Leave the kids alone!
Finland’s education system is not centred around the pupils. We mean in terms of tests, grades, studying, homework. It is centred around the teachers. They are the masters whose success guarantees the success of the system. Teachers in Finland are highly appreciated for their work. They get very high salaries and it is a career many people seek. They are highly regarded, just like doctors and lawyers.
One of the reasons why there is not that extensive time in the classroom is that teachers should be able to continue their training, learn new things and develop their personal skills. After all, they are the ones who will then infuse all these to the kids.
But what makes the system so unique is the sense of equality that spans all of its levels. All pupils are equal, whether they do great or not and whether they come from rich or poor families. All the kids go to the same public schools. And there is no actual competition among them.
No need for high grades. Some exams are in the schedule but no one actually lays much importance on their results. And kids are often encouraged to help their classmates who face problems or have weaknesses. In addition, teachers are equal too. Best practices are quickly shared with other teachers, even other schools in the area or nationwide.
What a great place to go to school, some kids would say. We would say removing competition and promoting equality at schools can be the recipe for nurturing great next generations.