The Finnish Embassy in Singapore and SF100SG are building bridges between Finland and Singapore in education and learning. Last Friday, a seminar aiming to foster local and international cooperation in lifelong learning and education technology was held at Huone event hotel at Clarke Quay.
Mr. Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General from Finnish National Agency for Education, set the foundation for the afternoon by urging the partners in education to develop better education systems to support lifelong learning. Mr. Heinonen emphasized the importance of lifelong learning and utilizing technology to keep up in a rapidly changing complex world, in which it is estimated that 65% of children in primary school today end up working in new job types that do not currently exist.
Professor Jari Multisilta from Tampere University of Technology and professor Chee-Kit Looi, National Institute of Education Singapore, presented their study on attitudes of school teachers towards teaching coding skills at schools in Finland, Singapore and China. The first study of its kind revealed differences in attitudes and readiness to teach coding.
The study concluded that coding is considered to be useful for everyone, as it boosts problem solving skills, but programming competences of the teachers are low in all the countries studied. The Chinese and Singaporean teachers evaluated their ICT skills to be better compared to the Finnish teachers, and the attitudes of Chinese teachers are the most positive towards ICT, while the Finnish teachers are the least positive. The presenters were calling for more support for the teachers to teach these important 21st Century Skills.
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Other guest speakers also included Dr Koh Tat Suan, Director of Lifelong Learning Institute, Singapore, and Sebastien Barnard, Head of Marketing and Admissions, GEMS World Academy (Singapore). Ms Sophia Jansson and Mr Roleff Kråkström, from Moomin Characters were interviewed on Moomin learning philosophy.
The information packed afternoon also included a dialogue session, in which the participants had an opportunity to discuss about lifelong learning and benefits of technology. Panelists included Mr. Heinonen, Mr Wilson Oe from Workforce Singapore, Dr Riina Viitala, Executive Director, APAC, Aalto University Executive Education, Mr Lasse Leponiemi, HundrED, and Mr Topi Ahava, Claned Group.
The day finished with networking opportunities within the participants.
See more pictures here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/148751612@N04/albums/72157688086509051