Project partners from India acquaint themselves with Finnish daycare centres and schools
FINDIgATE (Finnish and Indian Wellbeing through Education), a development project coordinated by Laurea and implemented together with the University of Turku as well as three universities in India, continued its operations in May. A total of 15 teachers and students from India participated in the intensive period of the project in Finland, during which they familiarised themselves with the Finnish school system.
The first intensive course of the one-year project in India was organised in January, when Laurea’s YAMK (Master's degree level) students visited three Indian cities.
The Indian partner universities in the project are the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, KIIT University in Bhubaneswar and the Loyola College in Chennai.
Study visits to daycare centres and schools
The two-week intensive period was first initiated in Turku, where the programme featured study visits to daycare centres and schools. Seminars were also arranged in Turku, where the students involved presented their theses.
The second intensive week at Laurea continued with the same theme: the students were able to acquaint themselves with, for instance, Järvenpää's physical exercise-oriented daycare centre as well as the daycare centres operated by the City of Vantaa.
During the daycare centre visits, an introduction to the Finnish early education system was provided at the same time as the students gathered research materials for their master's thesis.
- This has been a truly interesting experience for us, Anwesh Mishra from India said, describing the atmosphere during the final days of his Finnish visit. Anwesh studies information technology at KIIT University.
- The Finnish school system is one of the world’s best, so when we came here we wanted to find out which sorts of things make it so good. And because I study information technology, I wanted to delve into how digitality is being utilised in the schools.
Mishra visited daycare centres as well as primary and secondary school schools in Rauma and Vantaa. The Indian school system is, he says, quite theoretical, so in Finland he paid special attention to the more practically oriented methods of learning.
- I got to see, for example, how tablets and their interactive applications were utilised in school instruction – not just used for reading, he points out.
‘The students are redistributing what they have learned from Finland’
Anwesh Mishra's institution, KIIT University, is a private university functioning in the state of Odisha in Southeast India. The multidisciplinary university features 23 faculties with a student body of over 20,000.
Professor Puspalata Pattojoshi, who functions as dean in the Faculty of Applied Sciences, acted as contact person for the FINDIgATE project on the KIIT University side.
- This sort of visit in Finland represents an excellent opportunity for us as students to view and analyse the good practices that a well-developed country like Finland has at its disposal in the area of education and children’s well-being, he commented, describing the significance of the visit to Finland for the students.
- Because we have such a large mass of students, our students can further redistribute these teachings to others. This way we are able to really bring about a change in the community.
The year-long FINDIgATE project is now coming to a close. Laurea’s co-operation with universities in India is nevertheless only at the beginning, as the two-week combined intensive course produced many new ideas which will now be taken forward.
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