How can education respond to the rapidly growing need for vocational skills globally and locally? What are the success factors of Finnish basic education and VET? These questions as well as digitalization’s role in education were discussed during the visit of Mr. Nakao, President of Asian Development Bank, and his delegation to Omnia.
Finnish education has always been based on two dimensions: quality and equity. Everyone has the right to basic education – it is free of charge. Also steering is kept to the minimum: the schools and teachers can plan the teaching methods and materials freely within the curricula. Highly-educated teachers are important.
Digital development can never replace teachers – we will always need highly-educated teachers. However, we want to enhance their ability to use digital tools pedagogically.
– Ms. Jaana Palojärvi, Director for International Relations from the Ministry of Education and Culture –
Digital tools are widely integrated in the teachers’ work and learning. Providing good learning skills is essential, and digital tools are one way to support it. New digital learning solutions are developed continuously (read more, for example, about Funzi and Claned). Education business is three times bigger than ICT in Finland.
VET gives lifelong learning options
In the flux of the working life, supporting lifelong learning is necessary. In Finland, learning a new profession is made as smooth as possible. Developing analytical, social and digital skills as well as an entrepreneurial mind-set starts already in the comprehensive school, and they are part of all vocational qualifications. Learning a new profession does not start from scratch.
In VET, the modularity of the curricula serves both learners and the working life. Learners a set of optional modules to choose from. New modules can also be developed and added to the curricula according to the needs of the labor market.
Choosing VET is also not a dead end – it enables applying to further education in polytechnics and universities.
Ms. Mervi Jansson, CEO, Omnia Education Partnerships, mervi.jansson(at)oep.fi