Humble Rants 27 June 2012

Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2012 in Opinion

Humble Rants 27 June 2012

by Robert Skoglund aka The humble Farmer

When Marsha brought home our hard copy of the Free Press, I read the article on Finland's great teachers and educational system three times.

Because the fruits of an education might be only a reflection of the entire social system in a country, we might all profit by knowing more about education in Finland.

I was not told how much it costs to get a graduate degree in education in Finland. I did not learn how long it takes a Finnish teacher to pay off four or eight years of a college education.

What kind of a home life do kids have in Finland? Do their parents each work two jobs trying to make ends meet? Is there anyone in the home to prepare meals when the kid gets home from school or are they on their own? What kind of meals do students get in Finnish schools and is it the only decent meal some kids get all day?

What percentage of Finnish students live on the street or with relatives because they were evicted when the bank foreclosed on their homes? Are their parents ever home from work long enough for the kids to hear them bickering about money problems? “This week we have a choice between food or heating oil.”

Are Finnish schools funded by onerous, regressive property taxes that force land owners to sell portions of their farms or even move in with their relatives?

Are Finnish students transported great distances to attend schools far, far away from their homes and communities? Do parents have to drive 30 or more miles in the evenings to pick up a student after a sports or social event?

Does a sick child simply take to his bed because medical care would put a Finnish family in debt for years?

Is the curriculum in Finnish schools written to produce an educated individual or to accommodate a Finnish business community in need of 9-to-5 robots?

Nowhere in the article did I see anything about teaching salaries in Finland. Nor did I read what teachers might expect in retirement benefits or how many years they would have to work to get them.

Because it takes more than a few paragraphs to compare our educational system with those in progressive countries, we’d like to see a series of articles on the topic. Go dog, go. Please tell us more.

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