Quality inclusive education

Through its development policy and development cooperation, Finland seeks to ensure that opportunities for quality, inclusive and equitable basic and secondary education and lifelong learning are realised for all.

Quality inclusive education is Finland’s development policy priority to:

  • Strengthen the capacities of teachers, schools and education providers to improve learning and learning outcomes. Finland supports structural reforms of education systems in areas such as mother tongue education, teacher education and the strengthening of teachers’ pedagogical competence and professional status. Finland supports the improvement of teaching methods, curricula and the quality of learning materials. Support also focuses on the development of digital pedagogy and innovative and inclusive teaching and learning solutions, with particular attention paid to the needs of students in the most vulnerable positions and to a human rights-based approach. Finland supports education providers’ capacities for mother-tongue instruction, for the teaching of foundational social and emotional skills, and for the assessment of learning. Finland promotes safe and inclusive learning environments that strengthen gender equality. Finland promotes the holistic wellbeing and learning of learners, for example by supporting the provision of school meals and the improvement of water supply and sanitation in schools.
  • Support the right to quality inclusive education for girls, children and young people with disabilities and those in the most vulnerable positions. Finland systematically promotes the strengthening of education systems to make them more inclusive and gender transformative. Finland seeks to achieve this by supporting the capacity of education providers and structural reforms, including improving gender equality in curricula and learning materials, enhancing the status of female teachers, improving data collection on students with disabilities and developing learning support systems. Finland promotes comprehensive sexuality education. Support will focus on reducing barriers to learning, increasing girls’ participation in secondary education and increasing the participation of children with disabilities in basic and secondary education. Finland supports the continuity of education also during crises, through supporting learning opportunities for refugees and access to education and training for young people and adults who have been excluded from educational opportunities. Finland advocates for the protection of education in conflicts. 
  • Improving youth skills for jobs and life. Finland aims to improve the quality of vocational education and training and higher education so that education and training better meet the changing needs of the labour market. Finland supports cooperation between higher education institutions, and vocational education and training reforms. Finland’s support focuses in particular on improving opportunities of women, girls and persons with disabilities to learn vocational, entrepreneurship and foundational skills. Finland also supports life skills education and education for sustainable development, both in Finland through global and peace education and in international development cooperation.

Finland facilitates structural reforms of education systems, especially the development of quality basic and secondary education, including vocational education and training.  At the same time, Finland improves the right of individuals, especially women and girls, persons with disabilities and persons in the most vulnerable positions, to access quality inclusive education.

Finland aims to strengthen the commitment of partner countries and multilateral actors to quality inclusive education. In concrete terms, Finland’s objective is that the partner countries allocate more funds to education, especially to basic education. Finland also advocates for increased multilateral funding for education with a focus on equity and the poorest countries. Finland aims to ensure that education policies promote equity, gender equality and inclusive education, improve the status of teachers and the quality and relevance of education. Finland strives to ensure that the duty bearers’ responsibility to promote the right to education and the protection of education in crises is realised.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Finland’s development policy priority, quality inclusive education, supports UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 (inclusive and equitable quality education). Quality education that is accessible to all also contributes to the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals. Education improves opportunities for earning a living and reduces poverty. Education policy can promote equality, non-discrimination and the realisation of human rights. Inclusive education contributes to peaceful and well-functioning societies. Education can facilitate the adoption of knowledge and skills for sustainable development, thereby supporting socially, ecologically and economically sustainable societies.

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