Compulsory education to be extended

In August 2021, the first students in extended compulsory education will begin their studies in Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia. Young people finishing their comprehensive school education in spring 2021, mainly born in 2005, will be affected by the reform.

In the future, they would get learning material for studies in general upper secondary education or in vocational education and training free of charge, along with other equipment necessary for studying, such as a computer, and for example tools and work clothes in vocational education. Special equipment needed for studies e.g., musical instruments and sports equipment, would remain the responsibility of the student. Education and daily meals will be free of charge as at present.

Where can extended compulsory education be completed?

Compulsory education is completed primarily in general upper secondary school or in vocational upper secondary school (including apprenticeship). Besides, transition phase education or another kind of education within the scope of compulsory education is applicable. In school year 2021-2022 VALMA (preparatory education for vocational training) and LUVA (preparatory training for general upper secondary education) both belong to transition phase educations. A renewed education package for the transition phase (TUVA) combines all previous transition phase educations, and it will be introduced on the 1st of August 2022. In some cases, basic education for adults is also applicable for completing compulsory education.

Compulsory education would end when a young person reaches the age of 18 or has completed an upper secondary qualification (the upper secondary school syllabus and matriculation examination, vocational upper secondary qualification, or dual qualification).

Why is compulsory education extended?

The aim of the reform is to raise the level of education and competence, narrow the performance gap between students, and increase educational equality. The goal is to guarantee an upper secondary qualification for every young person, and thereby better conditions for further studies, employment, and continuous learning.

What will be free of charge?

Along with extended compulsory education, necessary equipment will be offered for students free of charge. Students beginning their studies in August 2021 would get necessary material and equipment for use during their studies at Gradia (vocational education or general upper secondary education). This includes a computer, essential work clothes and equipment (kitchen knives, hairdressing scissors, etc.), and work-related licences needed for completing a qualification in specific fields. Special equipment needed for studies, such as musical instruments and sports equipment, would remain the responsibility of the student. As at present, education and daily meals will remain free of charge for every child of compulsory education age in upper secondary education.

Education would continue to be free of charge until the end of the calendar year in which the student reaches the age of 20 if the person hasn’t completed an upper secondary qualification or a dual qualification before that.

Preparatory training towards a qualification (TUVA) will start on the 1st of August 2022

Preparatory education (TUVA education) for programmes leading to an upper secondary qualification is a new educational training module that will replace VALMA and LUVA educations as well as voluntary additional basic education. Preparatory training can be chosen after completing basic education. A study place in TUVA education can also be indicated to a child of compulsory education age. As the current preparatory training programmes, TUVA is also intended for older people without a qualification, such as for immigrants or young adults who are about to switch their field of study or make a career change, for instance.

The TUVA education provides necessary knowledge, skills, and competences for students to apply for upper secondary education leading to an upper secondary qualification. It also guides to plan further studies and working life and builds up student’s qualifications to complete the general upper secondary school syllabus and matriculation examination or a vocational upper secondary qualification. During the TUVA education it is possible for a student to complete some subjects as part of general upper secondary education and vocational upper secondary qualification, improve the grades of basic education, and boost language skills in Finnish or Swedish. Applying and transferring to education leading to a qualification will be supported earlier if a student achieves sufficient skills and knowledge already during the preparatory training.

Gradia is getting ready for the reform

Procedures required by the compulsory study reform and free upper secondary education are built actively at Gradia in cooperation with local actors. The execution of the reform is coordinated by two different expert groups within Gradia - The Forum of Pedagogical Reform and its subgroup Accurate Guidance and Support. The Gradia Board of Directors operates as a Steering Group of the Forum chaired by Ms. Pirjo Kauhanen, Principal.