Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Self-respect: some food for thought...

I had a short chat with a teacher from Moision School at the train station before heading back to Helsinki. I shared with him my frustration with the education system in Hong Kong, and how teachers don't get the same respect as in Finland. He asked me this question: 'do the teachers respect themselves in HK?'

I gather he didn't mean to make a massive criticism about teachers on no basis. I myself can testify to the significant number of very decent and respectable teachers in HK. But his remark seems to suggest all the teachers in Finland in his opinion 'really respect their job as teachers' - it's quite something to say. He raised that question in a disinterested way and wasn't trying to boast about anything. This nonetheless touches on one of the critical reasons for the success of Finnish education system - good, responsible teachers.

All teachers of primary and secondary schools in Finland are master degree holders. Also teaching is one of the professions which is most competitive - only one in ten gets to be selected into teacher training schools. From my limited experience, I could see that a lot of them were definitely 'cream' of their society. They were qualified and interested in teaching and learning.

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