Objectives for general upper secondary education
Under the Act on General Upper Secondary Education, the objective of general upper secondary education is to help students grow into decent, well-rounded and educated human beings and members of society, and to provide them with the knowledge and skills required for engaging in further studies, working life and hobbies as well as to further their versatile personal development. The objective of instruction for immigrants and foreign-language speakers preparatory to general upper secondary education is to provide them with the language skills and other qualifications necessary for entering general upper secondary education. Such education must also foster the students’ capabilities for lifelong learning and for self-improvement throughout their lives.
The Government makes decisions on the common national objectives for general upper secondary education, on the division of time used for teaching lessons in various subjects and subject areas, and on the distribution of time used for guidance counselling (lesson hour distribution). The Finnish National Agency for Education decides on the objectives and key content of education when it approves the national core curriculum, on the basis of which education providers draw up local curricula.
The Ministry of Education and Culture has granted some education providers the right to a special educational mission. This right allows such education providers to emphasise a given subject in their teaching, such as sports, arts or music. Education leading to an International Baccalaureate diploma and the German Reifeprüfung diploma are also organised on the basis of a special educational mission.
Besides their special educational mission, education providers may place greater emphasis on courses and modules that comply more closely with their curriculum.