Monday, 27 July 2009

The Basic Education Act

In the Finnish constitution, educational rights come under Section 16.  Children have rights to education free of charge.  Under this decree, public authorities must guarantee equal opportunities for education, despite special needs, for all students no matter their economic background.

The Basic Education Act, effective from 1 January 1999, states:

"Education shall be provided according to the student's age and capabilities and so as to promote all students' healthy growth and development" (Finnish National Board of Education). 

This act, purposely simple, functions as a starting point for education and takes differences into account.  

The Basic Education Act also maps out the minimum and maximum time spent in school for students.  Students in compulsory school have 190 days of school, from four to seven hours of school per day.  The Act also encourages integrative, interdisciplinary themes in education and encourages good basic competencies.  

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