Reminisces of the Trip of Finland


Without a doubt, I thoroughly enjoyed my recent trip to Finland. However, I’ve been sitting here in front of my computer for a total of eight hours over the past two days trying to write more about that trip…

I personally think that Finns are well educated, well informed, and knowledgeable. When I said I am from India, unlike many of their European counterparts, they never confuse me for being an Italian from Napoli (or Naples).

We went to Finland to study their education system. I believe that they have a good education system, as suggested by PISA, The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which is a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in member and non-member nations of 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance on mathematics, science, and reading. The OECD’s Pisa rankings compare the test results of 15 year olds in countries and regional education systems.

The latest results, published in 2015 showed that the highest performers were in Asian countries. It showed the UK failed to make progress on previous tests and there was more attention for Shanghai’s top results.

It raised questions about the long hours of study in countries such as South Korea and showed how the global education map is changing.

Here are the top 10 countries for English and Math:

Textile Lab @Saunalahti School
Textile Lab @Saunalahti School

1. Shanghai (China) 2. Hong Kong (China) 3. Singapore 4. Japan 5. South Korea 6. Finland 7. Ireland 8. Taiwan 9. Canada10. Poland Finnish Education in a nutshell:

The central objective is to provide all citizens with equal opportunities. Education is free at all levels, every child has the right to free education, primary education starts at age 7. Initially for three years schooling is in mother tongue only, school year is the same everywhere but time tables are local, assessment is part of daily schoolwork; first national exam is at the end of upper secondary, vocational education and training goes side by side, more than 90% of the relevant age group starts general or vocational upper secondary studies immediately after basic education.Teaching is an attractive career here.

Wood Working Lab @ Saunalahti School
Wood Working Lab @ Saunalahti School

Finns are generally known to be quiet and like to maintain a low profile. This is true to some extent, but, once I mingled with them, I discovered that Finns have a great sense of humor and sarcasm.

Throughout my stay I was constantly surprised by the way of life people live here in Finland – one that favours a professional life balanced over the intense city lifestyle and even more importantly that truly values family and home life.

Before my trip I thought, ‘Five days is a long time to spend in a small country like Finland’, but I left feeling as if it wasn’t enough. Indeed, I already have plans to return in winter and summer to experience the different seasons and see another side to Finland I have not yet discovered.

Hasta La Vista…

Ashok Vaid
Principal, Maheshwari Public School, JAIPUR

We were fortunate to be a part of the maiden edition of Global Best Practices in School Education trip to Finland. I thank Mr Himanshu Gupta for the wonderful and rich learning experience we had.

Your administration, constant attention to detail and professionalism, enabled us to make the best use of our limited time to see the country and learn about Finnish education and culture. The informative tour and motivating visits to schools added promise to our vision of education. Special thanks are in order for scheduling a marvellous tour.

This has been such a positive experience and a quality learning experience. I HAVE benefited enormously from the trip. Furthermore, the itinerary of the trip and the options for each of each of us were far more comprehensive than any us could complete on our own.

While the quality of Finish schools was impressive, what really set this trip apart was the quality of research and learning. Class room planning and teaching/learning procedures that ran like clockwork were note worthy. Most impressive was the professionalism, which allowed the students the freedom to enjoy their learning. Schools while maintaining order and organization necessary for discipline, kept everyone safe and on schedule. Thank you The Progressive Teacher for facilitating this trip and enabling us to be a part of your journal. God Bless you and your work.

Nalini Nelson
Principal, Timpany School

Few events in our life leave a long lasting effect. Our recent trip to Finland is one such event. Through this exploratory visit to understand the phenomenal Finish school education system, I experienced not only a whole new modern approach to education using the latest technology aided learning but also a whole new approach of teaching by the teachers who are fully aware and conversant with technology and free from colonial mindset. Involvement of the community in the teaching learning process is something which we are also trying to incorporate in our system.

Kaushik Sarkar
General Manager (Knowledge Management)
Techno India Group, Kolkata