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November 19, 2016

Finland Says Goodbye to School Subjects

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No more subjects in school

Finnish students will now get what students from all around the world want: freedom from boring school subjects. In a planned massive revamp, Finnish officials are about to remove school subjects from the curriculum.

Finnish education system is considered one of the best education system throughout the globe. In the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings, only far-eastern countries like China and South Korea outperform Finland.

Finnish students start formal schooling only at the age of 7. They remove their shoes outside the classrooms and have very short classroom hours: a 15-minute break follows every 45-minute class.

But now Finland is taking the game one notch up. It has planned a radical change in the education system by scrapping subjects from school curriculum. Students will now no longer study individual subjects like Mathematics, Geography, languages etc.

Instead, they will study events and phenomena in an interdisciplinary format. For example, instead of studying World War 2 as just a topic in history, it will now be studied through the perspective of history, geography and maths. Courses like “Working in a cafe” will help students gain language, economic and communication skills.

This new education system will be made available to senior students, beginning at the age of 16. Students can choose the topics or phenomenon they want to study, based on their future ambitions and goals. Another interesting change is that the old-school teacher-learner format will be replaced by small student groups.

Explaining the importance of the nationwide reform, Marjo Kyllonen, head of the Department of Education in Helsinki said, “We really need a rethinking of education and a redesigning of our system, so it prepares our children for the future with the skills that are needed for today and tomorrow.”

The complete implementation of the reforms will happen by 2020. It will be interesting to see how these changes unfold and revolutionize Finnish education system and in turn, change the global education scenario.

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