportunity to see, for a few hoursat a time, what an ordinary school day in Finnish primary school is like. I have beenable to form a personal relationship with many of our partners. As far as I know, ingeneral their experiences of schools in Kokkola providing basic education have, on thebasis of their feedback, been positive and eye-opening. It has to be admitted, however,that their visits to Ykspihlaja School were not very extensive, so their interaction withthe teachers and pupils was limited to some extent.On the other hand, I had the opportunity to visit schools in Thessaloniki, which certainlybroadened my view of Greek schools in many useful ways; as a result, my views of myown work have also been broadened. I felt the same way about our previous EUproject. I believe that the interesting and one-on-one conversations I had withrepresentatives of Thessaloniki schools gave us all a lot food for thought for our work inboth countries. It was a wonderful experience to meet representatives of a totallydifferent culture and to hear their opinions of education in Greece.
  • 81. School is in constant need of development. The key changes in this development workare outlined in the excellent Chapter 6 of this report. The text is based on the ideas ofPasi Sahlberg, a well-known Finnish researcher. According to him, the key ideas ineducation, teaching and learning are individuality, social skills and problem-solvingskills. I am sure that we, the parties to the Regio Project, both agree on these ideas.On behalf of Ykspihlaja School, I would like to thank you for the great opportunity to beinvolved in this cooperation project.Yours Sincerely,Aatto Pennanen, The Principal of Ykspihlaja School PennanenFor 20 years already, Youth Centre Villa Elba has been working to support theharmonious development of young people. International education is part of ourcurriculum, so becoming involved in the project was natural and interesting for us. Theproject focused mainly on a comparison of national education systems, but wemanaged to include visits to operators concentrating on the social reinforcement ofchildren and youth.During the project we learned that youth work is actively performed both in Greece andin Finland, but there are differences in which authority is responsible for this, forexample. Copying best practices from one country and introducing them in anotherhardly seems possible, but we were left with several interesting ideas to ponder upon.One of the most important yields of the project was the numerous contacts weestablished with other participants.Kind regards,Heli Lehto-Koski, Development Manager, Villa Elba Lehto-Koski
  • 82. References(1) Sahlberg P. (2010) Finnish lessons(2) Basic education 2020– the national general objectives and distribution of lesson hoursReports of the Ministry of Education and Culture 2010:1(3) Finnish Education System in an International Comparison, Ministry of Education PolicyAnalyses 2009:2(4) Hargreaves A. & Dean F. ((5) New Skills for New Jobs: Action Now A report by the Expert Group on New Skills forNew Jobs prepared for the European Commission February 2010(6) Teacher training 2020, Reports of the Ministry of Education and Culture 2007:44(8) PISA 2009. First results. Ministry of Education and CultureEurydice – Greece (2010) National system overviews on education systems in Europe andongoing reforms, in (2009/2010) Organisation of the education system in Greece, in Akritides & M. Keskilidou (…..)Teaching Greek At The Intercultural Schools Of WesternThessaloniki …