Ambassador Nissilä at Expo 2020 Dubai

Ambassador Nissilä at Expo 2020 Dubai: Finnish teachers a resilience factor during the COVID-19 pandemic

A high-level delegation of Finnish education sector experts visited Expo 2020 Dubai during the Knowledge and Learning week. The head of the delegation, H.E. Marianne Nissilä, Ambassador of Finland to the UAE, spoke in the opening of the Finnish education days at the Finland Pavilion, proposing that an equal school system, a science-based teacher training programme and a high regard for teachers are the key ingredients of the Finnish high quality education and training system.

“Education and teaching during a pandemic have required a great deal of resilience, flexibility and creativity.  One reason why the schools in Finland were able to organize distance learning so rapidly, was because of the highly educated and motivated teachers. Teachers are the innovators, encouraged to explore new approaches. During the COVID-19 pandemic, their creativity and leadership is even seen as a resilience factor,” said Ambassador Nissilä.

Professionalism from research-based teacher education

The professionalism of Finnish teachers arises from the fact that teacher education in Finland is organised by universities, and the development of teaching is based on research. Universities in Finland as well as other Finnish education service providers are already co-operating with partners in the Gulf region in upskilling local teachers and school leadership and collaboratively preparing schools for the future.

“The global educational services that the Finnish organizations offer are based on our research strengths. We believe that we can help our global partners in reforming their education systems,” concludes H.E. Marjaana Sall, Ambassador for Education at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Combining Finnish expertise with local innovation and knowledge

The Ambassador for Education described that for over a decade there has been a great interest towards the Finnish educational knowhow. Child-centered pedagogy, innovative learning environments, utilization of technology as well as support to well-being in schools are aspects that have been benchmarked throughout the world.

“Finnish education service providers have developed their expertise in adapting our knowhow to cultural contexts very different to ours in Finland. Their work is supported by our Ministry of Education and Culture and more concretely by the Education Finland programme, which gathers the Finnish education service providers under a common Finnish educational brand. Our aim is always to co-create new solutions with our international partners by combining our expertise with the local innovation and knowledge. “

The education service companies that are exhibiting in the Finland pavilion represent the whole range of services from early childhood education and care to higher education and corporate training, from independently usable digital solutions to whole school concepts.

“Our participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai offers opportunities for diverse international cooperation and widespread sharing of the expertise of learning. At the Expo, we will present high-quality Finnish educational expertise and solutions that help learners – whether small children or adults, schools or corporations – prepare for the future with skills that are needed in work and in the society at large, ” says Director Jouni Kangasniemi from the Education Finland programme

Further information:

Jouni Kangasniemi, Programme Director, Education Finland, Finnish National Agency for Education, , tel. +358 (0) 405179222

Jaakko Skantsi, Team Finland Knowledge Network specialist in Abu Dhabi,, +971 (0)50 479 0299

Education Finland programme:

Education Finland is a governmental cluster programme supporting the best education providers in their growth on the international market. The programme is coordinated by the Finnish National Agency for Education. The Ministry of Education and Culture funds the programme. There is a strong link to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Finnish embassies around the world. The programme also collaborates with Business Finland and its trade offices globally.

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