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School at crossroads: why to learn by heart as all information can be found in seconds?

According to Heljä Misukka, schools are struggling to keep up with the changes in information society.

"The Educational Director of Trade Union of OAJ Heljä Misukka would reform the funding of elementary schooling and the legislation regarding it. According to her, the obligations of municipalities in relation to schools are also in need of revision. Her recently published book, Superpower of Education at a Crossroads, questions the state of elementary education.

The book was written specifically for municipality decision-makers as, Misukka says, developing of the school sector has been neglected by municipalities. She reminds that 70 per cent of the Finnish representatives are over 55 years old and therefore not necessarily familiar with the ways of a modern society.

'Municipalities have gotten too comfortable in the knowledge of the educational success of Finland,' Misukka writes.

She sees Finland's falling Pisa ranking as a possibility to finally move 'from Pisa prison to a normal discussion'. According to her, the gap between schools and children's everyday life is widening.

'The change in learning and in the information society has been so great that it's reasonable to question whether the evaluation of learning results still highlights the appropriate things. Children find it difficult to understand why learning by heart is important as all of the information can be found in seconds with the help of a search engine.'

As a part of the problem Misukka sees parents' changed attitudes. The ability to deal with disappointments, she says, has weakened with both parents and children.

'The greatest challenge is parents who only think of the interests of their own offspring, instead of that of the whole community.'"

Lehtikuva / Milla Takala