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Headlines for January 22-28, 2022

In this week’s headlines: Singapore plans to screen kids as young as two months for learning and development issues; Estonia plans to close many small, rural schools in favor of large regional schools; Finland is leveraging education to help meet its goal of relying entirely on renewable energy and products; and the Netherlands will offer yearly lifelong learning grants to all current workers, job seekers and entrepreneurs.

​​Singapore Will Screen Children as Young as Two Months for Developmental Issues

Singapore is piloting a new program to screen children as young as two months old for learning and development issues, in partnership with its preschools. The program, called Mission I’mPossible 2, builds on the existing Development Support and Learning Support Program that screens five- and six-year-old children. Mission I’mPossible 2 will assign teams of specialists, including therapists, nurses, early interventionists, and social workers, to participating preschools to help establish a systematic approach to screening and intervention for all young children. According to the pilot organizers, the program is intended to demonstrate “how education, healthcare, and social services can be integrated and delivered within the community.” Read more at Channel News Asia.

Singapore Preschoolers

Estonia Aims to Close Small Secondary Schools


Estonia will offer payments to local governments to close secondary schools serving fewer than 100 students. This includes about a quarter of all secondary schools in the country and the national government wants to reduce that number. If the local government accepts the payment and closes the doors of a school, the national government will take on the responsibility of educating students in that locality in larger regional schools. Estonia’s plan is in response to a declining population of students in rural areas, as well as an effort to ensure that all secondary students have a full range of course options and that all teachers are able to work full-time. Read more at BNN News.

Education at the Forefront of Finland’s Transition to a Renewable Economy

Finland’s goal of relying entirely on renewable energy and products is being implemented across all parts of society, including its schools. For example, Finnish primary school students are conducting research on innovative new methods to repurpose plastic and teachers are generating curriculum materials on sustainable business practices. It’s all part of the Nordic country’s economic goal to be carbon neutral by 2050, which it set five years ago. Additionally, Finland’s higher education, adult education, and vocational sectors are incorporating work-based learning on renewable products and resources. Read more about the various ways Finland’s plan is taking shape in education in Time.


Dutch Workers to Get Lifelong Learning Grants

netherlands job interview

Dutch workers will be able to get 1,000 euro a year for training to upgrade their job skills. The “lifelong” learning grant program will launch in March and will be available to all current workers, job seekers and entrepreneurs. The grants can be spent on specific job training, or courses in fields such as communication or leadership, so long as they provide a certificate. The government expects a few hundred thousand workers, and entrepreneurs to access the grants each year. The program will, as designers see it, boost job retention or increase the likelihood of workers finding better jobs. Read more in JDSupra Legal News.