Timing of school summer holidays may be changed in future
Kirsi Lindroos, the Director General of the National Board of Education, demanded on Wednesday that the timing of school summer holidays be changed.
Lindroos reasons that families would have more time to spend together during the summer if school lasted until Midsummer and pupils went back to work from the beginning of September. At present, children are on vacation from the beginning of June to mid-August.
Minister of Education Tuula Haatainen does not yet support the idea, but has promised that the ministry will look into the question next year.
Haatainen observed that such a change would affect so many things that it would be quite difficult to carry out. For example, the entrance exams of universities would need to be held much later, mainly in July.
The change might also make it necessary to switch to a three-semester school year, as the fall and spring semesters would otherwise be very different in length.
A change to the summer vacation rhythm has been brought up from time to time over the years. Lindroos says that the needs of children, families, and teachers would be better satisfied if vacations started at Midsummer.
July has traditionally been the main holiday month in Finland, but as the majority of Europe vacations in August, many Finns now need to follow the same rhythm.
A survey conducted last year by the National Board of Education revealed that the summer holidays of parents are beginning to shift towards the later part of the summer. Also, meteorologists confirm that August is regularly warmer than June in Finland these days. Though June is an attractive month, with abundant light, the waters in lakes are often too cold to swim in before Midsummer.