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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Life-long learning

Vieraskieliset / In-english
12.12.2022 6.00

Juttua muokattu:

28.11. 13:59

Text: Pau­li Määt­tä

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Our four-ye­ar-old grand­son star­ted presc­hool. Both his pa­rents and his grand­pa­rent wor­ried about his ad­just­ment. Ap­pa­rent­ly, ho­we­ver, eve­ryt­hing went well. He found new friends. The on­ly di­sap­point­ment was that the hand­so­me mi­ni­bus which took him to school for the first few days was la­ter rep­la­ced by an or­di­na­ry car. A cau­se of joy was the pair of trai­ners bought by mom and grand­ma from a se­cond-hand store. They tur­ned out to be the se­cond fas­test in his class.

The Fin­nish school has gone through ma­jor chan­ge over the de­ca­des. When my pa­rents were lit­t­le, some child­ren still went to cir­cu­la­ting school for on­ly part of the school ye­ar. But pri­ma­ry schools were soon being built in all parts of the count­ry. Ne­ar­ly the whole of their age class ac­qui­red a ba­sic re­a­ding skill. But du­ring the war time that fol­lo­wed, many child­ren and yo­ung pe­op­le were unab­le to con­ti­nue their stu­dies. They had to make do with what they le­arnt in life. But la­ter in life many of them wan­ted to en­su­re that their own child­ren were ab­le to study furt­her. In a way, their child­ren were to make true the dre­ams they had had for them­sel­ves when they were yo­un­ger.

As far as edu­ca­ti­on is con­cer­ned, I have been li­ving un­der luc­ky stars. We had a small and safe pri­ma­ry school fair­ly close to my home. The pub­lic­ly fun­ded mid­d­le school was ac­ces­sib­le even to child­ren of less pros­pe­rous ho­mes. Mo­re­o­ver, I was ab­le to at­tend high school while li­ving at home, be­cau­se there was good bus ser­vi­ce even to re­mo­te vil­la­ges. For post-se­con­da­ry edu­ca­ti­on we had a sys­tem of stu­dent lo­ans. My sum­mer­ti­me work prac­ti­ce was un­paid, so I could not make any mo­ney for the first few ye­ars. But if I kept my pur­se strings tight, I ma­na­ged al­most the whole ye­ar with my loan. I on­ly nee­ded to ask my pa­rents for a small al­lo­wan­ce be­fo­re the first loan ins­tal­l­ment for the next aca­de­mic ye­ar was paid.

Af­ter­wards I have of­ten won­de­red how our mid­d­le school te­ac­hers ma­na­ged. There were 40 stu­dents per class and no clas­s­room as­sis­tants or ot­her au­xi­li­a­ry per­son­nel. I gu­ess some of the te­ac­hers har­de­ned by the war were qui­te strict. My Swe­dish te­ac­her was very small. When she came in, we all had to stand up. She then be­gan to qu­es­ti­on us on our ho­me­work. If you could ans­wer her qu­es­ti­on, you were al­lo­wed to sit down. If not, you had to re­main stan­ding un­til you gave a cor­rect ans­wer. It seems I spent most of my Swe­dish les­sons stan­ding.

Fin­land has usu­al­ly ra­ted high in the glo­bal ran­king of le­ar­ning out­co­mes. But the re­sults have not been qui­te so good in the past few ye­ars. I do not know if this is due to chan­ges in sur­roun­ding so­cie­ty. Or has so­met­hing hap­pe­ned in schools? At le­ast the old ways of le­ar­ning things by he­art have been rep­la­ced by more sti­mu­la­ting le­ar­ning en­vi­ron­ments. Some child­ren be­ne­fit from this chan­ge, but some might need a sa­fer and more pe­a­ce­ful en­vi­ron­ment. Al­so, I have been ab­le to fol­low the life of a ne­ar­by high school, and I have seen that the kids no lon­ger play foot­ball or snow ga­mes du­ring the bre­aks. Ins­te­ad, they hang around in the cor­ri­dors glued to their mo­bi­le pho­nes.

When I was lit­t­le, kids star­ted school when they were se­ven. They spent their first ye­ar le­ar­ning to read. Des­pi­te this slow start, some of us stu­died and ac­comp­lis­hed a lot. Now yo­un­ger and yo­un­ger child­ren are star­ting presc­hool. Why the hur­ry, I won­der. I am sure they will all find things to do when they grow ol­der. We will need both pe­op­le with ma­nu­al skil­ls and ex­perts in know­led­ge work.

Life-long le­ar­ning is a catch phrase. All pe­op­le face chan­ges at work and need to le­arn new skil­ls. Many even need to le­arn a new job, and very few pe­op­le stay in the same job all their wor­king life. This le­ar­ning pro­cess com­bi­nes with life ex­pe­rien­ce, which is so­met­hing we gain more and more eve­ry ye­ar. We of­ten need to le­arn new things at the time when our life is bu­siest. It is a chal­len­ge to plan our time use well in those si­tu­a­ti­ons.

We can le­arn new things even at an ol­der age. Päi­vä­mies re­cent­ly pub­lis­hed an ar­tic­le about a per­son who pub­lis­hed a doc­to­ral dis­ser­ta­ti­on at the age of 79, ha­ving star­ted in the old kind of pri­ma­ry school. Not eve­ry­bo­dy needs to aim at a doc­to­ra­te. But it would be good for all el­ders to have an ob­jec­ti­ve or an in­te­rest that brings sa­tis­fac­ti­on and re­qui­res at le­ast some le­vel of brain work. The hu­man brain is an un­be­lie­vab­ly sop­his­ti­ca­ted or­gan. It is per­fect­ly well ab­le to ac­qui­re new con­tent even at ad­van­ced age.

My grandc­hild­ren are of­ten hap­py to tell me about the friends they have at school or in day care. How im­por­tant it would be for eve­ry one of them to have even one friend. And not to be bul­lied. Bul­lying may le­a­ve scars that ne­ver heal. Adults should take re­so­lu­te ac­ti­on as soon as they see signs of so­me­o­ne being bul­lied. I do not know if bul­lying is a new phe­no­me­non, but I do not re­mem­ber ex­pe­rien­cing or see­ing such be­ha­vi­or when I was at school, though there cer­tain­ly were some fist fights.

When I look at my grandc­hild­ren going to day care or school, I want to fold my hands in pra­yer. I hope and pray that the He­a­ven­ly Fat­her would bless these child­ren on the path of faith in the ye­ars to come and un­til the end of their li­ves.


Armolahjoja on monenlaisia, mutta Henki on sama. Myös palvelutehtäviä on monenlaisia, mutta Herra on sama. 1. Kor. 12:4–5

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