Two-week dive into Finnish Education system – Namibian teachers on a Study visit in Finland

Finnish excellency in education is well-known also in Namibia. A group of Namibian teachers from primary and secondary schools got to know the Finnish education system for two weeks as a part of Business Finland -funded In-Learn-project. Project is a part of a collaboration in education export between Finnish Universities and companies.

Namibian teachers visited early childhood education and primary schools in Tampere and Turku during their two-week visit. Study visit was one part of teacher training program which focuses on supporting active teaching and active learning, both for teachers and students: passive classroom behaviour such as sitting and making written exercises is not the only way to teach. Learning is an interactive process between a teacher and a student.

During the study visit the teachers designed new ways for active learning, which they will start implementing in teaching in their own schools.

Study visit was hosted by Polar Partners Ltd, a company delivering Finnish education. The main coordinator of the program was The University Properties of Finland Ltd (SYK) and Mrs. Suvi Nenonen as a Lead Expert of learning environments.

Teachers are from the Namibian capital city Windhoek and nearby, and they are presenting both private and public schools.

– We held co-creational workshops this spring in both of the schools for students, teachers and parents. With the ideas from these events, we were able to design new learning environment concepts and improve the teacher training program to support it, Nenonen highlights.

The University Properties of Finland Ltd (SYK) is an expert of learning environments in this project. Environments that are designed to activate are a one way to support efficient learning. For example, team work is easier to do in front of a triangle-shaped desk when all the participants can sit near to each other.

Polar Partners Ltd, together with its wide network of partners from Finland, is responsible for the pedagogical design and teacher training program in the project. Managing Director Ms. Maria Haapaniemi is satisfied with the results of the study visit and collaboration between the schools and the teachers.

– This study visit to Finland is just one part of this nearly one-year long project. The most important work will take place in Namibia when the teachers practise the new methods in their schools, supported by the Finnish experts, says Haapaniemi.

– Namibian teachers have been interested in the Finnish education system and are excited to see how it actually works. They have realized multiple new things about education, such as that also learners can take responsibility for their own learning, not just teacher. One class of learners can be taught by two teachers at the same time and different subjects can be integrated to be taught at the same time. We have also talked about how to use gaming or reflection of learning as a part of teaching, Nenonen lists.

SYK’s participation in to this project is also a part of company’s social responsibility. SYK wants to support learning, not just for Finns, but also globally, and deliver their expertise about Finnish learning environments. There are also architects involved in the In-Learn project. Learning and learning environments are developed comprehensively both at the levels of activity, space and infrastructure.

– It has been very eye-opening for the Namibians to experience how the Finnish Education system works in practise. They have realized that development does not need to happen overnight. Instead, the change can be done in small steps.

For additional information, please contact:

The University Properties of Finland Ltd (SYK)
Suvi Nenonen
Lead Expert of learning environments
+358 50 598 534
suvi.nenonen@sykoy.fi

Polar Partners Oy
Maria Haapaniemi
CEO
+358 50 3611 510
maria.haapaniemi@polarpartners.fi

Co-creational workshop with a theme ”active teacher and student – active learning environment”
As an evening activity, we organized a cooking night where we cooked Namibian and Finnish dishes with our visitors.