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BANGKOK 13 November 2018 11:49
webfact

Finnish education sector offers invaluable lessons

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Finnish education sector offers invaluable lessons

By Chularat Saengpassa 
The Nation

 

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Local educators attend summit to learn how Finland tops in rankings.

 

THAILAND HOPES to learn and perhaps implement the highly successful educational reform of Finland, where nearly a third of the adult population was uneducated a mere six decades ago. 

 

Today, Finnish education unarguably ranks among the world’s best. 

 

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More than 100 Thai teachers and educators attended the Educa 2018 Pre-Conference Finnish Teacher Education Forum at Kasetsart University yesterday in the hope of learning exactly how Thailand can improve its educational quality. 

 

For much of the 21st century, Finland has been one of the very top performers in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), a study administered every three years that tests the reading, maths and science abilities of 15-year-olds in developed nations.

 

Low scores

 

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Thailand has not fared well. Thai students’ scores in 2015 PISA showed a drop despite the fact that the country has been pumping more and more funds into its educational sector and trying hard to implement educational reform. 

 

At yesterday’s forum, Professor Hannele Niemi from the University of Helsinki told participants that the idea of “free school for everyone” was solidified in her country in 1968 through the Comprehensive School Framework Law. 

 

“That law also stipulated that all citizens shall have an equal opportunity to receive basic education regardless of age, domicile, financial situation, sex, mother tongue or residence,” she pointed out. 

 

Niemi, who is also research director for Unesco, said the law also engaged municipalities as local providers of education. 

 

Finland’s educational sector has since gone from strength to strength. In 1970, a new law was passed to prescribe massive in-service training for all teachers. 

 

During the 1980s, Finland’s educational sector started placing a strong emphasis on mixed ability groups, special-needs education support, inclusion and assurance that a learner can always continue in the system. 

 

“Our school law of 1998 then accorded importance to responsibility, civilisation and connection to national development,” Niemi said. “Pupils are groomed for growth into humanity and into ethically responsible membership in society.”

 

She added that Finnish education also sought to provide pupils with knowledge and skills needed in life.

 

Sanna Vahtivuori-Hanninen, adviser to the permanent secretary of Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture, believed teacher education was a key success factor in Finnish education. A high percentage of Finnish teachers hold a master’s degree. 

 

“Because we have highly qualified  teachers, we can produce excellent students,” she said. 

 

In Finland, teachers are well respected and the profession is popular. Very few teachers jump to other fields. A survey by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reflects that Finnish teachers are happy with their profession. Findings show that more than 80 per cent of Finnish teachers say they would choose to become teachers if they were told to decide again. 

 

“Teachers and high-quality teacher education are the core of the Finnish education system,” Vahtivuori-Hanninen said.

 

She added that Finland was also supportive of teachers’ life-long professional development.

 

“We also support their collaboration and networking,” she added. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30356568

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-10-17
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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Finnish education sector offers invaluable lessons

 

Yes, but will they learn.

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You can't just fire 256,000 Thai teachers across the country and replace them with better ones.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

special-needs education support

 

This already happens at my university. I have 3 deaf students in 1 of my classes and every week a Thai teacher turns up and signs what I am teaching for them. Very professional and the only way those students would be able to learn in my class.

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27 minutes ago, certacito said:

 

This already happens at my university. I have 3 deaf students in 1 of my classes and every week a Thai teacher turns up and signs what I am teaching for them. Very professional and the only way those students would be able to learn in my class.

That's commendable but special needs also includes those with learning difficulties which this country does not provide for in the manner of other developed countries.  

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“Because we have highly qualified  teachers, we can produce excellent students,”

   Wow. I wonder if anyone in Ed ministry ever thought of that as possible solution?

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And no mention about class room teaching methodology - pedagogy. And more to the point no mention about student participation in the process.

 

 

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

Finnish education sector offers invaluable lessons

Lesson #1 - operates well in a parliamentary representative democratic republic.

Any further lessons are irrelevant.

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In order to improve test scores, Thailand should look a better performing country that is more similar economically, racially/ethnically, culturally, and religion-wise -- Vietnam.   Vietnam scored 495 in math, 487 in reading, and 525 in science.  Vietnam's science score was 8th best in the world.

Edited by SEtonal
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Thailand and thais are very resistent in changes! I visited couple of times Vietnam and there you can see the young people really WANT to change and WORK for it! Thais wait that the tasty fried chicken just fall from the sky.

And thats not only the problem of the youngsters. THE OLDER generation is the problem. Mothers and fathers, teachers, monks and all sho are involved into the education. And on top of it is the Government and the Education ministry! Too many people who have not a glue of an idea and wont like to let any changes done as most of them have to resign and leave their jobs due to stupidness!!!!!!!!!!

Poor Thailand and sorry for the young generation loosind against all the others in the world

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Finland has a tiny population floating on oil reserves.

 

PISA has been discredited by leading academics all over the world.

 

Never mind, let's just jump on any bandwagon for Thai bashing. 

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9 minutes ago, Stargrazer9889 said:

Thailand is a 3rd World Country, Finland Is not. My simple answer.

Political allegiance or alignment has nothing to do with this subject!

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A third world and a first world country also has nothing to do with

Political allegiance or as you say alignment, yes?

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