Education and Science
As Christian Democrats, we underline the significance of extensive education and high quality civilization as a success factor of our society. The need for education and skills is further emphasized in the coming years when the international competition toughens and the dependency load gets heavier.
- Educational equality is the starting point, and it means that each person is given an opportunity for self-development and learning. Investing in education is an investment for welfare of the people both mentally and economically. Education needs to support life long learning, life management and interaction skills as well as adoption of durable work of values.
- The basis is the education of the entire generation, which means making studying viable regardless of the student's socio-economic background. The possibilities for studying of the disabled and other special groups need to be ensured. The central principle of the Finnish school system is that education is gratuitous, and this should hold in the future for basic education, vocational training and universities.
- Forming smaller basic education groups and increasing the resources of remedial instruction and special education as well as of aid services for education are necessary in many places. The schools need to be ensured availability of competent teaching staff and sufficient services of the school nurse, student counselor, school curator, as well as remedial instruction and split classes. The extra curricular activities of schools need to be increased in order to make the morning and afternoon care of children easier.
- At the moment almost one fifth of all youth do not acquire a vocational degree. The current school drop-out rate of 10 - 15% needs to be lowered. The appeal of vocational training needs to be increased and especially those sectors should be focused on, where lack of workers most likely occurs in the future. Apprenticeship training and workshop activities need to be increased.
- Entrepreneurship and competitiveness is boosted by strong education, R&D and in-service education and retraining. Finnish education and research should become ways to attract skillful professionals into Finland.
- We consider it important that R&D financing be increased to 4% of the GNP by the year 2011. The R&D investments should focus on export-oriented growing SMEs. The interaction between schools, work administration and businesses needs to be increased so that the focus in schooling would better correspond to the manpower needs.