Finland: Where doing poorly is downgraded unless you’re an immigrant.
This is the soft racism of lower expectations, as well as a fear of being called a bigot.
Immigrant students receive on the report cards in Finnish secondary schools, on an average, even better grades than what the native population earns, even if their real skills are evaluated to be alarmingly poor.
The result is apparent from the National Audit Office’s recent study, showing concern for the migrant pupils’ abilities to cope in Finnish schools.
According to the international PISA study, migrant pupils’ skills are worryingly low in Finland.
Despite the problems, the teachers seem to give young immigrants on average, approximately the same level of grades than pupils belonging to the native population.
For example, the average rating for 9th-grade pupils in mathematics in 2012 among the native population was 7.6.
For second-generation immigrants it was 7.5 and for first-generation immigrants 7,2.
However, in PISA results, students with an immigrant background also did dozens of Pisa points worse.
The same phenomenon was reflected in language and in literature, in whic teachers gave better numbers to second-generation immigrant pupils than to the resident population of pupils on average.
– The result strongly suggests that migrant pupils receiving school grades in mathematics, language and in literature do not reflect their competence level, but students will clearly have better grades in school than their own competence level as compared to the majority population pupils, the study finds.
Researchers are concerned about immigrant children’s actual succeeding in schools.
The migrant pupils’ level of knowledge in a Finnish comprehensive school is clearly weaker than in other European countries, and they are more often left out from secondary education.
– An essential question arises for Finland’s future in how well immigrants integrate get manage in society, says the National Audit Office’s Director General, Thomas Pöysti.