Monday 4 April 2016
The nonaligned student organisations in Finland are worried about the future of Finnish education. For the past year, education news have been depressing reading: The rise in the level of education level in Finland has stopped and we are now falling behind other OECD countries, the reading skills of Finnish youth has declined and young people are becoming more cynical towards education. Exhaustion and mental health problems have increased among students. The extensive education cuts cast a long shadow over our education system. Students fear that the education sector will suffer also during the upcoming negotiations on the state budget.
‘Politicians often motivate cut-backs by saying that they do not want to leave a debt for their children to pay off. We, as representatives of the young generation, fear that the Government through its actions will leave a much heavier debt for us to pay in the form of an education debt.’ say the presidents of the organisations. Cuts at all levels of education, from early childhood care to higher education, will weaken the quality Finnish education is world-renowned for and nibble off future knowhow. For a teacher without a job or a student left to their own devices it does not matter how unpleasant politicians found the decisions to make.
The earlier budget cuts in the education sector during both the current and the previous government have been hard on secondary and higher education institutions in the whole country. Those who supply education cannot reform the education system to better meet future demands when simultaneously new decision on cut-backs seem to be made in relation to every government programme and every budget negotiation. We cannot reform the education system without appropriate resources, professionals and researchers in education who are dedicated to their work, or without investing in the wellbeing of students as well as student finances.
‘We ask only one thing of the budget negotiators: Give us back our belief in the future!’ the presidents say.
The organisations will supervise the budgetary framework negotiations and organise a pop up restaurant with student food. Traditional student delicacies will be served to negotiators at 7:30am. The campaign is intended to remind budget negotiators about the consequences slashing student financial aid will have on student finances, which are already in a bad state.
President Henna Hirvonen (Akavan opiskelijat) tel. 040 768 1365, firstname.lastname@example.org
President Eero Rämö (Finnish Youth Co-Operation – Allianssi) tel. +358 40 539 2737, email@example.com
President Bennie Wardi (Finnish Student Sports Federation OLL), tel. +358 44 780 0211, firstname.lastname@example.org
President Jasmina Khabbal (Suomen Ammattiin Opiskelevien Liitto – SAKKI), tel. 045 139 3051, email@example.com
President Elli Luukkainen (The Union of Upper Secondary Students in Finland SLL), tel. +358 50 433 3171, firstname.lastname@example.org
President Jemi Heinilä (University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland SAMOK), tel. +358 50 389 email@example.com
President Heikki Koponen (National Union of University Students in Finland – SYL), tel. +358 44 906 5007, firstname.lastname@example.org