Finland Greens Chairman, Maria Ohisalo, wants to support finding a solution for special needs students. Ohisalo proposes “backpack money” for students with special needs as a solution for those with financial problems. Along with Saara Hyrkkö, MP and vice-chairman of the Green Parliamentary Group, she recently presented the Greens’ education guidelines.
“Getting support is like a lottery game with few winners.”Maria Ohisalo
According to Ohisalo, there is a lack of funding to offer proper education. In addition, she mentioned how the students with special needs do not get enough money for school. Therefore, to be able to offer them the best education, funding is needed.
“The more guidance in a small community is being offered, the more school attendance facilitators go alongside students in need of support, and the more interventions are made to strengthen good peace of mind and an atmosphere that encourages learning, the more money it requires,” she mentions.
Earlier, during the start of the pandemic, Finland was providing independent money for literacy assistance, but it discontinued recently in 2020z Moreover, Ohisalo mentioned how school funding should be more needs-based and this is how the idea of “backpack” money began. Ohisalo explained the idea of backpack money as money going with the student as if in a school backpack. Meaning that whatever school the student chooses, the school will have the necessary resources with the student.
Approximately one in five children in basic education in Finland receives either increased or special assistance. Ohisalo mentioned how getting help will depend on the municipality and the school. In one municipality, a student with enhanced support can receive regular supportive education, part-time special education in a small group, and visits to a school psychologist, in another, a decision to provide support can mean a screen and extended response time in exams. Getting support is like a lottery game with few winners,” she says.
Finland Greens and its leader, Ohisalo, wants to support special needs students as much as possible. With the pandemic, it can be hard for students with special needs to deal with school wors, and it can also affect the teaching staff. There have been conversations about the need to have more staff members to support students. Learn more about the staffing here as it will give you an insight as to why student needs their support.