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Responsible for the service Education Division, Helsinki

Instruction preparing for basic education

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service

Preparatory instruction (valmistava opetus) is provided for children and young people with an immigrant background who do not yet know enough Finnish to be able to study in Finnish.

At preparatory instruction, the pupils study Finnish and the key concepts of the other subjects. A study programme is made for every pupil. Pupils will take part in instruction in other subjects during their preparatory education, based on their skills.

A pupil can get instruction preparing for basic education for a maximum of one year. Once the pupil has sufficient language skills, they can transfer to comprehensive education. Their class will depend on their age and skills. Applications for preparatory instruction are made using a form. You can print out the form or order it from the Education Sector’s information service. You can also fill out the form at the information service.

To whom and on what terms

Instruction preparing for basic education may be given to pupils with an immigrant background whose Finnish and Swedish skills and other capabilities are not adequate for studying in pre-primary and basic education groups.

The service is free of charge.

Background information

Instruction preparing immigrants or children with an immigrant background for basic education promotes integration, language proficiency and learning of the content areas of subjects. Potential studies of the pupil’s native language promote learning skills and reinforce cultural identity as well as lay a foundation for learning Finnish and/or Swedish.

For pupils aged 6 to 10 years, a minimum of 900 hours of this instruction is provided, and for pupils older than this, a minimum of 1,000 hours. Pupils participating in the instruction have the right to transfer to basic education even before these hours have been completed if permitted by their skills and capabilities. Municipalities organise instruction preparing immigrants for basic education on a voluntary basis.

Basic information

The service is provided byCity of Helsinki
Responsible for the serviceEducation Division, Helsinki
Area Helsinki
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish, English
Text edited by: Education Division, Helsinki
Updated: 25/5/2022