Finland to support Lanka’s education sector | Daily News


Finland to support Lanka’s education sector

Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam who returned to the country after a visit to Finland on Wednesday said during this visit he was able to enter into several mutual agreements with Finland covering a wide range of sectors which would help accomplish a large share of work towards the development of education in Sri Lanka.

Minister Kariyawasam who was a member of the Prime Minister's official delegation to Finland, making a special statement on his return, said these agreements laid the foundation for achieving progress in many sectors including vocational education in schools.

Finland possessed one of the best education systems in the world and they were able to study and gain an understanding about that system.

Compared to other countries, Finland had limited the time children had to learn within the school. Educationalists have agreed to provide the known-how about school vocational education to Sri Lanka. A planned programme would be launched in this direction in the near future.

A comparison between the education systems of the two countries enabled them to identify that the education system in Sri Lanka exerted unnecessary pressure on the children.

The subject area studied within a year seemed to be too excessive. Less study time, pride of place given to practical education, minimising of examinations, specialising on the part of teachers, with most of them having a degree or a postgraduate degree, limitation of the amount of students in a class and personal attention towards every student were the most salient features of the education system in Finland. Moreover, Finland implemented education reforms with a forward vision of 15 to 20 years and applied digital technology in education. They were able to observe all there salient features during the tour.

Minister Kariyawasam said Finland had an advanced teaching system and they undertook an observation tour in facilities giving practical education.

They observed that both learning and teaching methods had been devised with a basis on practicality.

Kariyawasam said major changes had not occurred in our education system for decades. We had failed to amend the curriculum in keeping with modern times.

The programme launched by the country to ensure 13 years' contributory school education and the introduction of 26 vocational subjects in the near future would help revolutionize the education sector in the near future.

The pilot project started already showed that students who studied normal arts subjects too are inclining towards vocational education under the 26 vocational subjects introduced recently. Finland did not follow an examination-based system. Its education system had introduced a strategy to show the way ahead to children according to their abilities and talents. Finland's school-based vocational education system had a history of over 20 yeas. This had enabled them to achieve success, the Minister said. Their objective was to establish an education system which could win over the world on the lines of the education system in Finland.

He hoped that the agreement signed between Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.S.H. Samaratunge and Director General of Finland's Foreign Affairs Ministry Director General Satu Santala would help bring a welcome change in the education system in our country.

The minister said he also invited a team of education experts in Finland to visit Sri Lanka to observe our education system and provide the necessary expertise on the changes we should adopt for our system.

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