Tuesday’s papers: S2 boys’ skills deficit, Centre’s mortgage gamble and a homeless hockey team


Helsingin Sanomat reports this (siirryt toiseen palveluun) to a study suggesting that boys with an immigrant background struggle to get their Finnish or Swedish skills up to par even after two years of primary school.

The Finnish Education Evaluation Center study followed children who entered first grade in 2018 and reassessed their skills in 2020.

The idea is to follow 8,046 students from 274 schools throughout their primary education to see how their skills develop in different subjects. The first report will be published on Tuesday.

There were big differences, he said Annette Ukkolawho co-authored the report.

“In some schools, skills were noticeably better than average, while in others there was little progress,” said Ukkola.

Many of the findings are not that surprising. There is a relationship between the level of education of the parents and the socio-economic situation and the development of skills of children.

Ukkola said boys who spoke Finnish or Swedish as a second language were much slower to develop their skills in that language (regardless of whether their school primarily teaches Finnish or Swedish) than others.

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Some entered third grade with language skills that did not yet match those of some children at the start of first grade.

Ukkola says these so-called S2 children need more support because their writing skills are an important way for them to demonstrate their ability in other subjects – and are therefore key to educational success in general.

These children are usually separated from their native speaking peers and learn Finnish or Swedish in a separate class. This approach has been criticized by some teachers.

Last week, a report from the Ministry of Education suggested that learning outcomes in Finland are ‘deteriorating rapidly’.

Center party campaign

Leader of the Center Party Annika Sarikko The suggestion to do something to help mortgage holders now that interest rates are rising has drawn quite a bit of criticism in the press.

Saarikko has said he is willing to look at restoring the mortgage interest deduction, which was finally abolished this year, if interest rates continue to rise.

suggests Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun) in a commentary that her sudden urge to look at this issue has more to do with parliamentary elections in April than addressing a concrete problem facing the housing market itself.

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This is described by IL as ‘purely political theatre’. Saarikko has said she is willing to evaluate the reinstatement of the deduction, not that she will attempt to reinstate it.

The newspaper says its intention is only to give the impression that the Center Party is the best possible friend of anyone paying off a mortgage.

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Homeless Joker Ride

Jokerit hockey club in Helsinki is sitting out the 2022-2023 season after leaving the Russian KHL league their oligarchic owners signed them up for in 2014.

After Jokerit failed to join Liiga, the top division of Finnish hockey, this season, Jokerit now says they want to play in Mestis from autumn 2023. But there is a catch, which many media reported on Monday.

the oligarchs (Gennady Timchenko and Boris Rotenberg) are now no longer owners of the club, but they still own Jokerit’s home arena in Pasila. No one can use the arena formerly known as Hartwall Arena as it is owned by sanctioned individuals, so Jokerit is effectively homeless.

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Helsinki’s municipal ice hall, where city rival HIFK plays its home games, does not have enough free slots to host Jokerit.

HS reported (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that Espoo and Vantaa’s best venues are also fully booked, leaving Jokerit with a few small, cramped and quite unsatisfying venues to choose from – if the Mestis licensing system would even allow them to play those rinks.

asked Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) Jokerit fans and were happy that the team was able to play on several different rinks over the course of the season, but that probably won’t work out with the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation.

The club told HS it still believes it can get the arena – their previous home – sold to new owners who are not inseparable from the Russian war machine and are happy to rent it out to their team. Whether that happens in time to get a Mestis license remains to be seen.