Parents in Jyväskylä are relieved that local education officials decided against discontinuing heritage language services in order to cut costs. The city’s board of education said on Wednesday evening that it had proposed 3.2 million euros in additional funding for education in next year’s budget.
"I got cold chills and I think I read somewhere that it was a unanimous decision. And that means to me that across the political spectrum, people are growing to understand the importance of education. Education is our future," Jyväskylä parent Sara Robinson-Moncada told the All Points North podcast.
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Parents in Jyväskylä had been up in arms over the proposal to save money by dropping services to teach children the languages they speak at home that are not Finnish, Swedish or Sámi. City officials hoped to save nearly 60,000 euros by cutting the programme, the majority of which was funded by the central government (80 percent). The decision would have affected roughly 400 children studying 25 languages in 72 groups.
Wednesday’s outcome is not the final word on the matter however, as the city council will next consider the education board’s budget proposal and decide whether or not to accept it.
Benefits for unemployed foreign residents
APN also looked at unemployed foreign residents who say they are reluctant to claim jobless benefits in Finland over fears they may lose the right to stay here. Because of the coronavirus crisis, immigration authority Migri relaxed income requirements so that recipients of the 724-euro monthly unemployment benefit would still be eligible to remain in Finland. The new rules will be in force until the end of the year.
Benefits agency Kela also sought to reassure recipients that it does not automatically share information about its customers’ jobless status.
"We don’t actually provide the immigration authorities with information automatically that people have contacted us or applied for benefits. We get information about people’s residence status but it doesn’t go the other way around," Kela’s head of international relations and centre of excellence Suvi Rasimus told APN.
Meanwhile UK citizens resident in Finland should know that Migri has opened up appointments for Brexit residence permit applicants. Appointments will initially be available from 1 October until the end of the year, but applications can be submitted until 30 September 2021 under the Withdrawal Agreement.
APN also looked at new face mask guidelines announced on Thursday as well as Finns’ relaxed attitude to facial protection and the struggle to bring Tom of Finland’s iconic gay erotica to an art exhibition in Japan.
This week's show was presented by Denise Wall and Egan Richardson, produced by Priya Ramachandran D'souza and Ronan Browne and the audio engineer was Anders Johansson.
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