The Finnish government just made an announcement to increase funding for immigrant students’ education and integration. Following this decision, the Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö teachers’ union is demanding for increased teacher training so they can deliver high-quality education to immigrant students.
In the second week of August, the Finnish Minister of Education, Sanni Grahn-Laasonen proclaimed to invest €5.5 million funding package for the growth of immigrant students’ instructive paths and other dealings sponsoring their integration.
The utilization of funds will be allocated among other things, to perk up the learning outcomes and to arrange different training programs for teachers to offer immigrants with an official qualification so they can hire as subject teachers and kindergarten teachers.
“Education is the best integration policy, and immigrants of all ages need to gain access to education services as soon as possible after their arrival in Finland to ensure that integration begins immediately,” said the Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö (OAJ) President, Olli Luukkainen.
In Finland, teachers are not competent to educate multicultural content, he noted, adding that “I am worried that we do not have enough adequately trained teachers to educate immigrants”.
New tools are needed to reinforce teachers’ qualifications in multicultural education, as well as on how to teach writing and reading skills to immigrants, Luukkainen added.
Many Finnish higher education colleges and universities are working on projects by supporting and accelerating them so they can help in eradicating the barriers in immigrants’ educational path.
For example, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences is settling on to further improve education for immigrants while a project under the University of Jyväskylä is set to create fresh pathways to university education for immigrants.
The Universities of Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Eastern Finland will also arrange training programs to provide qualifications to those teachers having immigrant backgrounds at the same time education for teachers working with immigrants too.
Funds are also granted in Categories like “childhood education and care projects” that will assist to develop an early stage learning of students with immigrant backgrounds.
On the whole, 27 projects to be carried out to furnish the future of immigrants by local authorities, higher education institutions, educational institutions, and organizations. And for this purpose, they will receive state funding. They are bound to contribute to the execution of the action plan on integration adopted by the Government on 3 May 2016, trying to make educational paths more flexible and customized.
Previously a €20 million package was endowed to vocational education and training for immigrants, designed to smooth the progress of refugees and populace with immigrant backgrounds to integrate into the labor market quickly and to reinforce their education.