Finland knows how to troll MR commentators

Perhaps that is why I like the country so much:

Ideally, Marianne Korkalainen’s high school in Rautavaara, a tiny town in eastern Finland, would enroll at least 20 new pupils each year. This autumn, her shrinking municipality will send her only about 12. But Ms Korkalainen, the head teacher, has a plan: she intends to invite half a dozen youngsters from poorer countries to help fill her empty seats. Eager adolescents from places such as Myanmar, Vietnam and Tanzania will swap their tropical cities for her snowy bolthole. They will receive a Finnish education, at Finnish taxpayers’ expense.

Here is more from The Economist.  Finland soon will have a shrinking population, and worse yet:

By 2030 the country could have nearly 10% fewer children aged 4-18, according to eu projections. By 2040 their ranks might be smaller by a fifth. This spells trouble in particular for rural schools, which suffer both from having few births and from migration to the cities. Hundreds have shut their doors in recent decades. Some now offer local youngsters bungs, such as free driving lessons and small cash “scholarships”, in the hope of keeping them around.

There is even a Finnish start-up, Finest Future, that sells Finnish lessons to poorer students around the world, in the hope of preparing them for a Finnish taxpayer-subsidized education in Finland.  The belief is that recruiting individuals this way is easier and more effective than trying to find good job candidates abroad and also train them in Finnish later on.  Stuff the Kalevala down their throats!

Finland has a foreign-born population of about 9 percent, well below the Western European average.  I don’t know if this schools policy is a good idea, but I do know most people are not good at thinking about it in cost-benefit terms.


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