Education | The ministry’s report suggests tightening the training requirements for early childhood education teachers and strengthening inclusion

According to the report, inclusiveness is not implemented properly in Finland, and it must be strengthened. More money and employees are needed for this.

Early childhood education the qualification requirements for teachers should be considered to be tightened so that in the future teachers would be required to have a master’s degree. This is what the Ministry of Education’s report published on Friday, which studied the development of education and training, suggests.

Competence requirements have grown in the field of early childhood education in recent years, and it has proven difficult to fit enough studies into a bachelor’s degree,” the report explains.

At the same time, especially in the capital region, there is already a severe shortage of early childhood education workers. For example, Helsinki had to close playgrounds in September because their staff had to be transferred to daycare centers.

The management of the cities of the capital region blames the state for the crisis. City leaders demanded in the press conference he held on Thursday, increasing the amount of training in order to cope with the labor shortage.

Read more: The cities blame the state for the day care crisis in the capital region

In a recent report, the starting places for early childhood education teachers and special education teachers are also proposed to be increased. The working group wants more resources for research on support for children under the age of three and the development of research methods.

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The report within the working group that made it, there was a disagreement about tightening the educational requirements.

The qualifications of early childhood education teachers were already tightened once during the last government term. Before, sociology students at universities of applied sciences had the opportunity to qualify as early childhood education teachers as part of their degree. The previous government changed the law so that this possibility was removed.

Talentia, the professional organization for those with higher education in the social field, has said that after the change in the law, studying to become a sociologist in early childhood education has lost its popularity. Minister of Education Lee Andersson has said that the labor shortage does not give reason to change the law to the previous one.

Read more: Li Andersson sticks to the tightening of the Early Childhood Education Act, even though the labor shortage is deepening

In the report it is also suggested that inclusion in the Finnish education system must be strengthened. Inclusiveness is the principle according to which students in need of support are taught in a teaching group with other students. The same applies to early childhood education.

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According to the report, inclusiveness in Finland is currently not implemented “in an adequate way”, and it is “necessary to strengthen it” in the following years.

The report states that Finland needs to create a national implementation plan that defines how inclusion should be implemented. According to the report, education and early childhood education organizers also need more support to implement inclusion.

In practice, this means more money and employees. The report states that currently there are clearly too few money and human resources to implement inclusion.

“For this reason, in the following years, it is necessary to strengthen the implementation of inclusive early childhood education and preschool and basic education in a nationally coordinated manner,” the report says.

In addition, the report suggests that the principle of inclusion be enshrined in law.

Inclusion the principle is based on many international and national agreements, for example the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, the principle does not prevent the use of special groups when it is considered to be in the best interest of a student who needs support.

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Inclusion has also been criticized, among other things, because it has been considered to make school classes restless.

Read more: Nasima Razmyar on a hidden problem in Helsinki schools: Inclusion drives classes into chaos

Read more: “The student curses, spits and bites” – the teachers who responded to the HS survey open up about the extensive problems of inclusion

The working group that prepared the report believes that effective inclusion requires more resources and additional training for teachers. In addition, according to the working group, the sizing of special education teachers should be considered in legislation in such a way that “the child’s right to the services of a special education teacher is secured”.

The report does not take a position on what the cost of the proposals would be to the public finances.

According to the report, many things also need clarification. The working group suggests, for example, that the pedagogical documents related to applying for support be simplified.

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