It is important for the City of Turku to make sure that all pupils have an equal opportunity to take part in teaching. Therefore, pupils who are in a risk of being left behind in teaching will be contacted. The City of Turku Education Division specifies instructions given to schools and special attention will be paid to the everyday contact between pupil and teacher so that nobody will be left behind. A device for distance learning and school meals will be secured for all basic education pupils attending distance teaching. In other words, this also applies to pupils in grades 1-3.

Student welfare at schools will organise support for children who cannot be contacted through distance teaching or who have problems at home. If the pupil cannot be reached, the school will act as it would in a situation where a child does not come to school.

- The need for support is already being investigated in Turku schools, says Service Area Director for Basic Education Tommi Tuominen. Pupils who cannot be reached during everyday schoolwork will primarily be contacted – the pupils themselves and their home. If these have no effect, stronger measures will be arranged – eventually even home visits and child welfare measures if needed as a last resort.

Pupils in Preparatory Education Entitled to Contact Teaching

According to the new policy, also pupils attending preparatory education are entitled to contact teaching. Pupils attending preparatory education include, among others, pupils from immigrant background who study Finnish or Swedish and other skills that prepare them for basic education. The number of pupils in Turku attending preparatory education is approximately 120.

All pupils in grades 1-3 are also still entitled to contact teaching if it is not possible for them to study at home. All pupils attending contact teaching also have a right to school meals.

Distance teaching devices also for pupils in grades 1-3

All City of Turku pupils in grades 4-9 have a device at their disposal that has allowed distance learning to proceed smoothly during the exceptional circumstances.

- When necessary, schools have borrowed shared use devices to pupils in grades 1-3 attending distance teaching to make it possible for everyone to participate in online teaching, says Tuominen. However, pupils are also allowed to use their personal devices if they wish.

- We strive towards collaboration between schools and hope to be able to give devices that are left unused to someone who needs them.

From 6 April onwards, basic education pupils attending distance teaching can only pick up a meal

At school of basic education in Turku, the number of pupils eating meals has fallen after most children started to attend distance teaching. Since Finland entered a state of emergency due to coronavirus, school meals have been arranged in Turku every day and all basic education pupils continue to have a right to school meals. From 6 April onwards, pupils attending distance teaching can only pick up the meal and eat it elsewhere. Arkea, who arranges the school meals, will be able to offer single-use containers for pupils who pick up meals.

Preregistration for meal pick-up is required for pupils attending distance teaching. Meals should be picked up from the school nearest to home so that the number of contacts remains minimal. Guardians have been given further instructions through Wilma. Read more here.

Turku takes part in planning a collective graduation day for upper secondary school graduates and students graduating in a profession

Turku wants to secure the graduation of students and hopes that they move on to further studies or professional life. The Ministry of Education and Culture is currently preparing national guidelines for final assessments.

If it is not possible to arrange competence demonstrations of vocational education and training for everyone, students who graduate this spring will be prioritised so that they can move on to working life or further studies.

Regardless of how the epidemic proceeds, upper secondary school students who graduate this spring will in any case receive their school-leaving certificate and matriculation certificate and their eligibility to apply for further study will not be compromised.

A joint graduation ceremony for those who have graduated in a profession and upper secondary school graduates is currently being coordinated in national networks.

- At the moment, it looks like the matriculation ceremony of this spring cannot be organised traditionally at the end of week 22. On state level, hopes have been expressed concerning a communal matriculation ceremony, but the conversation is still ongoing in the upper secondary school networks of the Association of Finnish Municipalities, says Service Area Director for General Upper Secondary Education Esko Heikkonen.

- Finding a collective graduation day is important for students and their family but – if having a celebration is possible at that point – also for entrepreneurs who, for example, work in catering or offer venues.