Finland: 2.500 elementary schools have been closed in the last decades


2.500 elementary schools have been closed in the last decades

Specialists and teachers warn about the consequences for the life and health of the pupils.


“The land of the disappeared schools”: With this title, a article in the Finnish newspaper «Helsingin Sanomat» is reporting on 24/10/2019, that since 1990 municipalities have shut down 2.500 elementary schools in Finland, as the statistical agency (Statistics Finland) states. In addition to that, many schools will probably be closed in the future, whereas teachers and other specialists warn, that the decay of the educational system – which is being described as “the best in the world” – is endangering the well-being of the children.  

The Finnish educational system has been a “model of decentralized system”, in which the education is being provided by the local educational administration and especially by the municipalities of the country. Since the 90s, due to the “cut-down targets” that have been set by the municipalities in combination with the sinking state fund, the shut-downs of the elementary schools have become an epidemic. As shown in the graph of the «Helsingin Sanomat», half of the schools in the country have disappeared and at the same time the number of the pupils in the classes is skyrocketing, for the standards of Finland. To be specific, every year up to 100 schools are being shut down, both in distant districts and in the big cities.

The “biggest distress in the history of Finnish education” is in process, report to the newspaper experts and teachers, while expressing strong concerns regarding the psychological health, the learning performances and the social evolution of the pupils, who spend hours on the bus from and to the school, are more tired. Their concentration in the classes is being reduced and lose the opportunity for any extracurricular activity.