Ministry of Education and Culture engaged 120 000 school children to tell their wishes on hobbies

Approximately 120 000 schoolchildren shared their interests into the arts, culture, and sports classes in schools. According to the results, children share wide and multidisciplinary interests into culture, arts and sports. The brainstorming is related to one of Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government’s key projects; the project aims to increase sport, culture, and art activities in basic education.

The majority of school children wish to have more recreational classes. In addition, they would like to use the school’s facilities and equipment more for their independent activities.

The most interesting areas mentioned were dance (parkour, street- and show dance), music (playing music, music technology, choir singing), as well as photography. When it comes to sports, the school children were most interested in ice and snow sports, swimming and ball games.

The brainstorming was targeted to more than half a million school children. It was the most extensive national survey conducted for basic education students. In total 118 160 children, from 230 municipalities responded to the survey. 59 400 were girls and 58 700 boys.

“It is amazing to hear how many different arts and culture activities students are interested in,” says the Minister of Education and Culture Mrs. Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.

Listening to children’s wishes was the first step in this government key project. Now, since the results are out, the money is distributed on the basis of these wishes. Art and cultural service providers may apply for grants for organizing hobby classes in schools and nearby cultural premises.

Students were also asked what extra-curricular hobbies they had had during their school years. The most popular hobbies outside school were music (playing an instrument), visual arts, dance and handicrafts. In physical activities most popular were ball games, ice and snow sports, as well as swimming.

Changing the operating culture with the key Project

“The objective of the project is to change the operational model. It aims to bring arts and culture inside the schools – not the other way around. At the same time, we want to increase the use of school facilities in the afternoons for recreational arts and culture use”, says negotiating official Iina Berden from the Ministry of Education and Culture.

“The accessibility of children’s culture and teaching of arts is unevenly distributed in different parts of the country. At the same time, the objective is to increase children’s creativity, and make the arts, culture and sports activities more diverse during the school day.”

Fountain Park carried out the project utilizing online Virtual Brainstorming service.

Each participating school and municipality received information about the students’ areas of interest. The results of the survey were published on the website of the Ministry. Results were also forwarded to the art and culture service providers who may apply for subsidies from the Ministry for organizing activities in schools and on nearby premises.

Further information: Tuomo Lähdeniemi and Janne Jauhiainen