Tiina Tuulasvaara-Kaleva

The church was responsible for the teaching of literacy in Finland since the seventeenth century. Illiterate children could not get confirmed, and people who were not confirmed were not allowed to get married. The teaching in Tampere was the responsibility of Messukylä mother congregation, and it was difficult to find good teachers. The first school building and teacher Tuomas Kriander came to town as late as in the 1810s. In Kriander's pedagogue the language of teaching was Swedish, and girls were not admitted to the school. Several private and factory schools were founded in the city, and later they developed into elementary schools for both boys and girls. The first of them was Mamsel Hydén's school for small children founded at Finlayson factory in 1839, where going to school was free of charge to all children in the city. In the 1870s the congregations were obliged to found elementary schools which subsequently became municipal elementary schools. In 1872 Tampere got a two-year lower grade school and a four-year upper grade school, where girls and boys were initially taught separately. From elementary school the children could continue to lower and upper grades of extension school which operated as a higher level of education, similarly to the realschule in the 1870s, but the pupils of these schools were not yet allowed to go to university. The language struggle in Finland at the time hindered the founding of a lyceum in the city. Finally Tampere got a private lyceum in 1883, the realgymnasium, the first high school for boys. In 1896 the girl school got extension classes from which it was possible to apply to the university. The number and quality of schools increased at a rapid pace.

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At the turn of the century the city had, in addition to elementary and secondary schools, among other a technical school, a commercial school, a domestic science school, Ahlman's agricultural school and a workers' institute where adults could also receive education. Factory work was usually learned by spending a few weeks as an apprentice for an older worker. Compulsory attendance at school for all children was introduced in the 1920s. Factory vocational schools, the so-called machine shop schools, operated for a long time side to side with municipal vocational schools

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The basic school, combining elementary schools and the lowest forms of the secondary schools, was realised in Tampere by 1981. The School of Social Sciences moved from Helsinki to Tampere in 1956, and by the 1970s it had developed into University of Tampere, a state university. University level technical education in our factory city had already been a dream immediately after the wars. A side school of Helsinki Technical University moved to Tampere in 1965. The school got its first chairs and became the independent Tampere Technical University in 1972.

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