Instruction preparing immigrants for basic education

Instruction preparing for basic education is intended for pupils who cannot attend education in Finnish due to their weak Finnish language skills. Before transitioning to instruction preparing for basic education, the pupil must take a language test, if necessary.

Instruction preparing for basic education is available in the following schools:

  • Pulpin koulu comprehensive school (1st–6th grade)
  • Joutsenon koulu comprehensive school (7th–9th grade)
  • Sammonlahden koulu comprehensive school, Skinnarila unit (1st–6th grade)
  • Sammonlahden koulu comprehensive school (7th–9th grade) In instruction preparing for basic education, an individual curriculum is drawn up for the pupil. The pupil will study Finnish and possibly their mother tongue as well as integrate into education in Finnish. The main emphasis of the instruction is on learning literacy skills and basic things that support coping in everyday situations and integration.


Instruction preparing for basic education may be given to pupils with an immigrant background whose Finnish and Swedish skills and other capabilities are not adequate for studying in pre-primary and basic education groups.


You can enrol your child in preparatory instruction for basic education if your child does not have the necessary linguistic skills to participate in education in Finnish. This instruction is available to children and young people who have recently moved to Finland and to those born in Finland with an immigrant background who have not participated in preparatory instruction in pre-primary education. Participation in education does not require a residence permit.

You can enrol in school when your child has moved to Lappeenranta. It is not possible to enrol in advance from abroad.

School enrolment takes place at Customer Service Centre Winkki at the City Hall (Villimiehenkatu 1, ground floor, near the main doors). Winkki’s opening hours and contact information can be found on the City of Lappeenranta website. You do not need to book an appointment.

The enrolment is usually done by the child’s guardian. You need a passport or other identity card or, for example, a certificate of application for a residence permit. This is to ensure that the name is recorded in the same way as in the Population Information System.

At Winkki, you complete a form with basic information about the child and the guardians for the school. The form has been translated into English, Ukrainian and Russian. The staff at Winkki speak Finnish and English.

The information will be sent to the child’s future school. The principal or teacher will contact the guardian or contact person about starting school once the preparations have been made.

The child will become a pupil of the school that provides preparatory instruction closest to the child’s place of residence.

Free school transport will be arranged if the school is more than 5 km away (bus card or school taxi). The school will provide instructions on the transport as needed.

Payment information

The service is free of charge.

Service background and legislation

Instruction preparing immigrants or children with an immigrant background for basic education promotes integration, language proficiency and learning of the content areas of subjects. Potential studies of the pupil’s native language promote learning skills and reinforce cultural identity as well as lay a foundation for learning Finnish and/or Swedish.

For pupils aged 6 to 10 years, a minimum of 900 hours of this instruction is provided, and for pupils older than this, a minimum of 1,000 hours. Pupils participating in the instruction have the right to transfer to basic education even before these hours have been completed if permitted by their skills and capabilities. Municipalities organise instruction preparing immigrants for basic education on a voluntary basis.