1.9 Current debates and reforms
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The Government Programme has suggested the need for more systematic offer of easily accessible leisure activities for pupils from the grades one to nine of comprehensive school. The so-called “Finnish model for leisure activities” has been planned and piloted since 2020 with the help of a nominated working group, while wishes from the pupils are gathered by a school survey, and the knowhow and contacts of the organisations offer free-time activities for children and young people related to sport, culture and art, amongst others. Funding for organising such activities was offered by the regional state authorities. In autumn 2021, already 235 municipalities have organized such activities with 17 million euros.
In Finnish, see also the news article from the Ministry of Education and Culture on 8th of June 2021 Harrastamisen Suomen malli laajenee uusiin kouluihin syksyllä – Avustukset lukuvuodelle 2021-2022 on myönnetty (The Finnish model for leisure activities is broadening – Subventions for the school year 2021-2022 are issued.)
Based on the Finnish Government’s report entitled “The Finnish gambling system in transition – Options for the future” (in Finnish), the working group led by Mr Erkki Liikanen has suggested scenarios regarding how the relationship between gambling revenue and the state budget could be organised in the future (see also the press release 26.2.2021). The obligating force for the system’s renewal is the will to reduce gambling-related harms with more effective action for responsibility, in other words 300 million euros less for science, art, sport, health and social but also for youth work. For example, in 2020 at the national level 79 million euros was given to youth work and to non-governmental youth organisations. From that sum, 65% (54 million) has its origins in gambling revenues. A political decision on the matter is due in autumn 2021. For more details about financing youth work in Finland, see the Youth Wiki/Finland 1.7 Funding Youth Policy.