According to Yle’s survey, municipalities are confused about the implementation of the new compulsory education reform that came into force this spring.
Last December, MPs voted to extend the age of schooling, making secondary education completely free.
However, the implementation of the new law remains unclear. Yle found that in some situations, even parents who dropped out of high school or vocational school may be fined for not educating their children.
Under the new rules, simple enrollment in a school meets the criteria for compulsory education – schools need to find out how minors stay up to date with their studies.
The guardians are primarily responsible for suspending the minor student. This means that the law requires guardians to ensure that the child meets the requirements for compulsory education. Under Finnish law, failure to admit teenagers to classes can lead to a guardian accused of negligence, which can lead to fines.
But schools also have a responsibility to help students in difficulty. This means they are supposed to intervene quickly with carers when children lose their lessons. Schools are also responsible for assessing whether additional support is being provided to failed students or whether it is necessary to contact child protection services or the police.
Municipalities also have a role to play. In addition to helping guide students to secondary education, their role is to guide young people to counseling, such as rehabilitation or social services.
The government has said it hopes the reform will help reduce the exclusion of young people and ease the burden on families living in poverty by covering the cost of books and equipment.
Source: The Nordic Page