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Wednesday's papers: Afghans left behind, positive discrimination and companies in schools

Among other topics, papers report that Helsinki's Deputy Mayor for Education said teachers have avoided taking jobs in some districts because of social problems.

Lukiolaiset istuvat pulpeteissa oppitunnilla.
Papers on Wedesday explore commercial interests in education. Image: Elina Niemistö / Yle

The foreign affairs ministry's decision to publicise the name of the local security contractor it used to protect its mission in Kabul has put people's lives in jeopardy, writes Helsingin Sanomat.

Fifty-seven Afghans employed through a local security contractor worked at the Finnish embassy in Kabul. However, Finland evacuated just a fraction of these outsourced workers, noting that it was only helping guards employed in "visible roles" leave the country.

HS writes that Finland did, for example, not evacuate a man who guarded the embassy's gate. He has now sold everything he owns and is moving his family from house to house to avoid being caught by the Taliban.

Positive discrimination?

Helsinki's Deputy Mayor for Education, Nasima Razmyar, tells HS the city may need to raise the pay of teachers working in economically disadvantaged areas, similar to the extra funding schools in poorer neighbourhoods receive.

Razmyar said teachers have started avoiding taking jobs in certain districts because of social problems, noting that 40 percent of families in some areas rely on basic social assistance.

"But it would be lazy to think that throwing money at this problem will solve it. It's really an issue of working conditions and coping at work."

Companies in schools

Business magazine Talouselämä explores the grey area of commercial interests in schools and examines an app intended to teach students financial literacy.

Some 8,500 students in the capital can access the influencer-backed app, ROI, which costs schools 209 euros per month.

While the introduction of commercial apps in schools is a novel phenomenon in Finland, the involvement of corporations in education is not.

Since 2006, the insurance company If has, for example, distributed yellow baseball caps to all first graders.

"Consumer protection laws create obligations for companies, but we don't monitor what happens in schools," said Kristiina Vainio of the Finnnish Competition and Consumer Authority (KVV).

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