Minister: Distance education increased the number of early school leavers

Minister: Distance education increased the number of early school leavers

Distance learning during the coronavirus epidemic last spring increased the number of early school leavers, according to the Minister of Education Li Andersson (Left).

In Saturday’s Yle Ykkösaamu discussion program, Andersson said that about 4,000 students collect recurring long-term school deviations each year.

"The coronavirus and long distance learning in the spring have probably affected this group the most, and unfortunately it has also made it bigger. I am very concerned about school dropouts," he said

Andersson said the setbacks that occurred this year cannot be fixed in just one school year. He added that the government has set aside eight million euros for a nationwide investment in nursing for school students.

Minimum level of staff of counselors, psychologists

The money will be used to ensure that schools can hire more teachers, such as social workers and other support staff.

"They could work flexibly in schools to provide personal support to students in need. These professionals could liaise with dropouts, strengthen collaboration between schools and families, and find time and resources to deal with even the most difficult situations," the minister explained.

The aim is also to strengthen this staffing requirement by baking it into legislation. He said the government wants a binding minimum staff level for counselors and psychologists in primary and secondary schools as well as vocational schools.

"As a key measure to prevent disruption and bullying, we will create a binding staffing requirement for counselors and psychologists in primary and secondary schools," Andersson said.

The Minister also referred to recent reports of violence in schools in Vantaa, Sipoo and Joensuu, for example.

He said bullying and violence in schools are always an indication that society has failed to safeguard children’s rights.

The minister said that in January, the government will announce a series of new anti-bullying measures during its term. He noted that the € 15 million program starts with early childhood education and aims to strengthen children’s emotional intelligence and interaction skills.

Source: The Nordic Page

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