Olli Luukkainen: A better future demands constant investment in education

16.05.2018 - 17:00 News

Education is in the core of each civilized and progress striving nation, said Olli Luukkainen in his opening speech of the OAJ Council's spring meeting.

OAJ president Olli Luukkainen opened the OAJ Council's bi-annual meeting by stressing the importance of investing in education, training and research. 

– Education is in the core of each civilized and progress striving nation. A better future demands constant investment in education, training and research. Financial contributions are important, but they alone are not enough. Especially education requires continuous development of substance as well as methods, Luukkainen said.

This is important, according to Luukkainen, because the society around us changes, but even more important it is, because education, training and research should direct actively the social development.

– Teachers, educators and researchers are to great extent the creators of the future, he said.

Education and training help with solving new issues

What does creating the future require? Olli Luukkainen believes that it requires a strong ethical view of life and a proactive work approach.

Many other major issues in the globalising world, such as the powerful advancement of technology, demographics, food sufficiency, climate change, democratisation and human rights, bring up and to the forefront the importance of education and training as the key solution.

– Offering and securing education opportunities to all citizens regardless of family or financial background or place of residence has been one of Finland’s focal elements of building a democratic well fare society, Olli Luukkainen said.

OAJ needs continuous dialogue both internally and internationally

Adressing both the members of OAJ Council and the international guests from several teacher organizations, Luukkainen said that OAJ’s strength is that nearly all teachers and managers of the education sector are members of the same union.

– It gives us negotiation power to the benefit of our whole membership. 

He pointed out that in a large union there must be space for continuous dialogue. Increasingly important is also continuous international dialogue. 

– OAJ has quite good and active relations with international sister organisations and federations. We have particularly good cooperation with our Nordic colleagues. I would like to thank our international guests for cooperation as well as visiting this initial OAJ Council meeting!

OAJ Council

  • OAJ Council is the highest decision-making OAJ body. Council's 150 members are elected by union vote for four years. 
  • The Council convenes an­nually for a spring and an autumn meeting and, if necessary, in connection with labour-market negotiations. The Executive Board meets once a month.
  • All teacher groups are represented in the Council and in the Executive Board in pro­portion to their membership.
  • Read more on decision making in the OAJ.