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August 15, 2013

Chancellor of Justice Issues Resolution on Home Education

By Juhani Paavolainen

Following a disappointing ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court, homeschoolers in Finland were encouraged by a resolution issued by Finland’s Chancellor of Justice, Mr. Jaakko Jonkka, that supports homeschoolers and the position of Suomen kotiopettajat, the Finnish Home Educators Association.

While the Chancellor cannot change a decision issued by a court of law, his resolution issued on June 13.2013 (Okv 437/1/2011) takes a firm stand to protect the constitutional right to homeschool in Finland. Mr. Jonkka states that the court must consider the arguments presented by Suomen kotiopettajat as noteworthy in future cases. We are hopeful that the ultimate result of our appeal to the Supreme Court may turn out differently.

The resolution also corrects the Ministry of Education and Culture by clarifying that the public information on their website must reflect the law, even if the website is not legally binding on municipalities. For some time, since our meeting in November 2011 with past Director General of the Finnish National Board of Education (FNBE), Mr. Timo Lankinen, the FNBE has been willing to guarantee homeschoolers the same rights as those going to public school. However, their superior, the Ministry, has not agreed. The Chancellor’s statement addresses this issue and takes a step forward toward its resolution.

Suomen kotiopettajat now seeks an opportunity to discuss the resolution with the Minister of Education and Science, Ms. Krista Kiuru, and find a positive atmosphere for home education in Finland.

Juhani Paavolainen is chairman of Suomen kotiopettajat, the national Home Educators Association in Finland.

 More Information

Learn more by visiting HSLDA’s Finland page.