I have wrote 6 pages on REFORMATION OF
EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.Final paper is a total of 15 pages. APA style.My professor had some comments which i will
mention, and the paper needs to be elaborated more and not redundant.I
will attach the references to be used and the actual paper.Professors
system will and is changing. But it could change based on the Finnish model or
it could change based on the US model, or some third model.How
it will change is not pre-determined.In
what direction would you like it to change and how might those changes come
the metaphor of evolution implies that it will change on it’s own. However,
since society is made by people, in which way it changes is determined by
society, not evolution.


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Continues Reformation of The Educational System
Yousef Alhomaid, BDS
University of Rochester, Warner School of Education
EDE 436 Diversity and Equity in Education
After reading about how Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was implemented in
Sociology, they concluded that their own cultural attitudes and behaviors were more
advanced than those of earlier societies, adjusting and adapting to the environment and
given resources where the human being always tries to improve as an individual and as a
society as whole. I was curious to add that theory in education because knowing the fact
that is given about the amount of knowledge a young adult is consuming these days
comparing to many decades ago has every thing to do with the evolution of the
educational system. I will narrow my scope to focus on Saudi Arabia, as it is my home
country, as I will be talking about the Finnish education system and how they “evolved”
and “improved” there society threw education.
There was an article published in 2013 by Dr. Alroumi by the name of “The Saudi
Education in The Past 90 Years”. He mentioned the first sight of an educational system in
Saudi which was in the year 1925, before that the only education which was taught and
spread around the peninsula was in mosques by religious scientist (which were called),
and the knowledge was from the Koran and the Hadith (Stories about prophet
Mohammed), in that era there was three stages of education which were the start of
something new; fFirst was the mosque schools which was 5-6 years, next stage was
governmental schools which were organized by the Ottomans and taught in Turkish
language, then came the private schools which were funded and sponsored by the parents
who wanted there children to have better education, they also were organized by the
In the year 1927 King Abdulaziz; the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, established the
First educational system “The Knowledge Council.” it’s aim was to unify the education
of the country and develop an educational system that consists of four stages:
Preparatory, primary, secondary and Higher. Education was free for all four stages; the
council was focusing on the elimination of illiteracy that was widely spread in the
The change in the stages of educational years was fixed in the year 1943 to its new
form of 6 years of primary, 3 years of middle school and 3 years of high school.
In 1954, after the economic upraise of Saudi with the exploration of oil, “Ministry of
Education” was established, then in 1979 it was divided into two separate ministries
where one would deal with K-12 “Ministry of ?Education” and the other would deal with
the Universities “ministry of Higher Education”.
After this given brief history of the educational system in Saudi Arabia, we can see the
evolution and changes on the methods and quality of education, yet still improvement
needs to be done.
I chose Finland because of its amount of progress and its relative young age as a
country much like Saudi in its age, they basically started everything from scratch. As a
young country who found (gained independence?) its dependence year 1917 from the
Soviet Union, its population does not exceed 4 mill. Their first post war election was in
1945, back then Finns did not care much about education and focused more about
practical jobs and work places. “In 1950 young Finns left school at the age of six. At that
time the school system was different, there were two types of schools; Civic schools,
where two to three years of schooling will take place and can lead to further education for
those who can afford moving into main cities and seek for knowledge. And there was the
Grammar schools, this was an additional five years of schooling which lead to academic
high school then universities. Only 25% of Finns had access to Grammar schools.”
(Sahlberg 2011, page 34).
At the year 1968 they created a new basic education system one to ninth grade, which
was called “Comprehensive School”. Sahlberg once said, “The comprehensive school is
not merely a form of school organization. It embodies a philosophy of education as well
as a deep set of societal values about what all children need and deserve (Sahlberg 2011,
page 34”.
The education system in Finland was not great only because of the organized system
from (Civic/Grammar) to (Comprehensive School), it was the commitment of evolving
and always devoting their resources toward better education to their kids and the future
society. Finn schools were not normal schools; they offered daily meal for each student,
health and dental services & guidance and psychological counseling. They also have a
role of a “Special Teacher” there job was to work closely with class teachers and identify
students who needed extra help, some times they work individually or in a small group.
8% of Finn students are deemed to have special education needed, only half of them are
in special schools and the rest are in normal classes. Finland also have what they call
“Pupils multi-professional care group”, it consists of(Principal, special teacher, a school
nurse, school psychologist, social worker, teacher whose class is being discussed and the
students parent if a student was discussed), they meet at least twice a month. This care
group alone would cover most aspects and problems that a school or an educational
system in general. If most of the meeting that are being held all over the world more
specifically in Saudi, if they were as qualitative as these meetings are a lot of problems
would be insights and maybe solved, or raised to a higher power that would solve it.
And the most important aspect of the Finnish educational system is how well and
professionally prepared there teachers are before going into any classroom, the system
relies mainly on the expertise and professional accountability of their teachers.
Evolution is going to happen weather they accepted it or not, the question is how
much effort and resource is the society willing to give to accelerate that evolution. I
would say that the key of society evolution is through education. Saudi Arabia is going
toward a new and bright future, there will be obstacles and cultural resistance but if hard
work and commitment were assigned we would achieve. Looking at the reformation of
the educational system that happened in the country threw out the decades showed
compassion and desire toward improvement.
Alroumi Ahmed. (2013) Profiles of the march, The Saudi Education in The Past 90
Electronic knowledge magazine, issued by the Ministry of Education.
OECD (2011), Lessons from PISA for the United States, Strong Performers and
Successful Reformers in Education, OECD Publishing.
Sahlberg Pasi. (2011) The Professional Educator: Lessons from Finland.
American Educator, v35 n2 p34-38 Sum
Tatweer Company for Educational Services (T4edu) is a Saudi company- wholly
owned by the government. It was founded on May 18, 2012 to be a subsidiary of
Tatweer Education Holding Company. T4edu is a leading company in the field of
education development inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond. It provides
innovative solutions that enable children and youth to access optimal education in
the 21st century.
T4edu seeks to work with the Ministry of Education to comprehensively develop
the educational system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It also seeks to provide the
students with knowledge and skills that enable them to achieve optimal success
within an international economic and cognitive range. This phase is led by the
National Strategy for public education development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
prepared by the Ministry of Education. The Strategy’s top priority is education
where it also has a consistent set of rules and programs that work for accomplishing
the vision. T4edu is the exclusive executor of the programs and projects of the
Strategic Plan for public education development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Strategic Plan has identified a variety of programs, projects and initiatives some of them are being implemented- that would transform the current education
system into an integrated system where employees would be fully prepared to rise
to the challenges of the 21st century. The Strategic Plan also includes some key
partnerships and international collaboration programs.
What made 2015 special for T4edu was the transition towards focusing on elearning where it launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Education a variety
of platforms and educational websites which provide online textbooks for all
academic levels, explanation of difficult concepts, and training courses for teachers
to enhance their interactive pedagogical approaches and skills.
T4edu’s Stragtegy 2020:
Tatweer Company for Educational Services (T4edu) has developed a comprehensive
strategy to achieve its goals and contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The
Company is depending on its capabilities and expertise to implement the initiatives
of the National Transformation Program 2020. This will be positively reflected on
the educational outcomes and will contribute to the Company’s growth and
The fact that the educational sector in the Kingdom is very vast represents a key
impetus for T4edu to adopt its new vision and launch an effective strategy that
achieves the desired goals its stakeholders are anticipating. This could be done
through targeting new markets and new clients at the local and regional levels.
Slow and Steady Reform
for Consistently High Results
Finland is one of the world’s leaders in the academic performance of its
secondary school students, a position it has held for the past decade.
This top performance is also remarkably consistent across schools. Finnish
schools seem to serve all students well, regardless of family background,
socio-economic status or ability. This chapter looks at the possible factors
behind this success, which include political consensus to educate all
children together in a common school system; an expectation that all
children can achieve at high levels, regardless of family background or
regional circumstance; single-minded pursuit of teaching excellence;
collective school responsibility for learners who are struggling; modest
financial resources that are tightly focused on the classroom and a climate
of trust between educators and the community.
Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States
© OECD 2010
Finland: Slow and Steady Reform for Consistently High Results
Since the publication of the first PISA results in 2001, Finland is now seen as a major international leader in
education (Table 5.1; OECD, 2010). It has consistently ranked in the very top tier of countries in all PISA assessments
over the past decade, and its performance has been especially notable for its remarkable consistency across schools.
No other country has so little variation in outcomes between schools, and the gap within schools between the top
and bottom-achieving students is extraordinarily modest as well. Finnish schools seem to serve all students well,
regardless of family background or socio-economic status. For these reasons, Finnish schools have become a kind
of tourist destination, with hundreds of educators and policy makers annually travelling to Helsinki to try to learn
the secret of their success.
Table 5.1
Finland’s mean scores on reading, mathematics and science scales in PISA
PISA 2000
PISA 2003
PISA 2006
PISA 2009
Mean score
Mean score
Mean score
Mean score
Source: OECD (2010), PISA 2009 Results: What Students Know and Can Do: Student Performance in Reading, Mathematics and Science (Volume I), OECD Publishing.
1 2 http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888932366693
Prior to 2000 Finland rarely appeared on anyone’s list of the world’s most outstanding education systems. This is
partly explained by the fact that while Finland has always done well on international tests of literacy, its performance
in five different international mathematics or science assessments between 1962 and 1999 never rose above average.
But it was also because Finland’s path to education reform and improvement has been slow and steady, proceeding
gradually over the past four decades. Its current success is due to this steady progress, rather than as a consequence
of highly visible innovations launched by a particular political leader or party.
As described in this chapter, the evolution of Finland’s education reform is closely intertwined with the country’s
economic and political development since the Second World War, and cultural factors are clearly an important part
of the Finnish success story. However, they are by no means the whole story. There are Finnish education policies
and practices from which others seeking to emulate Finland’s success might learn.
Some international observers argue that the Finnish success story can be explained primarily by its specific national
history and culture. They are unsure that other countries could learn anything from Finland that is applicable to
them. For example, these sceptics point out that Finland is culturally homogenous. This is true, although there are
now schools in Helsinki where nearly half the students are immigrants. They observe Finland’s overall economic
health, with its flourishing IT sector, but neglect to note that its average per pupil expenditure is well below that of
the highest spending countries, including the United States. They note that primary school teaching is now the most
popular profession among Finnish young people, attracting the top quartile of high school graduates into its highly
competitive teacher training programmes, without asking whether this has always been so or whether the country
took special steps to upgrade the status of teachers and teaching.
History of the Finnish education system1
Finland is a relatively young country, having only established its independence from the Soviet Union in 1917.
Finland had to fight long and hard to preserve that independence through the Second World War. For a nation with a
population of less than 4 million, the cost of the war was devastating: 90 000 dead; 60 000 permanently injured and
50 000 children orphaned. Additionally, as part of the 1944 peace treaty with the Soviet Union, Finland was forced
to cede 12% of its land, requiring the relocation of 450 000 Finnish citizens. A Soviet military base was established
on a peninsula near Helsinki, and the communist party was granted legal status.
The first post-war elections in 1945 produced a parliament in which the seats were almost evenly divided between
three political parties: the Social Democrats, the Agrarian Centre Party, and the Communists. In the 1950s the
Conservatives gained sufficient strength to also be included in major negotiations. Multi-party systems typically require
the development of a political consensus in order to move any major policy agenda forward, and one priority around
which such a consensus developed was the need to rebuild and modernise the Finnish education system.
© OECD 2010 Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States
Finland: Slow and Steady Reform for Consistently High Results
The education system that the new post-war parliament inherited was still unequal and more reflective of the needs
of a predominantly rural, agricultural society than of a modern industrial society. Although the country was still in
fact 60% rural as late as 1960, the urbanisation process really began right after the war and over the next decades
accelerated to the point where Finland is now two-thirds urban.
In 1950 most young Finns left school after six years of basic education; only those living in towns or larger
municipalities had access to a middle grade education. There were two types of middle grade education: civic
schools, run by some municipalities, which offered two or three additional years of schooling, and could lead to
further vocational education for those fortunate enough to live in a town large enough to support such a school; and
grammar schools,2 which offered five additional years of schooling and typically led to the academic high school
(gymnasium) and then to university. Only about a quarter of young Finns in 1950 had access to the grammar school
path, and two-thirds of the grammar schools were privately governed.
Over the next decade there was explosive growth in grammar school enrolments, which grew from 34 000 to
270 000. Most of this growth took place in the private schools, which in the 1950s began to receive government
subsidies and come more under public control. This growth reflected the aspirations of ordinary Finns for greater
educational opportunity for their children, a message that the country’s political leaders heard as well. In the postwar decade, parliament created three successive reform commissions, each of which made recommendations that
helped build public support and political will to create an education system that would be more responsive to the
growing demand for more equitable educational opportunities for all young people in Finland.
The first of these commissions, launched in 1945, focused on the primary school curriculum, and offered a
compelling vision of a more humanistic, child-centred school, in contrast to the Germanic, syllabus-driven model
of schooling that characterised most Finnish schools. This commission also conducted field studies in 300 schools
as part of its work, offering an example of how research might guide the development of policy.
The second commission, launched in 1946, focused on the organisation of the system, and advocated for the
creation of a common school (covering grades 1-8) that would serve all students. However, this report produced
such opposition from the universities and the grammar school teachers that its recommendations quickly died.
A decade later, however, the idea of the common or comprehensive school resurfaced in the recommendations of
the Commission on School Programs, and this time the idea gained traction. The commission recommended that
compulsory education in Finland should take place in a nine-year (grades 1-9) municipally-run comprehensive
school, into which existing private grammar schools and public civic schools would ultimately merge (Figure 5.1).
This proposal triggered a very substantial debate about core values and beliefs. Could all students be educated to
a level that only those who currently had access to grammar schools were expected to achieve? Did society really
need all young people to be educated to a high level? Did all young people really need to know a third language
in addition to Finnish and Swedish (a requirement of grammar schools), and was it fair to expect this of them? Over
the next several years these debates continued, but as F …
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