Li Andersson (Left Alliance), the Minister of Education, spoke to members of the media about the looming re-opening of schools across Finland. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)


THE BENEFITS of re-opening schools outweigh the risks, according to Minister of Education Li Andersson (Left Alliance).

Andersson reiterated in a press conference this morning that the decision to resume in-person instruction in early-childhood and basic education was made after it was determined that the judicial grounds for upholding the suspension on in-person instruction were no longer in place.

Schools in Finland, she assured, have taken action to ensure the safety of pupils and staff alike: the facilities have been re-organised to create more space and limit unnecessary physical contact between people, time and resources will be devoted to maintaining good hygiene, and no common meetings will be held.

Neither pupils nor staff members should come to school with flu-like symptoms, stressed Andersson.

Pupils who are part of risk groups due to underlying health conditions will be allowed to study remotely teaching if deemed necessary by a physician, added Olli-Pekka Heinonen, the director general of the Finnish National Agency for Education.

The Finnish government continues to recommend that children not participate in early-childhood education, however.

Andersson on Tuesday conceded that the need for special arrangements in schools may still exist at the start of the autumn term. The government, she revealed, is already drafting amendments to the basic education act to make it possible to alternate between in-person and remote instruction going forward.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT