In municipal elections, education did not become the number one issue again, although it will become the most important task of municipalities after the implementation of the SOTE reform.
Whether In the case of parliamentary or municipal elections, education wants to remain a child in electoral debates and also in party election programs.
Right now, the time would have been especially opportune for a school discussion. After all, the reform of social and health care has been progressing for a long time, so that the most important task of municipalities is education – especially early childhood education and primary school.
Unequal population growth across the country also puts the school network to the test when some municipalities fewer children are born per year than the school class.
Are party leaders competing in exams with their new, distinctive school openings? Well, not exactly. Taxes, which, of course, also cost education in Finland, arouse more passions.
The debate is still dominated by social and health services, which are still the core functions of municipalities before they are transferred to the provinces, ie welfare areas.
Tone differences between the parties before the municipal elections has arisen, for example, far from the tasks of the municipalities universality of collective agreements and other labor market principles or “mechanisms”, as the Basic Finns call them.
Education is considered important in party election programs. General and beautiful goals are listed in the side store, but ways and solutions to problems can be sought by searching.
The goals of the programs could even be summed up so that, according to most parties, Finland should have “the best local school in the world where no one is bullied” for all children. In addition, the local school would have many skilled teachers and other helpful adults but small groups of students.
The ideological differences between the parties are exacerbated mainly by the attitude of schools towards gender and Suvivirte.
There are significant differences between municipalities in both the choice of languages and the amount of other teaching.
Also the media let’s look in the mirror at how it drafts its election machine question, for example. It is easier to ask about school discipline than even how high-quality vocational training can now be provided in the municipalities to which employment services are moving.
Even without labor services, future municipal decision-makers will have enough to guard already in primary school. In addition to the school network, it is decided on a municipality-by-municipality basis, for example, on the scope of the foreign language teaching offer and also on how much more basic education than the minimum number of hours is provided in nine years.
Municipal-specific differences in both the language selection and the amount of other teaching are significant, although school-specific differences in learning outcomes in Finland have so far remained under control.
It is also in the hands of municipal decision-makers how much support and special education is available and what kind of teaching technology is used or even cross-municipal co-operation is carried out, for example, to guarantee qualified teachers.
Read more: Children are declining, will education be saved through cooperation between municipalities? All parties support it, but state funding does not encourage it
Although secondary education, ie vocational education and upper secondary education, are not the statutory tasks of municipalities, they are largely organized by municipalities and associations of municipalities.
Under the leadership of the Left Alliance, it was decided to provide free secondary education and raise the compulsory school age to 18 years.
It will be up to municipal decision-makers to implement the historic reform and ensure that the funding promised by the state is not only poured into books and computers, but that it is also sufficient for the teaching itself and its support.
In other parties, especially in the opposition coalition, there have been enough questioners of compulsory education reform: it would be preferable to provide targeted support and special education already in primary school.
As the h-moment of the municipal elections approaches, other parties have also learned from the harsh speeches of basic Finns.
Special education and, more precisely, inclusion has become, surprisingly, one of the hot topics in the educational debate.
One of its tuners was the chairman of the center Annika Saarikko, who raised the issue in February in his keynote address.
According to Saarikko teaching children with special needs in the same group with everyone else there is a beautiful idea, but in practice its implementation has failed.
According to Saarikko, special classes have been dismantled without sufficient investment in school attendance assistants and individual support for students.
Saramo also shared the concern at the time about municipal savings and the closure of small groups, although he stressed that hardly anyone is in favor of giving up inclusion.
Surprise was not that basic Finnish president Jussi Halla-aho said in an HS election exam on Wednesday that inclusion has failed and special classes need to be recaptured.
As the h-moment of the municipal elections approaches, other parties have also learned from the harsh speeches of basic Finns. Even the chairman of the SDP Sanna Marin considered inclusion mainly as a theory, alongside which special schools are also needed.
It was therefore Saramo’s job to remind you that inclusion has now become a “good enemy,” even though it basically means that all students get the support they need.
It is up to the municipal decision-makers to decide how to implement it in practice.