Education International
Education International

Finland: Teachers take center stage in upcoming parliamentary elections

published 10 April 2015 updated 14 April 2015

When the votes are cast for this week’s parliamentary elections, teachers will be hard to miss on the ballot, as they make up 10 percent of the 2,000 candidates running for seats.

There are 200 members in the Finnish parliament and teachers have always had strong representation. From 2011 to 2015, there were 28 MPs who had a background in teaching, making them the biggest professional parliamentary group.

“Here in the OAJ we hope that after the upcoming elections we will have even more teachers elected in parliament,” said Olli Luukkainen, President of the teachers union Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö(OAJ). “After these elections, we also hope that the new government will set up an expert group or panel to analyse how to better develop the Finnish education system to insure good quality education in the future.

Stronger teacher representation in parliament helps strengthen the union’s objectives.

Since late last year, the OAJ has been running a campaign - Save the rooster, save education. Among the aims of the campaign, the OAJ wants to make sure education is at the top of the political discussions; support teachers to become candidates in the parliamentary elections; and remind all teachers of how important it is to vote for candidates supporting good public education for all.