“The gymnasium opens to the East”
Today, in Pyhajoki gymnasium, one starts planned cooperation with visitors from Sosnovy Bor.
«I want our youth to get acquainted with Russians of the same age”- says Tauno Rajaniemi, the rector
Pyhajoki gymnasium and the visitors who arrived from Sosnovy Bor school no. 9 plan their cooperation possibilities this week. The visitors are six pupils of the age from 14 to 18, their teacher of English and the director.
During the visit which will last several days, the visitors will live in families in Pyhajoki, take part in a daily life of the school, get acquainted with Kalajoki, the project of Hanhikivi nuclear power plant and the city of Raahe. The programme includes visits to enterprises and familiarization with the educational process. Russian visitors will also meet schoolchildren of the ninth grade from Pyhajoki.
In their turn, Russian schoolchildren tell about their school and their town. Organizers of the visit are “Fennovoima” and the general contractor for construction of the Finnish nuclear power station, “TITAN-2” holding, which has facilitated arrival of the visitors to Finland.
Previously, there have not been any contacts with Russians in Pyhajoki gymnasium. When the first inquiry about establishment of contacts came from Fennovoima, green light was given to it in the gymnasium at once.
Rector Tauno Rajaniemi does not know exactly motives of the visit, but he assumes that the Russians wish to get an impression about the world of Finnish schools.
- I hope that they will find out something new about activity of our gymnasium. I am sure that we will find common cooperation aspects interesting to both parties, says Rajaniemi. I do not exclude a thought that Russian schoolchildren will be already adults at the time of completion of construction of the nuclear power plant and can work there or somehow will be still connected with our district which will be already familiar to them.
Rajaniemi thinks that for gymnasium pupils from Pyhajoki this visit is that international aspect which he is trying to develop in his educational institution.
- I want our youth to get acquainted with their Russian peers, so that international contacts should not develop only through business life.
As Russian schoolchildren know English, their visit is a step I the direction of using English as their daily language and language of training.
Rajaniemi does not think that during this year there will be any big steps forward in the cooperation, because the whole calendar of gymnasium pupils is filled, including educational trips. At least one return visit to Russia is planned.
The nuclear industry unites Pyhajoki and Sosnovy Bor.

Raahen Seutu, 08.2.2016