In 1968, the Finnish parliament introduced legislation to reform the education system. This included free comprehensive schools for children between seven and sixteen, which was controlled by local municipalities and teachers. The motive behind the idea was that every child would have a very good public school education. Finland spends 30 percent less on primary education per child than many larger countries because money is better spent on learning than administration or fancy classrooms with the newest technology.
Generally, students in Finland start school at the age of seven, which is one year later than other developed countries, as children are stimulated to live their childhood to the fullest. In school, there are hardly any tests that defines their progress and the teachers are also not evaluated. By 2006, Finland was first out of 57 countries in science and mathematics and second in reading.
The key tenets consist of:
1. Equal opportunity for all
2. Common journey
3. Fun not fear
4. Whatever it takes
5. Maximize the pupil’s potential
7. In teacher, we trust
With these, Finland upgraded its human capital to one of the best international performers in a short period of time. This shows that in a knowledge-driven economy, knowledge improves competitiveness. Of course the Finnish wonder is to a certain extent due to its culture, but nevertheless offers, for those who are open, many common sense lessons and is thus part of the S8nations countries.