The best thing about Finland's education system

(VOVWORLD) - Unquestionably that Finland has one of the best education systems in the world. According to a Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, Finnish school children are among the best in group problem-solving. In today’s Culture Rendezvous, we will hear the story of Amir Degheidy, a Finnish construction engineer who is visiting Vietnam, to learn more about Finland’s education system. 

Tung: Hello, Amir. Welcome back to VOV 24/7's Culture Rendezvous. Can you tell us about your very first days at school?

Amir: For every kid, based on where you live, they try to find the nearest school and send a paper asking whether you want to go to this school or this other. And then your parents ask you which one do you like. The first option for me was this big school, where you can be there for 6 years, and the other one where you can be there for 2 years, then you have to change the school. So I said to my mom that I like the big one. 

Tung: Did you have to take any test to go to the next level?

Amir: No,no. The school system is like, every year, you have to take tests. There are tests in Math, your language. If you can pass all of them, they think you can go to the next level. It's really easy.

Tung: Did you have a lot of homework during the first years?

Amir: It's hard to say how much homework. I don't know how other systems work, but my first 6 years was really easy. When we have tests in the first 6 years, they give the answers of the tests. You only have to study the questions and the answers.

Tung: How many students were there?

Amir: I think the number was 15 to 20. 

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Tung: How do you become a teacher in Finland?

Amir: It doesn't matter what you want to teach, first grade, 5th grade, or 9th grade, you have to get a master's degree. 

Tung: When was the time you had to choose your career?

Amir: The law says you need at least 9 years of school. After that you can make up your mind if you want to go to high school, or like me, you can choose the job you want to do and choose a chool offering that kind of job. They will help you. For me, I was in constructing buildings, so they were looking for a school for me that specialized in construction. I was there for 2 years, because I made a deal with a company, it's called NCC, that I would not have to fo to school to study the profession anymore, the company would teach me. I only had to go to school for subjects like Maths and Psychology.

Tung: How did you make such deal?

Amir: I was just asking: "Do you need a student in here?" And they said: "Yes." Because they don't have to pay you if they don't want.

Tung: For studying, how much did you have to pay?

Amir: Nothing. Everything is free. The government gave me 100 euros each month. You can buy a bus ticket, it was only 5 euros, you can pay for your own phone, I think it was 10 euros. I got 100 euros because my mom didn't make much money. If you have rich parents, the systems doesn't pay you as much. Like some of my friends, they have a rich mom and dad, so they didn't need anything from the government. If your family doesn't have money, they will give you more funds. Because the system wants you to get education. they will pay for your meals, your phones. But not the movies. Only necessary things.

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Tung: That's great. In Vietnam, young people have to serve in the army after high school. How about in Finland?

Amir: Igraduated when I was 19. After 18, the army sends you a message. Usually, you have to serve in the army. The minimum is 6 months. If you want more, you can be there for 9 months, or a year. After taht, you can choose to go to an army school and be in the army for the rest of your life, if you want. 

Tung: In general, what do you think about Finland's education system?

Amir: Well, they say it's the best in the world. And I think it is. Because everything is free. The lunch is free, the books are free. The school gives you everything. I think these days, the school even gives you laptops, or tablet. You don't have to think about anything. Hungry at school? No. They will give you food.

Tung: Thank you very much, Amir, for your interesting story about your school experience. We hope to see you again soon.

Culture rendezvous will be back next week with more interesting cultural stories from around the world. I'm Hoang Tung. And now it's time to say goodbye.