22 November 2006

Immigrants and Teachers

Yesterday's Helsingin Sanomat, international edition, had a story on the Finnish government's efforts to recruit immigrants to serve as school teachers. "Increasing numbers of Finnish residents with foreign backgrounds are to be trained as teachers. The University of Helsinki is doubling the quota for new students to be taken into the multicultural class teacher training programme next year. A similar scheme is also under consideration to recruit more immigrants to become kindergarten teachers." Click on the title of this post above to go directly to the story.

The story coincides with my becoming introduced to some people in Oulu who have been working overtime to address the needs of immigrants in this community, and also to try to encourage inter-cultural communication of various kinds. The driving force behind this project is Jacob Matthan, to whom you can be introduced through the blog of the group called CHAFF (the Chamber of Assistance for Finns and Foreigners). Jacob likes to refer to himself as a "Findian," which gives you some sense of the spirit in which he has undertaken this serious work. See the link to Oulu CHAFF over on the right-hand side of this page.