Making Vocational Qualifications Count (#102)

by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK

Making it count with TAKK!

Make it count. Such a powerful expression. Familiar to many of us from Titanic and Leonardo di Caprio’s sentence, ”Make each day count”. The expression has slightly varified meanings, but the idea is to make something have a meaningful, useful and positive effect, to count on it to happen and come true.

What is it that we are making count with the Finnish qualifications, globally? This is something that we were actually discussing with Polar Partners just yesterday in the Tampere city centre. What is it that makes our qualifications so special and how to express the effect clearly – twisting the steel wire, as Finns say (väännetään rautalangasta), even though when we are twisting the steel wire, we are really trying to straighten the wire, make it more simple and clear….

Get to point, writer. Finnish qualifications can leave out the prefix Finnish, as female leaders can leave out the female, on this International Women’s Day (my colleague asked a relevant question: when are we celebrating just people, not either men or women?).

Here’s the point.Qualifications back here in the North of Europe and Finland protect the right and opportunity of the student:

  • to have flexible access to education, from whatever the life situation and personal history; to make every path and way of life count; givig us VET teachers the gift, yes, the gift to open doors to education to all those students who wish to enter,
  • to have all the prior learning count when comparing the goals of the qualification to everything that one already masters and has learnt in a lifetime,
  • to make the competence count when entering the workplace, to create the chance to be useful at your own workplace, become an appreciated member of the work community and thus become a true professional.

Can you honestly say, this kind of qualifications won’t make it count outside of good ol’ Finland?

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