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APN election edition: Li Andersson

Left Alliance leader and Education Minister Li Andersson talks Covid and schools with All Points North.

Left Alliance chair Li Andersson.
Left Alliance leader and Education Minister Li Andersson. Image: Paula Collin / Yle
Yle News

Left Alliance leader and Education Minister Li Andersson told Yle News' All Points North podcast she wouldn't accept Finland's deteriorating Covid situation as a failure of the government, but said that restrictions could have been brought in quicker during the second and third waves of the pandemic.

Andersson noted that "this is where we should have done a better job this past fall," but added "the government is willing to do everything needed to get the number of Covid cases down."

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

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Left Alliance chair Li Andersson on the All Points North Podcast

Officials have postponed local elections over Covid concerns, but primary schools remain open. APN askedAndersson if Finland has done enough to keep schools safe, as it has not introduced mass testing.

"Testing in schools [in Finland] to date has not changed our picture of the situation so far," she told APN.

With many pupils in the country learning remotely this school year, Andersson said the divide between different socio-economic groups was growing.

"The issue we have had to tackle is the lack of support for learning that you see in many families," she explained.

Finland often claims it wants to attract people from abroad, so APN asked Andersson if the education system was prepared to welcome international families. Schools regularly place native English-speaking children in beginners' English classes with Finnish kids.

On this point Andersson urged schools to work with families to find a better solution. "It doesn't sound very useful to put native speakers in beginners' classes," the minister said.

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This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Zena Iovino. It wasproduced by Ronan Browne while the audio engineer was Laura Koso.

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