Replicating Finland: Where Teachers Are Honored as High as Doctor

Education has been the main key in upgrading human resources quality. And human resources quality describing its wealth and prosperity. Every single country has realized this fact. The question is, why are there still so many slow developing countries that left far behind in education and country’s development? It seems it is not as easy as be told. Even to improving education quality and giving its access to all people also become a deep-rooting problem in more advanced countries like United Kingdom and United States. Wrong mindset of education, aspirations and achievement levels of girls, extremely wide gap education quality for minority social group and the indigenes are few in many problems that affecting directly and obstructing education’s development. But although most countries faced all those obstacle, there is this one country that successfully overcome all restriction and emerged as undoubtedly has a divine education system. Let me present you, Finland

Welcome to Finland, a country where teaching is a highly prized profession. Finland’s teachers have kept the nation near the top gear of educational work in the world making all countries jealous for its success. But of course, Finland’s success story was not made in an instant. They had through a long-term policy in making the best education system.

In the early phase, during the 70s and 80s, there was strict central direction and control over schools, state-prescribed curriculums, external school inspections and detailed regulation, giving the Finnish government a strong grip on schools and teachers. But a second phase, from the early 90s, consciously set out to create a new culture of education characterized by trust between educational authorities and schools, local control, professionalism and autonomy. Schools became responsible for their own curriculum planning and student assessment, while state inspections were abandoned. This required teachers to have high academic credentials and be treated like professionals. Consequently, teacher is given freedom to bring their students to be well prepared generation.

Finland has something that they called Teacher Training School. It is kind of a laboratory for student teachers. There, teacher’s candidates can try out the theories he has learned at the university to which the school is affiliated. It’s the equivalent of university teaching hospitals for medical students. That is one of the ways Finns show how much they respect teaching. It is as important as training doctors. Their teacher education program at the universities itself is one of the most favorites study. In fact, Finnish primary school teacher education programs that lead to an advanced, research-based degree are so popular among young Finns that only one in 10 applicants is accepted each year. Those lucky students then have to study for five to six years before they are allowed to teach a class of their own. The education system always make sure that all teachers are inexplicably qualified. In other words, teachers must be in high-quality.

Teachers need to have high-quality education so they really do know how to use the freedom they are given, and learn to solve problems in a research-based way. The high-level training is the basis for giving young teachers a great deal of autonomy to choose what methods they use in the classroom – in contrast to many other countries where I think education is placed somewhere between administration and giving tests to students. In Finland, teachers are largely free from external requirements such as inspection, standardized testing and government control. School inspections were scrapped in the 1990s. Moreover, Teachers in Finland are autonomous professionals, respected for making a difference to young people’s lives. They are credited as savior for generation. It is also descripted in Finland that teacher is a very honorable position.

Learning from the acclaimed best education system in the world, teacher is the main protagonist. All moves either policies must be considered teacher as the front agent. Teacher is the one and only that interact with students directly. Therefore having high-quality teacher is the main gear to generate education to the new level. Government has to support teacher by giving them full autonomy and make sure that they maximizing student’s potential to the fullest.

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