Just imagine: somewhere in this world, there is a country where children officially do not start school until they reach the age of 7. All schools are 100% state funded, and the students in this country rarely take exams nor do they receive much homework until they become a teenager. There is only one existing test compulsory for all teenagers, taken when they reach the age of 16. During the 6 years of education they receive, they are never given grades. All children, regardless of their academic abilities, are taught in the same classrooms and everyone is treated equally. The difference in ability between the weakest and the strongest student is the smallest in the world, and the maximum capacity of classes is 16 students per class so that all the students are able to perform practicals and ask questions.

The teachers in this place spend approximately 4 hours in the classroom and they have 2 hours each week for their own “professional development.” These educators are chosen from the top 10% of the graduates from universities and they are treated with great respect.

Here are the numbers: 93% of these students successfully graduate from high school. 66% of them go to college.

Do you think that this perfectly designed country can exist in this world? Most people would not have known, but the truth is that the country already exists. The country is Finland, prominently known for being a homeland of Santa Claus and the land of the exquisite northern lights.

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Janice Jeonghyun Huh 16th Oct. 2015

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