On 30 March, the Finnish government decided that children and youth enrolled in basic education, general upper secondary education and vocational education institutions would continue to attend distance learning, due to the coronavirus epidemic. This means that the official recommendation for students to study from home will carry on uninterrupted until 13 May 2020.
It is the instructors’ task to teach, guide and support the students’ daily school activities when they are studying from home. Distance learning takes place both as real-time sessions and home study assignments. Teachers instruct the students via the Wilma platform in both independent and group work.
Pupils in face-to-face classroom instruction
Children in grades 1-3 can still participate in face-to-face classroom instruction, if necessary, but they are nevertheless strongly advised to stay home and participate in distance learning, if possible.
Children who have been identified with special needs and children attending hospital schools will continue to receive instruction in the classroom. Parents and guardians that elect to keep their special needs children at home should inform the teacher, to ease the arrangement of teacher resources, transportation and school lunches.
School lunches will continue
School lunches are being served in schools to all pupils in grades 1-9 that are still attending face-to-face classroom instruction, as well as those students who are studying from home and have signed up to attend the lunches at the school.
Student support services and healthcare are still available
The services of school psychologists and counsellors are available for all students, parents and guardians.
Student healthcare services are also still being organised in the schools for the time being. Please contact school nurses by phone or via e-services primarily. School healthcare personnel will not provide care to students with symptoms of a respiratory infection, and students who are sick or show preliminary signs of an infection must not attend classroom instruction or scheduled appointments at the school.
Education Helpline answers questions about new school arrangements
The City of Helsinki’s Education Helpline is available to answer questions about the new study arrangements every weekday from 9 am to 6 pm. Call tel. 09 310 10025 for information in Finnish and English. A second helpline number, tel. 09 310 10027, will provide information in Swedish.
Please consult the City of Helsinki’s coronavirus webpages for more information: https://www.hel.fi/helsinki/coronavirus-en/
Photo: iStock Photo / Imgorthand