Fundació Jaume Bofill Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

Thinking about future challenges of education in Catalonia

Keys to the success of education in Finland

About the speaker

Reijo Laukkanen

27/06/06 07.30 pm

Member of the Finnish National Council for Education

The OECD's PISA reports have given rise to a tremendous debate all over the world. The title of the most recent report, <i>Learning for tomorrow's world</i> (OECD 2004a), is highly relevant as it clearly describes the philosophy underlying educational policies: we are trying to construct our future with the talent of our children. Finnish children beginning primary education in the year 2006 will be entering the job market, at the soonest, in around 2018 or 2023, depending on whether they do so after completing higher secondary education or higher education studies. It is worth noting that this entails a long educational process for our children.

Given that the educational options currently available have such important consequences, it is essential that the basic solutions of educational systems are the fruit of strategic decisions that are well founded and monitored. In Finland, the main objective has consisted of increasing the equity and quality of education. In any case, long-term strategies are insufficient, as the demands of society change constantly. In addition to our long-term strategic plans, we must therefore be prepared to take operative decisions in the short term, with a view to guaranteeing that educational systems cater for the evolving needs of our societies.

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