The PISA tests consistently show that Finland is number one in Europe in educational attainments. Spain has not been doing well, and the government knows that the lack of education in the citizenry is a major source of Spain’s economic problems.
An article in ABC describes the results of research into the differences in education between the two countries. 8% of Finish children do not finish high school; 30% of Spanish children do not finish.
(some of the following is from the longer Kindle version of the article)
An educational psychologist from Barcelona studied the differences, and discovered some surprises.
More than half of Finnish 4-5 year olds are NOT in pre-school.
They do not start school until 7 years old; their brains are better developed then and they learn to read in two months.
Finnish children spend 608 hours a year in school; Spanish children spend 875 hours a year in school.
Finnish children do not have excessive homework.
Schools do not foster competition; students do not get grades until the fifth grade,
During the first six years most students have the same teacher for all six years.
Education and all education materials are free through university.
Parents take responsibility for their children’s education; 80% of families visit the library every weekend.
The Finnish consider children to be the national treasure and entrust their education only to the most qualified professionals in the nation.
Finland spend 12% of its budget on education.
The examinations for primary school teachers are the most rigorous examinations in the whole country.
In addition to achieving an average of 90% in t classes, teachers must demonstrate communication skills, empathy, artistic sensibility, knowledge of mathematics and technology.
Teachers are highly honored; many want to enter the profession; Finnish pay, although good, is LOWER than Spanish pay for these positions.
Korea and Japan archive a high level of education but an enormous cost to their students; 50 hours a week of homework, endless tutoring, stress, and suicide.
The Finnish have a humane system which produces the best education citizens in the European Union. The key is excellent teachers in the lower grades when children are most malleable. Alas, in the US college students who can’t make it in other courses of study too often go into primary education. In Baltimore some of the public primary school teachers are semi-literate. Any education that goes on in the schools is largely coincidental. The schools exist to provide middle-class jobs to people who could otherwise not attain them, and those people in turn give money to the politicians (almost always Democrats) who funnel money into this failed system, in return for votes. The children and ultimately the nation suffer; especially the inner-city children who cannot afford the superior private system and are locked into poverty and dependency on government, which throws them crumbs in return for their votes.
The Democrats generally support this failed system; but Republicans are unwilling to spend the money for an excellent public system, even if we could replace the current crop of teachers with teachers as qualified as the Finnish one.