In order to yield better results in education government should consider keeping its teacher-learner ratio to a minimum in order to maximise output.
This, according to the Ambassador of Finland to Namibia, Anne Saloranta, would ensure that teachers give due attention to learners, as opposed to a system where the teacher-learner ratio is so large that learners are disadvantaged.
Speaking to New Era last week the Finnish Ambassador stressed that education means security for a small nation such as Namibia. Saloranta, who spoke on lessons that Namibia could learn from Finland, added that children who are starting school have the same teacher for a number of years.
This, she explained, provides learners with a sense of security as they get accustomed to the same person. “Instead of competition, the Finnish education system encourages learners to reach their individual goals,” she added.
The fact that education is free from primary to tertiary level has also contributed to the Finns’ education system being acclaimed, she noted. She also commended Namibia for striving towards free education at all levels. In addition, Saloranta said teachers in Finland are highly trained and the teaching profession is held in high regard.
“I believe that equal education plays a key role in the distribution of wealth. Education is security for a small nation and as early as the 1800’s, even before independence, as an autonomous state Finland decided to invest in education for the entire nation.
“In this way we avoided social inequality between an educated elite and an uneducated lower class,” said Saloranta, who stressed that education is what will minimise the great gap of inequality between the rich and poor.
Furthermore, Saloranta, who is serving her fifth and last term as ambassador of Finland to Namibia, commended Namibia for the developmental progress it has made over the years.
“There are still challenges that need to be tackled and I am proud of my country’s commitment to support and assist Namibia to overcome them,” Saloranta said.
The Finnish embassy invests around N$46 million in the country annually, although that number can be higher from time to time as certain projects last for a number of years.