Basic education is free of charge general education. Every child who lives permanently in Finland is subject to compulsory education. Compulsory education begins the year the child turns seven. It is, however, possible to start in basic education a year earlier than regular or postpone the start by a year.
A pupil has the right to receive national core curriculum-based teaching, a safe learning environment, learning support, special education, student welfare, balanced meal and free learning materials. Special dietary needs are also taken into account in school meals.
A pupil must participate in basic education unless they have been admitted a temporary exemption.
Every ninth grader finishing their basic education has the duty to apply for and continue their studies in an upper secondary level institution. Compulsory education ends when a student turns 18 years or when a student graduates from upper secondary level before the age of 18.
The teaching groups in basic education are formed by year. A primary school classroom teacher teaches all or majority of subjects for their teaching group during the first six years. Different subject teachers teach their own subjects during the three years in lower secondary school.
The City of Oulu runs 46 comprehensive schools, one of which is a special school. In addition, a training school for teachers, Oulu University Teacher Training School, operates in the city. Four private schools that correspond comprehensive schools, Oulu Christian School, Oulu Steiner School, Svenska Privatskolan i Uleåborg and Taikatahti School, also operate in the city.
Adults can complete the basic education syllabus or individual subject syllabi as day or evening studies. Adults can also improve their basic education certificate grades. Read more about adult education on the website concerning adult upper secondary education.