Teachers and children are some of the first to resume their daily routines in the wake of eased COVID-19 restrictions.

PIcture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

On May 14, the early years, primary and lower secondary education resumed classes. However, the decision to reopen schools even in a controlled and gradual manner has sparked worries amongst pupils, parents and teachers.

For teachers, pressure may escalate as they try to adapt to new measures in the classroom and try their best to keep everyone safe. In Finland, most teachers are part of the Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ), which aims to negotiate and protect the interests of those working in the education sector. With its members now working remotely, the OAJ will have to adapt to the new regulations.

Before contact learning was resumed, virtual teaching presented its own set of challenges. For example, some children lack computers to attend virtual classes and, in those cases, it has proved difficult to contact them and their parents. In these cases, some schools have lent computers to children. For students with special needs, virtual learning has also been difficult. There seems no easy way out as children must continue their education; however, will the reopening of schools bring even bigger, long-lasting challenges and consequences?

We spoke with Nina Lahtinen, the education policy manager for OAJ, and she shared with us some of the concerns regarding the reopening of schools.