Dharmendra Pradhan | Photo: Mathrubhumi
New Delhi: Union Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan held a meeting with the Finnish Minister of Education, Science and Culture Petri Honkonen, here on Tuesday, according to officials.
"Finland has evinced interest to collaborate with India on the knowledge front, especially as a result of the possibilities arising out of NEP. Both India and Finland can benefit from each others best practices in ECEC (early childhood education and care), teacher training, digital education among others," Pradhan said.
"Finnish Universities are welcome to collaborate with Indian Higher Education Institutions through joint and dual degrees and twinning programmes," Pradhan said.
According to education ministry officials, the two ministers discussed topical issues of education in the challenging post-Covid times.
They both noted that a determined approach is needed to bridge the learning gap of the most vulnerable children, officials said.
The ministers also discussed about the path breaking educational reforms currently underway in India, they said.
They also had fruitful discussions on making knowledge a priority pillar of the bilateral cooperation and deepen engagements in all areas of education, skill development and frontier research, officials noted.
During the meeting, Honkonen pointed out that there are many components in the National Education Policy 2020, which are similar to Finnish pedagogical thinking, noting that student-oriented approach and activity-based pedagogy are core elements of the Finnish education system as well.
"This makes it easier than ever before for our countries to collaborate in the domain of education," he said.
"To foster this approach, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland has allocated specific funds of up to one million euro a year into a cluster of Finnish universities as core funding to enable their collaboration with India in the domain of education," he said.
The Finnish National Agency of Education (EDUFI) has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India's National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to promote educational collaboration through sharing of information and content in different areas of school education, officials said.
These include early childhood care and education, vocational education, teacher education and training, school leadership and management, application of ICT in education, curriculum research design and development.
The MoU envisages utilising the experience of EDUFI and Global Innovation Network for Teaching and Learning (GINTL) in these areas, according to officials.
Ambassador of Finland to India, Ritva Koukku-Ronde said, "We aim at long-standing collaboration in the field of education, bearing in mind that education is not a sprint but rather a long-distance run, where teacher professionalism, school culture and deep learning evolve gradually, drawing on previous structure of understanding".