Finland University Made an Agreement on Continuing Education of Saudi Teachers
​Finland University CEO Pekka T. Saavalainen and Cultural Attaché Dr Abdulaziz M. Al-Saleh from Saudi Arabia signed the agreement in Berlin on Wednesday, 15 March 2017.

​Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education will send altogether 100 comprehensive school teachers to explore the Finnish comprehensive school teaching and to learn Finnish pedagogical solutions. The education provides teachers with new preparedness for renewing the practices in their own school.

The co-operation in education began when Minister of Education Ahmed bin Muhammad Al-Isa from Saudi Arabia visited Finland, and became concrete with the return visit of Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen to Saudi Arabia in autumn 2016. Minister Al-Isa is especially interested in the active learning model in Finnish education.

Of the one hundred teachers coming to Finland, fifty will come to the member universities of Finland University and the other fifty to the University of Helsinki. Through Finland University, teachers will be located in the Universities of Turku, Tampere and Eastern Finland. Altogether 400 Saudi Arabians will be arriving to Finland, including family members. Some of the family members will participate in different training programmes, subject to a charge, in which they study Finnish culture and English language.

– This is a significant continuation for the continuing education packages for teachers realised by Finland University and strengthens the foothold in the Persian Gulf region. Saudi Arabia is the leading country in the region and an example for others. This agreement is also a great example of the boost transnational education offers for Finnish economic growth. Day care, comprehensive school and cultural education services, and driving lessons will be acquired for the family members of the teachers, notes Finland University CEO Pekka Saavalainen

The education includes an orientation period, three-month-long teaching period of English and a practical period of three months completed in the teacher training schools of the universities.

– The key question for the success of the education is how Finnish pedagogy can be presented to the Saudi teachers so that they adopt the information and can apply it in their own schools, says Training Manager Ari Koski from the University of Turku who has been responsible for the negotiations on behalf of Finland University and its member universities.

Koski met teachers who will be coming to Finland in Riad in February and says they had been finding out about the Finnish school system independently and to a great extent.

– Many of the teachers had not visited even Europe, and even though Finland in the north sounded perhaps a bit frightening, they were very excited about coming to Finland and wanted to apply the teaching methods and models they learn here in their own schools, says Koski.

Finland University and University of Helsinki consortium have begun negotiations with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education on a new and bigger group of teachers coming to Finland. Negotiations have been conducted on 200-300 teachers that would arrive for continuing education in the spring 2018.

JV/SY
Photo: Ari Koski

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Published date 3/21/2017 3:25 PM ,  Modified date 3/21/2017 5:47 PM

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