Education International
Education International

Finland: citizens raise their voices on the future of education

published 17 April 2014 updated 24 April 2014

The Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö(OAJ) has launched an initiative with a “machine of the future” travelling around Helsinki.

The ‘machine’ involves people being asked five questions about education. In March, the future machine was in front of the Parliament House, with several student teachers armed with tablets inviting people to answer the questions.This programme started some weeks ago and, already, the OAJ has secured 50,000 replies.

“We want to get one million answers,” said OAJ President Olli Luukkainen. “We want Finnish people to express their opinions about the future of education. There can be no future if we cut education spending; there is no future if we do not invest in education.”

‘The idea of one million answers is ambitious, as Finland has only 5.5 million inhabitants. But if you do not take up great challenges, you do not get anything,’ he added. “Which kind of future do we want?” he asked.

EI: Good to pressure policy makers

“We welcome this initiative by our Finnish colleagues,” said Martin Rømer, Director of the EI European region, the European Trade Union Committee for Education. “It is crucial that all citizens understand that education matters and that quality education is the best way to ensure a society’s sustainable future. This way, they can put pressure on policy makers to shape the most desirable educational.”