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The principles for providing education are updated every five years.

WORKING GROUP 2010 Alaraudanjoki Leila Korhonen Risto Lassila Antti Pasma Esa Rautajoki Harri Vakkuri Kari Virkkunen Hannu Vuorisalo Mari V채h채aho Irmeli


Director of education School planner Service manager Headmaster Rector Rector Rector Course planner Special and immigrant education co-ordinator



I. UNIFORM COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL AND MULTIFACETED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS 1. School network 2. Learning environment safety 3. Study, instruction materials and study materials 4. Information and communication technology

6 6 7 7

II. PROVIDING EDUCATION AND INSTRUCTION 1. Student placement 2. Transport 3. Class/group size 4. Instruction for groups with different languages and cultures 5. Instruction hours and lesson hour framework 6. A2 language

8 9 10 11 12 13

1. General, enhanced and special support 2. Student and health care services 3. Afternoon activities 4. Clubs 5. Co-operation with the home, participation and influence

14 14 16 16 16

IV. FRAMEWORK FACTORS 1. Economy 2. Assessment 3. Personnel 4. Management

17 17 17 18


PRINCIPLES FOR THE PROVISION OF BASIC EDUCATION jointly by the administrative organisation and The City of Rovaniemi has drafted its stratSchool Service Centre. A service agreement egy programme for 2010–2013. A changing specifies the annual areas for development operating environment and future challenges and focal points as well as the quality, quanform the basis of the city strategy. The Detity and price of services being provided. partment of Education promotes the realisation of vision and success factors in its own operations. RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES Instruction services are based on the 1. Promoting resident well-being steering by contract model, in which the 2. Strengthening the competitiveness and viBoard of Education serves as the commistality of businesses and the Rovaniemi region. sioner and the School Service Centre serves as the provider. The Board of Education decides on such ECONOMY matters as the service network, curriculum ROVANIEMI’S VISION 3. Balancing the city’s economy and economic framework and is responsi4. Profitability of municipal enterprise Creatively Laplander, ble for ensuring the quality of services. 5. Profitability of the service system genuinely international, The School Service Centre proRovaniemi is a growing cenvides services either in house or tre of wide-ranging services by outsourcing them from other PERSONNEL and unlimited possibilities. 8. Developing management, per providers. sonnel policy, personnel skills The School Service Centre and well-being. allows for individual and group learning in a safe, modern and participative learning environment and it supports its STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES clients in the challenges encountered in 6. Smoothness and quality of customer and learning, growth and community. service processes 7. Functionality of the control system Educational services are developed



- Students: 5,500

- Hospital and training school

- School districts: 4

- In afternoon activities: 450

- Comprehensive schools (Grades 1–6): 19

- Teachers: 414

- Comprehensive schools (Grades 7–9): 2

- Avg. group size: 20.9

- Comprehensive schools (Grades 1–9): 5

- Placement for further education: 99%

Uniform learning path Basic education is an entity in which students are given a whole, safe and uniform learning path for the entire duration of their time in comprehensive school. Our school network is developed by establishing uniform comprehensive schools, and the close co-operation between early childhood education and the upper secondary level builds a uniform chain for the entire school career. In our schools students receive an education in accordance with the set curriculum. Our goal is to achieve learning results above the national average and ensure that all students go on to complete further education. We provide children and youths with highquality and wide-ranging learning environ-

ments, in which each student can study according to their own learning requirements. We promote well-being with a proactive approach, starting early and working across multiple disciplines. A local school philosophy at the regional level, inclusive education and instruction, and a strong partnership in education are the cornerstones of growth, learning and going to school. Our approach to education enhances student participation and activity.

Principles for the provision of basic education The principles for the provision of basic education establish a framework for the Board of Education and define the standard of quality.

The principles are approved for a period of five years at a time and their implementation is monitored at assessment points specified in a service agreement. The principles are formed based on city strategy policies and national basic education quality criteria.

In addition to the stipulations made in the Basic Education Act and regulations, the following principles set by the City of Rovaniemi in a decree on the provision of basic education are observed:


I. UNIFORM COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL AND MULTIFACETED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS The basis for the provision of basic education is that basic education is an entity in which each student is guaranteed a uniform and logically progressing learning path, from preschool education through to completion of the entire comprehensive level course of study. Basic education offers a uniform curriculum, regardless of what kind of administrative units the education is being provided in. Learning environments should support student growth, learning and health, they should be safe and ensure the best possible learning results. High-quality and multifaceted learning environments promote student creativity, social skills, innovation and problem-solving skills as well as develop information management skills. The various aspects of sustainable development (ecological, economic, social, and cultural) are used to establish well-being in a safe, participative and pluralistic school. In the design of school facilities, attention is given to the needs of different user groups, the adaptability of spaces, flexibility, comfort and aesthetics. Facilities should offer flexible instruction solutions, allow for the use of different working approaches and instructional materials, and support the use of information


and communication technologies in routine school work.

1) School network The basis of the school network is regionalisation. Rovaniemi is divided into four school districts: Keskusta-Ounasjoki, Alakemijoki, Ounasvaara and Saarenkylä. In examining and developing the school network, attention is given to development of the entire school district and number of students, the availability and quality of education, and equal educational opportunities for all students. The school network is developed by establishing uniform schools for grades 1–9, where the number of students allows for the formation of units that are economically and pedagogically adequate in scale. Basic solutions for school units are (1 series = 1 class per age group): • Comprehensive school (Grades 1–6) 1–3 series • Comprehensive school (Grades 7–9) 4–8 series • Comprehensive school (Grades 1–9) 3 series

(lower grades 2–3 series, upper grades 3–4 series) Grades 1–6 and 7–9 avoid the formation of school units larger than those mentioned above by establishing uniform schools for grades 1–9. The basic solution for village schools is to have at least 35 students. Smaller school units can also be maintained where pedagogical reasons and the distance travelled to school so require. Neighbouring municipalities work in co-operation. School facilities are used in a variety of ways. Co-operative arrangements between the school and cultural, sports and youth bodies as well as daycare facilities and adult education centres are developed as a natural part of the school buildings and facilities. In designing new and developing existing residential areas, the education provider works in co-operation with zoning and community building.

2) Learning environment safety “A pupil participating in education shall be entitled to a safe learning environment”

(Basic Education Act, section 29). In order to promote the comprehensive well-being of each student, it is important that they feel a sense of belonging with the social community of the school and their class, that they enjoy a sense of security and trust in the school, and that they receive positive feedback from both teachers and their peers. A positive atmosphere and culture in the school promote learning and work. Safety and well-being are fostered in co-operation by several different administrative bodies and occupational groups as well as between the home and school. Schools work in early and open co-operation, with an eye toward anticipatory and proactive approaches. Schools are part of the national anti-bullying programme, KiVa. Attention is given to information and Internet security. The education provider has drafted an education service emergency preparedness plan for all school units (Emergency Powers

Act, section 40) for dealing with crisis and emergency situations, in addition to which all schools must have a plan and guidelines for preventing bullying and monitoring absences. Each and every unit must have its own emergency rescue plan. These plans are reviewed every year and drills are held regularly for real-life crisis situations. The property owner is responsible for any necessary maintenance and repairs on school buildings and facilities. Property owners must actively work in co-operation with the schools.

3) Study, instruction materials and study materials Study, instruction materials as well as study materials support the achievement of curriculum goals, allow for the use of specialised and multifaceted work approaches, and are in good condition and up-to-date.

Quality instruction requires a sufficient per-student appropriation for the purchasing of textbooks and materials as well as school supplies.

4) Information and communication technology The possibilities offered by technology, information and communication technology and digital learning environments are utilised in learning and instruction. Distance and e-learning create new, more effective and more productive operating approaches. Conventional teaching is supplemented by innovative new pedagogical solutions that make use of technology. These ensure the availability and equality of education. City-specific goals are being further defined in line with national recommendations made in 2010 concerning the use of information and communication technology in school routines.


II. PROVIDING EDUCATION AND INSTRUCTION According to section 2 of the Basic Education Act: “The purpose of education referred to in this Act is to support pupils’ growth into humanity and into ethically responsible membership of society and to provide them with knowledge and skills needed in life...”A student-oriented service process that produces excellent learning results is made possible by a local school philosophy at the regional level, inclusive education and a sufficient lesson hour framework.

1) Student placement The student’s place of education is determined in accordance with section 6 of the Basic Education Act, in addition to which their school observes the following: School placement for students beginning school Primary admission: City of Rovaniemi school services are divided into four districts, which also serve as admissions districts, whose boundaries determine what the student’s local school will be. A local school is primarily the school located closest to the student’s home. If there are


several candidate local schools, the placement is determined based on the overall situation. The basis for this is that class sizes in different schools are to be kept as similar as possible. An exception to this is the University of Lapland training school, due to its mandate as a teacher training institution. Students requiring special support can be assigned to a school in a different admissions district, if the necessary education cannot be provided within their own district. Students are admitted to schools that provide the special education they require. A student may be admitted to another school if the school in their admissions district is not suitable for them due to health reasons. This is to be indicated in a physician or school psychologist statement. Special needs and health-related factors are taken into consideration in assigning the primary school.

student placement needs. Students from outside the admissions district can be admitted if the child in question has siblings in the same comprehensive school at the same time or there is a pedagogical justification for changing schools. If there is no space in the secondary school, secondary school applicants will be placed on a waiting list according to their criteria (siblings, pedagogical justification). If any space becomes available before school starts or during the school year, those places will be filled in list order. However, any student moving to the district before this process begins will be accepted ahead of those applying for secondary school placement. If a student is placed based on their application, the guardian will be responsible for making the necessary transport arrangements.

Secondary admission:

Transition to secondary school Primary admission:

Admission to a secondary school applies to mainstream students. Each school first admits students from its own district and then those from other districts, if there is space in classes after considering the district’s own

In comprehensive schools that have a primary and a secondary school students move up to the seventh grade in the same school. In other schools students move to secondary school on the basis of student placement

approved by the service committee (27 November 2006, article 474). The basis for this is that class sizes in different schools are to be kept as similar as possible. Students from all city schools may apply to visual arts classes at the Rantavitikka comprehensive school. The student’s guardian is responsible for making the necessary transport arrangements.

instance, the student wishes to stay in a school in another district, an application for doing so must be submitted to the School Service Centre. If a student is placed based on their application, the guardian will be responsible for making the necessary transport arrangements.

Secondary admission:

If a student moves to another school district, the student will primarily be assigned to their own new school district, provided that there is space. However, the student has the right to finish out the school year in their old school. In such cases, the guardian is responsible for making the necessary transport arrangements.

The education provider may also assign the student to a school other than that within their own district, if that student cannot be placed due to class size or lack of classroom facilities. The education provider can assign the student to another local school, if the school in the student’s own district cannot provide them with the specialised support they require (special education decision). A student may be assigned to another school, if the school in their own district is not suitable for them due to health reasons (indicated by a physician or school psychologist statement). Students who moved or transferred to a school in another district during their lower stage studies will be assigned to seventh grade when transferring places in accordance with the local school principle. However, if, in the above-mentioned

Changing school during the school year

2) Transport Getting to school ”Education shall be arranged in municipalities so as to make pupils’ travel to and from school as safe and short as possible in view of the habitation, the location of schools and other places of education, and public transportation... The local authority shall assign to a child of compulsory school age and others receiving education under this Act a neighbourhood school or some other ap-


propriate place where education is given...” (Basic Education Act, section 6) “...(If the distance to school for) a pupil in basic education, in additional voluntary education or in pre-primary education (exceeds five kilometres) ...the pupil shall be entitled to free transportation when the travel referred to above is too difficult, strenuous or dangerous in view of the pupil’s age or other circumstances. An alternative to free transportation is an adequate subsidy for transporting or accompanying the pupil to school.” (Basic Education Act, section 32(1)) The distance to school is measured according to the shortest possible route from one public road/street intersection to an equivalent road/street intersection at the school along public roads, light traffic routes, pedestrian roads, or sidewalks. In addition to the above, children in grades 1 and 2 living in the City of Rovaniemi are entitled to free transport or financial support sufficient for their transport/escort, if the distance to the school is more than three kilometres. The guardian is responsible for making the necessary transport arrangements and costs if their child will be attending a school other than the one assigned by the city.


Time spent getting to school The school transport arrangements ensure compliance with statutory time limits (Basic Education Act, section 32(2)): • Grades 1–6: 2.5 hours/day, with the normative goal being no more than 2 hours. • Grades 7–9 and special-needs students: 3 hours/day Furthermore, the arrangements ensure the safety of vehicles and routes used. School route planning is done in co-operation with the public utilities department and in conjunction with the Koululiitu programme.

3) Class/group size The size of school classes is regulated in the Basic Education Decree (section 2). The class size specified in the decree applies only to the placement of special-needs, transfer or extension students of compulsory school age. The recommended maximum class size specified in basic education quality criteria is 20–25 students. The quality criteria also state that the class size should be reduced according to how many students require special assis-

tance as well as how many have different language and cultural backgrounds. The goal is to get class sizes in line with the quality criteria recommendations. The goal is 20–23 students beginning lower stage comprehensive school classes and 23–25 students beginning seventh grade. Maximum class sizes are as follows: • Grades 1–3: maximum 25 students • Grades 4–9: maximum 28 students If the maximum size of an individual class must be temporarily exceeded, the class will be assigned additional resources to allow for additional class divisions in certain subjects. In determining class size attention is also given to how many students requiring special assistance and how many students with different language and cultural backgrounds will be in the class. Class size is given consideration on a case-by-case basis for instruction in combined classes or when provided together with pre-school instruction. Class sizes should be such that they allow: teachers to address learning and school difficulties at an early stage; the diversification of teaching and work approaches; the development of innovative and creative learning environments; and taking the different talents and skills of students into consideration. Smaller class sizes also allow for a

peaceful working environment and enhance interaction between the home and school.

4) Instruction for groups with different languages and cultures PInstruction preparing for basic education is offered to students who have just moved to the country, primarily for one year. Preparatory education classes are dispersed in different primary and secondary schools. After completing their preparatory education, the student continues their education at a local school. The goal is to have preparatory education class sizes of approximately 10 students. Immigrant students are given instruction in Finnish as a second language either entirely or partly replacing Finnish as a school subject. If necessary, basic education is supported by KOTA instruction in primary and secondary schools. Native language, Sami and Roma instruction given as a supplement to basic education is offered whenever possible, provided that the starting class size is at least 4 students (Ministry of Education Decree 29 December 2009). Instruction in one’s own religion shall be provided if the guardian demands it (Basic Education Act, section 13).


5) Instruction hours and lesson hour framework The amount of instruction provided to the student is based on a distribution of lesson hours as specified in Government Decree 1435 and approved in connection with the school curriculum. In Rovaniemi 20 hours of instruction is provided for grades 1–2, 24 hours for grades 3–4, 25 hours for grades 5–6, 30 hours for grades 7–8 and 31 hours for grade 9. There is one more weekly lesson per year for grades 1–6 and grade 9 than specified in the Government Decree. The lesson hour framework, i.e. the weekly number of lesson hours, is based on the total number of lesson hours specified in the curriculum lesson hour distribution decision and the resources allocated for basic education in the city council budget. The School Service Centre distributes the lesson hour framework to school units. The number of lesson hours used for student instruction is distributed among schools on an annual basis. The distribution is based on the number of students, pedagogical principles and other factors affecting the quality of instruction. In addition, schools are given sufficient resources for A2-language instruction, general, special and enhanced support, instruction in religions other than


the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church and ethics, and special assignments specified in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. The lesson hour framework is one of the most important control measures for schools.

6) A2 language Wide-ranging language skills and a knowledge of foreign cultures are part of general education. Workplace requirements also place an emphasis on strong language skills. Language instruction meets these requirements with a sufficient instruction scope, quality and variety of languages. Targets are achieved by offering an adequately extensive language programme and by the high quality of language instruction at both the comprehensive and upper secondary school level. A2-language (elective language beginning in grade 5) instruction is offered within the framework of the following conditions: • class size must be at least 10 students when forming the class (classes may be smaller for Sami language students) • depending on the annual financial situation, joint language classes with other schools are possible • the selection of language does not entitle the student to school transport –

the guardian is responsible for making the necessary transport arrangements A2-language classes can also be offered as a distance learning option. Distance learning classes are offered between one or two schools, according to the equipment and personnel resources available. Distance learning places an emphasis on the opportunities and requirements of a multiform learning environment, such as learning new technology environments and operating cultures as well as committing the student to a different type of work approach. Distance learning environments are developed particularly for expanding the educational offering in sparsely populated areas. The goal of the learning environment philosophy is to develop operating models and work approaches that more effectively support learning in schools and educational institutions as well as outside them. Another key aspect of diversifying the educational offering is the development of e-learning. The possibilities offered by the Internet are also applied in making real-life language situations a part of foreign language instruction and study.


III. PROMOTING LEARNING, GROWTH AND WELL-BEING In addition to its knowledge competence targets, schools should more effectively promote the development of student general well-being, emotional health, social skills, and ethical and aesthetic skills. Strengthening a positive attitude towards school and making school a community that promotes the well-being of children and youth are crucial. Schools play a key role in identifying problems at an early stage and prevention, working in co-operation with other actors. Schools also have an important mandate as a community builder, both within the school and with society at large.

ceives high quality education according to their level of development as well as any necessary general, enhanced or special support, which is provided in mainstream education whenever possible. Primarily, instruction is provided in accordance with the local school principle in a class assigned based on the student’s natural abilities or a small group in a local school or at the regional or municipal level. The decision on providing special support is usually made only after offering enhanced support.

1) General, enhanced and special support

Student welfare comprehends student welfare included in the curriculum and student welfare services, which includes school health care compliant with the Primary Health Care Act and educational support compliant with the Child Welfare Act. Student welfare is overseen by all adults working in the school community and advisers responsible for student welfare. Student welfare management and the division of responsibilities among various

Basic education support services are organised in such a way that each student receives adequate and timely support for learning and growth. The form of support given to the student is determined by means of flexible instruction arrangements in accordance with the individual needs of the student. Each student in basic education re-


2) Student and health care services

parties is specified in each municipal strategy for student welfare. Each school has a multidisciplinary student welfare group, which organises, develops and assesses student welfare work together with social welfare and health care employees. The schools draft an annual student welfare action plan. Support for learning, growth and well-being should be more effectively transferred to early intervention and preventive measures. School curators and school psychologists serve as special personnel in working with psychosocial student welfare at schools. The focal point for student welfare is early intervention and preventive measures, working in co-operation with other actors. National quality recommendations are taken into consideration in providing student welfare services: • 600 students/school curator or school psychologist • 250 students/guidance counsellor • 600 students/school health care nurse


3) Afternoon activities In accordance with section 48a of the Basic Education Act, the city organises afternoon activities. The goal is to place all students in grades 1 and 2 and special-needs students in grades 1–3 in afternoon activities. Afternoon activities are provided in cooperation with the third sector. In villages the activities can also be provided in cooperation with a daycare facility or school. The action plan is approved by the Board of Education every year.

4) Clubs The goal of clubs is to provide multifaceted recreational activities that support the development of children and young people and become an established part of their afternoon routine as well as deepen the level of co-operation between home and school. A national goal is to revitalise school club functions, re-establishing them as part of the school’s daily routine so that each and every child has the chance to participate in at least one club activity for the entire duration of their basic education. Club activities can be organised by the school’s own personnel as well as in cooperation with the third sector. The goal of


club functions is continuity and regularity.

5) Co-operation with the home, participation and influence An emphasis is placed on co-operation between home and school, the board and surrounding community, strong partnership in education and mutual appreciation in providing support for the growth, development and learning of children and young people. Co-operation between home and school should be multifaceted, regular and adequate in relation to each student’s individual needs. Successful co-operation requires the commitment of all involved parties. In terms of child and youth well-being, it is crucial that guardians demonstrate respect for their child’s education, show an appreciation of the school and teachers’ work, and participate in co-operation between home and school. The curriculum specifies and defines the goals, approaches and content of co-operation between home and school. Schools use an open, interactive approach, which supports student participation and influence, a good working atmosphere and co-operative learning. Students are given the opportunity to participate in addressing matters related to them, and enhancing the degree of participation is seen as a significant factor in establishing a good

working atmosphere at the school. Student body functions are systematic and goal-oriented. Student, family and local community participation is emphasised in the development of the school’s operating framework. Regular feedback is used to keep track of the school’s working atmosphere as experienced by students and faculty.

IV. FRAMEWORK FACTORS Schools have a clearly-defined shared objective. All school personnel have a clear idea of their basic mission and goals. The focus is placed on promoting learning and well-being as well as on good scholastic performance. Measures geared toward promoting learning, the continuous development of personnel, and investing in co-operation between home and school are emphasised in operations. In addition to legislation, the provision and development of education is also affected in many ways by the prevailing economic situation and technological development. Current social issues and national education development policies are taken into consideration in basic education. From an economic standpoint, basic education is an investment in the future.

1) Economy Basic education is provided under the terms specified in the service agreement. Operational economy and influence are taken into consideration in applying the principles of providing basic education. Financial resources are targeted optimally to achieve set goals. School units are required to be

self-governing, ensure their own operational performance and, in particular, assess their economy and efficiency. Comparison of medium-sized cities is used as a yardstick in assessing the economy of basic education services.

2) Assessment “An education provider shall evaluate the education it provides and its impact and take part in external evaluations of its operations.� (Basic Education Act, section 21(2)) The assessment system is used to collect and analyse data to serve as a basis for educational policy decision-making and educational development, to improve the learning conditions for students, and to support the work of Board of Education personnel and develop schools. Assessment is a measurement of performance, in which operational influence, economy and efficiency are taken into consideration. Assessment is done systematically and regularly, taking a wide variety of factors into account and comparing data. Assessment planning, execution and application of results is open and transparent.

Criteria, goals and indicators must be known by all parties. The assessment system is comprised of City Council, service agreement and schoolspecific assessments. In council assessments, attention is given to the realisation of educational policy goals as well as the efficiency, economy and influence of basic education services. The service agreement scorecard and figures are used by the education provider to evaluate and develop its operations. In school-specific assessments, attention is given to the assessment targets specified by the education provider, and operations are systematically developed based on the data collected.

3) Personnel Teachers and other staff, who are qualified, fulfil all qualification requirements and are responsible for the needs of each school function, are the single most important resource for education and its development. A high level of professional skill and its maintenance are considered prerequisites for excellence. The professional expertise of teachers is central to the quality of education


and learning results. Education is a continuous, long-term process, which is defined in the School Service Centre educational plan. The goal of continuing education is regularity and inclusion of the operative unit and all school services in the development plan. Self-motivated education is supported whenever possible. The City of Rovaniemi personnel strategy is observed in all personnel policy guidelines.

4) Management The key mandate of the Board of Education and of the school board is to promote the values of basic education and realisation of the fundamental educational tasks as well as to establish good, balanced conditions for learning. In management it is important to identify community strengths and areas needing improvement. Recruiting, developing expertise, an encouraging, participative and interactive operating approach, building trust and active co-operation with key stakeholder groups are vital areas in management. Pedagogical management is the focal point in managing school operations. The development of experimental, reformative and innovative education is encouraged. Leadership is supported and developed through, for example, training. The Board of Education and school board


should keep abreast of national educational policy targets and development guidelines. Operational management and planning are guided by administrative and executive regulations, a delegation matrix and the School Service Centre service provision strategy. Good administrative practices are used in the management of operations.

Sources Jurva, S. Kangasvieri, A. & Välijärvi, J. 2009. Kuntaperustaisen koulutusjärjestelmän kehittäminen. Suomen Kuntaliitto. Helsinki. Kangasharju, A. 2008. Tuottavuus osana tuloksellisuutta. Kuntaliitto. Ministry of Education 2007. Koulutus ja tutkimus 2007–2012. Kehittämissuunnitelma. Ministry of Education 2009. Perusopetuksen laatukriteerit. Opetusministeriön julkaisuja 2009:19. Finnish National Board of Education 2004. Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet 2004. Basic Education Decree 20.11.1998/852. Basic Education Act 21.8.1998/628. City of Rovaniemi 2009. Budget 2010 and economic plan for 2011–2013. Municipal strategy. Ministry of the Interior 2010. Oppilaitosten turvallisuus. Sisäasianministeriön julkaisuja 40/2009. Helsinki. Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities Sivistyksen suunta – Suomen kuntaliiton sivistyspoliittinen ohjelma. Helsinki.


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Principles for the provision of basic education