Education Minister Welcomes Union Proposals For More School Time

New proposals would mean younger starts, older finish for students.

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File photo of tables & chairs in a classroom / Credit: iStock

Education Minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP) says she agrees with new proposals that would stretch the number of years children stay in education.

Today, the Education Trade Union OAJ recommended more education for Finnish children, calling for compulsory education to start at the age of 5, and continue until a young person has completed their secondary education exams, or age 19.

That’s a change from the current situation, where basic education ends practically after 9th grade and at the latest, when a young person turns 17.

According to OAJ, the current model is no longer working well, since a large number of students fall out of education every year. The union is hoping that their plan to extend compulsory education could be included in the next government programme.

Now, Grahn-Laasonen says she’s in favour of the plan.

“I agree with OAJ that young people should not enter primary school without sufficiently strong literacy and other basic skills” says the Minister.

“High-quality, pedagogically strong early education prevents exclusion and is particularly useful for children who come from the most vulnerable homes” says Grahn-Laasonen.

In related news, campaigners are also calling for upper secondary school and vocational training to be truly cost-free, to keep more teens involved in education, and not drop out if cost becomes an issue.