Minister of Education Sari Sarkomaa wants to see immigrant children spend a year in preschool instead of the current six month semester, reports the newspaper Kaleva. By spending more time in preschool kids would be better equipped to start elementary school as they will have had more time to become immersed in both Finnish language and culture, says Sarkomaa.
Sarkomaa points out that currently 20 percent of immigrant kids don't get a secondary education. She says she believes this discrepancy can be stamped out already ahead of elementary school.
Special preschool programmes for immigrant kids are financed by the state, whereas municipalities make the practical arrangements.
In addition to improving immigrant kids' readiness to start school, another educational priority for the government is ensuring that no comprehensive school graduate is left without a secondary school placement.