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Finnish education practices to be incorporated: Minister

The government will make efforts to incorporate Finnish educational practices suitable for the state, General Education Minister V. Sivankutty has said.

He addressed media people after meeting a Finnish delegation on a five-day visit to the state on Wednesday.

During the visit, talks were held about cooperation between Kerala and Finland in various sectors. It was agreed that a team from the State of Finland would visit Finland around May this year.

The minister said talks have been held on cooperation in the areas of early childhood education and care, teacher training, classroom teaching and learning in maths and science, and teacher leadership.

The government will investigate whether teacher training can be revised with the support of Finland. New ideas in different sectors shared by the visiting team would be used during curriculum revision discussions.

The Finnish team’s visit and talks would be immensely helpful against the background of the curriculum review underway in the state from kindergarten to upper secondary level, the minister said:

The Finnish delegation, consisting of Tapio Lahtero, Riikka Halikka and Minna Saade from the University of Helsinki, Mika Tirronen from the Embassy of Finland in India, and Liaison Officer Unnikrishna Sreedhara Kurup visited St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Pattom and Government Girls Higher Secondary School , Manacaud, and its teacher training institute to better understand the state education system and its characteristics.

Their visit to the state follows another group from the Scandinavian nation in December to discuss possible cooperation following a visit by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and a team to Finland a few months earlier.

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The delegation met General Education Principal Secretary APM Mohammed Hanish, Director of General Education Jeevan Babu K., Samagra Shiksha, Kerala Director Supriya AR, and State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) Director Jayaprakash RK

About early childhood education Mr. Hanish told the media that early childhood education in the state was spread across the Departments of Health, Education, Women’s and Children’s Development, and Planned Tribe Development Department. It had no formal structure, although the SCERT had made an effort to develop a curriculum and produced a handbook. As a Result, reforms would be made in early childhood education, first in government schools run by the general education department. The focus would be on three areas: curriculum development, teacher training that is currently largely absent, and parental involvement, he said.

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