HELSINKI Diego Reyes World Cup Jersey , Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Finnish pride in the country'seducational system appears to have been hit hard again in theannual Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)survey of education.

In the latest version of OECD's Education at a Glance 2017,Finland still leads in providing public financing to universities,vocational schools and basic education.

However, Finland goes below average in the share of 24 to34-year-olds having university education. The Finnish ratio is now41 percent while the OECD average is 43 percent.

Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen admitted on Mondaythe results ""are a serious matter"". The minister said the aim ofthe current government is to raise the ratio of universityeducation to 50 percent of the population.

Grahn-Laasonen recalled Finland was at the top in 1991, butsince then 55 countries have bypassed Finland.

Newspaper Helsingin Sanomat noted in an editorial on Monday thatthe share of university educated is merely an indicator but itindicates the high speed of education development in othercountries.

""Finland cannot afford remaining in the middle level,"" the paperconcluded. It also noted that many Finns may still live in thebelief that their country is a top educator.


The Finnish educational dilemma increasingly connects with theneeds of the labour market and the problems people with failure ineducation encounter. The number of those 20 to 24-year-olds thatare neither at school nor at work increased from 13 percent in 2005to 20 percent in 2016.

Unemployment among Finns who have only received basic educationincreased from 37 percent in 2005 to 50 percent in 2016, Ylereported.

The OECD report noted the high level of dropouts in vocational(trade) schools. A columnist on Yle last week described thesituation in the vocational schools, following staff cutbacks, as""a dangerous experiment with humans"".

Grahn-Laasonen said on Monday that the from next year, teachersin vocational schools would give their students more personalguidance.

Grahn-Laasonen underlined that the increased quality demand ofthe labour market accentuates the need to make sure the whole agegroup gets secondary education. She said 17 percent of Finnscurrently do not complete secondary education.


OECD pointed out that the attendance in early childhoodeducation services in Finland remains relatively low even thoughthey are of high quality and publicly funded.

In Finland, only 53 percent of 2-year-olds are enrolled in earlychildhood educational development programs while the EU average is58 percent. Finland only reaches the level of the other Nordiccountries at the age of six.

Early education outside home has been a hot political issue inFinland due to disagreements in the coalition government until thisautumn. The Finns Party insisted maintaining the current level offinancial support for the care at home.

Following the split of the populist party, their ministersdropped the resistance recently and the government now plans tosubmit plans to parliament that would make early education outsidehome also financially attractive.

Grahn-Laasonen noted research supports the view that earlypre-school education has a positive impact on learning later duringthe childhood. Enditem

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