Helsinki, Jan 13 (SocialNews.XYZ) The learning outcomes and education levels among young people in Finland have weakened since the 1990s, according to a report published by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The report is the first review of the development of education and culture in the country over the past decades, reports Xinhua news agency.
Education levels in Finland have remained stagnant since the 1990s, and young people's learning outcomes have been decreasing steadily since the turn of the century, the report said.
The differences in learning outcomes related to the social background have become more obvious than before.
According to the report, the major reason for the drop in learning outcomes was the cuts in funding for education, particularly during and in the immediate aftermath of Finland's deep recession in the 1990s.
In 1990, public expenditure on education was 4.6 per cent of the gross domestic product. In 2020 the corresponding share was 4.4 per cent.
Finland is no longer the most educated nation, Anita Lehikoinen, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education and Culture, commented to national broadcaster Yle on Thursday.
"Our young people are no longer the most knowledgeable. You might think that big and quite radical changes would have to be made," Lehikoinen was quoted by Yle as saying.
The Finnish population's level of education has been decreasing for a few decades, the report said.
In international comparison, the level of education in Finland has fallen since the heydays of the 1990s.
For example, the percentage of people with a higher level of qualification has not risen since then, while other countries have seen significant progress.
Aleksi Kalenius, special advisor at the Ministry of Education and Culture, told Yle that Finland was well below the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average in 2020.
However, due to favourable developments in higher education research from the late 2010s, those born in the 1990s may end up having a higher level of education than those born at the end of the 1970s, the report said.
Finland lacks a social consensus on whether it should invest more boldly in raising educational attainment, Lehikoinen acknowledged.