The Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia is sending 100 teachers with their families to Finland on a six-month Building Leadership for Change through School Immersion program starting in May 2017. The program, initiated during a delegation visit to Finland led by the Minister of Education of Saudi Arabia HE Ahmed bin Muhammad Al-Isan, is a tangible step towards long-term cooperation between the two countries in the field of education.

“We are extremely happy to offer the Saudi teachers an opportunity to learn from the Finnish education system. We strongly believe in co-creation. At the end of the day, it helps us develop our own schools,” says Sampo Suihko, Chairman of the Board, Omnia Education Partnerships Ltd.

Benefitting from Finnish hands-on pedagogy

The goal is to learn about Finnish education and identify pedagogical solutions that can be applied in Saudi Arabian education. The program participants are principals and teachers in secondary and upper secondary schools in Saudi Arabia.

The first half of the six-month program includes language and pedagogical training organized by the University of Helsinki and Finland University. Omnia Education Partnerships Ltd. organizes the three-month school immersion program for the 50 teachers. “In a Finnish school community everyone is a teacher and a learner. We believe the experience will offer insight in what we mean by shared leadership,” says Mervi Jansson, CEO of Omnia Education Partnerships Ltd.

Omnia Education Partnerships Ltd. is the international commercial arm of four Finnish organizations exceling in education and development co-operation. OEP offers a diverse portfolio of educational services ranging from ministry level consultation and teacher professional development to partnership programs leading to Finnish vocational and professional qualification.