What if Jamaica were like Finland?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Finland is the number-one country in education because of some shocking reasons, and little Jamaica is far behind.
Although they spend under four hours in the classrooms each day, no child gets left behind. In fact, they take as much time as possible so that every child understands the lesson. They also spend time on building curricula.
No standardised test is set until the end of high school. They prepare students to learn how to learn and not to learn how to take a test. The students are not being pressured about memorising information, facts or dates just to take a test, then forget about it a week after.
Finnish schools also minimise the loads of homework given to students. In universities across Jamaica, almost every week lecturers set tests, not to mention if you are taking a course with a laboratory aspect - you will have a lab due every week, plus other assignments, and you are taking up to five courses per semester.
MORE MATERNITY LEAVE
Mothers in Finland get up to three years of maternity leave to prevent their child from going to day care. In fact, they don't start school until age seven. With this, every child will attain the proper grooming by their parents and not by a day-care worker. They think kids should be kids, and they allow them to develop mentally and they allow children enough time to play. In Jamaica, you get approximately two to three months of maternity leave, and the minute children can walk and talk, they are sent to school.
Teachers in Finland have the same respect as do doctors and lawyers, since it is mandatory that they all have a master's degree before teaching. There is no competition among students and no private school. Therefore, everyone is treated equally.
In schools in Finland, there are neither hamburgers nor highly carbonated drinks. Hence, diet has a lot to do with how children learn.