Finland’s Minister of Education, Ms. Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, will visit South Africa from May 29 to June 1, together with a group of Finnish educational institutions, companies and officials. The aim of the trip is to strengthen existing cooperation between Finland and South Africa as well as to explore new partnerships in the field of education. Minister Grahn-Laasonen’s portfolio entails all levels of education.
“I am extremely pleased to be able to bring a very diverse group of educational experts from Finland to South Africa. We look forward to sharing our experiences of creating an equal and inclusive learning environment, which also produces excellent results,” Minister Grahn-Laasonen said. “I hope this trip will be a further booster to the excellent cooperation between Finnish and South African institutions in teacher training. I also hope that new commercial partnerships can be formed as a result of the trip.”
The Minister’s visit entails high-level political meetings, participation in seminars and networking events around basic and tertiary education cooperation, and meetings with South African companies working in the education space. She will hold the keynote address at a seminar titled “Education in Finland – best practices” held at the Soweto Campus of the University of Johannesburg on May 31.
“I am particularly delighted that the visit of our Minister of Education to South Africa coincides with the Finland 100 centenary year, as we celebrate 100 years of our existence as an independent nation,” said Mr Kari Alanko, Ambassador of Finland to South Africa. “Equal and inclusive education has been the key to Finland’s success as a nation, and we believe it is as crucial to South Africa’s future.”
Finland is one of the best-performing countries globally in education. Nearly all Finnish learners attend municipal schools, and learning results are relatively equal across the country. It is widely accepted that education creates wellbeing, builds democracy and reduces inequalities between regions and social groups. E.g. good PISA results by OECD have been attributed to the characteristics of the Finnish educational system. There is a strong belief in education as a factor that shapes the future, equal learning opportunities, highly educated teachers, responsibility and freedom devolved to the local level, support in learning and multi-professional cooperation.
Finland is currently rolling out a new core curriculum for the comprehensive school, aiming to develop the learning environment and working methods so that they inspire learning.
For more information or interview requests, please contact:
Ms. Anna Merrifield, Counsellor, Embassy of Finland
tel. 012 343 0275/083 452 3780, firstname.lastname@example.org