This is Education in Finland / by Ritva Semi, Special Advisor, OAJ – The Trade Union of Education in Finland


Published on

This is Education in Finland / by Ritva Semi, Special Advisor, OAJ – The Trade Union of Education in Finland

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

This is Education in Finland / by Ritva Semi, Special Advisor, OAJ – The Trade Union of Education in Finland

  1. 1. This is Finland … Ritva Semi Special AdvisorOAJ – The Trade Union of Education in Finland
  2. 2. This is Finland … NorwayFinland’s population 2010 340 000 square kilometres Helsinki – Ivalo 1 200 km Sweden Population 5,4 million Russia Finnish 90,4 % Swedish- 5,4 % speaking Sami- 0,03 % speaking Foreign 4,2 % language Estonia 2
  3. 3. This is Finland …• We used to say ”Finland lives on it’s forests”• Today we would add ” ” and exportTechnological and social spheresImportant exports sectors• Electrotechnical industry products• Metal products• Machinery and transport equipment• Wood and paper products 3
  4. 4. This is Finland …Finland is a parliamentary republic withmulti-party system• 200 members in Parliament• The goverment must enjoy the confidence of the Parliament 4
  5. 5. This is Finland … parliament2011 – 2015National Coalition Party 44 seatsSocial Democratic Party 42 seatsThe Finns Party 39 (5 seats 2007-2010)Center Party 35 seatsLeft Alliance 12 seatsSwedish-speaking Parliamentary Group 10 seatsGreen Parliamentary Group 10 seatsChristian Democratic Party 6 seatsLeft Faction 2 seatsFinland became a full member of the European Union 1995 5
  6. 6. This is Finland …Important historical milestones• Finland became independent 1917• The constitution enacted 1919, included an obligation to provide for general compulsory education and for basic education free of charge Ritva Semi, OAJ 6
  7. 7. This is Finland …Important historical milestones• Word War II – 90 000 deaths – 60 000 permanently injured – 50 000 children orphaned• Treaty 1944 – 12 % of the land forfeited to the Soviet Union – Relocation of 450 000 citizens – 1945–52 60 % of the export went free of charge to the Soviet Union/war imdemnity – There was lack of everything (paper, books, food, teachers…) Ritva Semi, OAJ 7
  8. 8. This is Finland …But after the war in 1950’s• From agricultural society to industrial society – active education policy period starts• Free warm school meal 1948• Better social security system1960’s• The Parliament demanded new modern education system 1972–1979 great education reform from a parallel form of school to the new comprehensive system  9 years compulsory education for all 8
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. This is Finland …Equality in education ”full service-schools”• No school fees• Free school transport• Free school material• Free hot school meal since 1948• Health and dental services• Psychological counselling• Inclusion• Religion with respect to family values• 20 universities• 28 polytechnics 10
  11. 11. Why Finland is at the top ofeducation”Roots of reading skills”• In the year 1660 bishop Juhana Gezelius ordered that each person has to be able to read a bit. In order to get married or wanted to participate in the holy communion. Ritva Semi, OAJ 11
  12. 12. Why Finland is at thetop of educationExcellent teacher education• Primary school teachers have been undergoing master’s level university education since 1970’s• Subject teachers have long studies in their subject but also pedagogical studies• Research based teacher education• Systematic evaluation in teacher education• High level academic teacher education has also made the profession very attractive• Class teachers first 6 years Ritva Semi, OAJ 12
  13. 13. Why Finland is at thetop of educationFreedom and independence of teachers• Teachers have high quality education and so they have a lot of freedom in their job, broad decision-making power• No national tests, no school inspections, no inspection on textbooks• Sometimes some sample national based test/assessments (maths, language)• National core of curriculum is a general frame and the local authorities and schools have freedom…• Teachers decide on the methods etc. Ritva Semi, OAJ 13
  14. 14. Why Finland is at thetop of educationCooperation, consensus politics  open society• Education is developed together with the Parliament, Ministry of Education, National Board of Education, municipalities, universities and trade union• Also many NGO’s, like parents associations and i.e. the church, are heard in developing of education• All reforms of schools and the education system are repaired together and there is good transparency in the decision-making processes Ritva Semi, OAJ 14
  15. 15. Why Finland is at thetop of educationEducation is highly respected in the country• There is no political party who ”owns” the education policy• The post of the Minister of Education is on high level in parties priority list• To educate the whole nation well was Finland’s way, strategy to build the country after long years of World War II• Finland is a large country geographically but has only 5,4 million inhabitants. We can’t afford to educate our people poorly.• Finnish people have basic trust in education, it’s effects to economy, innovations 15
  16. 16. Why Finland is at thetop of educationStrong labour movement, strong trade unionof teachers• 75 % from all people are member of unions. This is same in all nordic countries.• 95 % of teachers are members of OAJ.• In Finland we have only one teacher union, so ”outside” we have one opinion and we fight inside to find the common aims• In Finland municipalities have a lot of power to arrange the education services. So OAJ has also very strong union structures on local and regional levels. Ritva Semi, OAJ 16
  17. 17. Why Finland is at thetop of education• OAJ is unpolitical and indepedent union who is in charge of the salary negotiations of teachers and is a strong speaker of education.• OAJ works with all political parties.• OAJ is strong, it has a good organization, members are very committed, the economy of the union is also strong although the union was on strike in the year 1984. We trust on negotiations and we use strike as an negotiation tool very carefully.• The cooperation with the union and all political parties are natural. There is a ”hotline” between the ministries and union and the contacts are daily. Ritva Semi, OAJ 17
  18. 18. Why Finland is at thetop of education• It is good to mention also that in the Parliament we have 200 members and over 20 of them have a teachers background. This is also an example of how active teachers are.• Teachers are paid by municipalities. This fact gives us freedom to do close cooperation with ministries because we discuss only the education policy not salaries. However, good results in the education policy discussion is also quite often a part of the salary policy. Ritva Semi, OAJ 18
  19. 19. Why Finland is at thetop of educationWhat about students who struggle?• Student welfare services• School psychologist• Pupil/student councelling• Remedial teaching• Children have also possibility to a get personal aid in the class room Ritva Semi, OAJ 19
  20. 20. OAJ – Trade union of Education in Finland One single voice of teachers 120 000 members, over 95 % of the Finnish teachers areorganised trade union members Members also include teacher student Salary issues Education policy Working- life issues Safeguarding of interests OAJ Internal and organisation external - national communi- - regional cation&pub- and lic relations - local level Membership-fees Speaker for education - OAJ is active in media - OAJ is working together with other unions and NGO’s and parents
  21. 21. Defending the Interests ofTeachers• The OAJ is in charge of the safeguarding of teachers’ interests in Finland• It is the only trade union which conducts negotiations on the terms of the teachers’ employment contracts• Salaries and working hours are determined in the collective agreement Ritva Semi, OAJ 21
  22. 22. Examples of OAJ’s aims ineducation• Better and quality education for all• Better working enviroment for teachers, students and pupils• Children and students with special needs  more resources and support in services• More resources for education• Regular in service training system to teachers• Higher education for all teachers• Education is a priority in political decision- making Ritva Semi, OAJ 22
  23. 23. Examples of the teacher salaries in Finland 2012 Extra hour pay Working for one weekly Lessons/week Salary € days/weeks lesson €/monthClass teacher, 190 days/ 24 h 2 494 – 3 244 87,29Master level degree 38 weeksSpecial education teacher, 190 days/ 22/24 h 2 712 – 3 622 103,56Master level degree 38 weeksSubject teacher, 190 days/ 18 – 24 h 1) 2 694 – 3 503 113,13Master level degree 38 weeksUpper secondary school 190 days/teacher, Master level c. 14,5 – 21 h 1) 2) 2 856 – 3 782 126,28 38 weeksdegree AnnualHeadmaster, vacation 1 – 13 h 3 509 – 4 571 -comprehensive school max 8 weeks AnnualHeadmaster, vacation 4 – 11 h 4 147 – 5 029 -upper secondary school max 8 weeks 1) depending on the subject 2) includes so called upper secondary school coefficient 1,1
  24. 24. Examples of the teacher salaries in Finland 2012 Vacation Weekly worktime Salary 23 – 38 days/Kindergarden 38 h 15 min 2 162 € – depends ofteachers (8 % planning time) (starting salary) the working yearsPreschool teacher in Working 190 days / years 23 lessons in week 2 164school
  25. 25. The ECEC systemfor children
  26. 26. Programme of goverment”sixpack” 20112015• The goverments aims to make Finland the most competent nation in the world by 2020• The attractiveness of the teaching profession will be increased by developing working conditions• Continuos professional development of teachers will be promoted• An early childhood education act will be introduced• Early childhood education and daycare services will be transferred to the Ministry of Education and Culture 1.1.2013• The improvement of the quality of basic education and the reduction in class sizes will be continued• The reform of the goals and the distribution of lesson hours in basic education to be implemented in 2016 will be repaired…• Each child who completes primary school will be guaranteed a place of study (or work)• However there are great cuts in education budget 2012!? 26
  27. 27. Education and research20122015 development plan• Goverment is going to adopt a development plan in December 2011• ”Action plan” for goverment programme Ritva Semi, OAJ 27
  28. 28. Summary: Economic depressionHow we survived?• Strong, single, teacher-union• Union, parents, NGO’s etc. worked closely together• Investments to research and innovations• Most of the desicions were made at municipal level• Cuts were temporary; no new laws• Close cooperation between the Union, Ministry of Education and National board of Education• No agreements about salary cuts  lay offs• Salary issues and education issues were not on the ”same table”• Investments to education• ”Happy taxpayers” Ritva Semi, OAJ 28