• Sweden's news in English
 

Swedish children need to study more: minister

Published: 27 Nov 2012 15:41 GMT+01:00

The ranking was compiled by comparative education research institute Pearson for The Economist Intelligence unit.

It discusses at length society's attitude towards education, saying the top two on the list – Finland followed by South Korea – value education highly.

"Glorifying near-illiterate celebs creates big problems," said education specialist Chester Finn at Thomas Fordham Institute who is quoted in the report.

The report was released on the same day that Sweden’s Deputy Education Minister Nyamki Sabuni said it was time “to make performing in school and getting good grades cool”.

Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg also dedicated a large portion of his presentation at Tuesday's Nordic Bank Summit in Stockholm to education, saying Swedish children had to study more.

His government has introduced grades earlier in the Swedish compolsary education system.

The focus on valuing education expressed in Pearson report also featured in Borg’s speech.

“We are on the verge of a cultural shift. We have a new teacher training programme, and that starts now,” he told the Nordic Bank Summit audience.

Borg said the reforms will give more room for wage negotiations pegged to teaching quality.

“In the schools system, 40,000 kronor ($6,000) a month is considered a very high salary," he told the audience.

Borg also said that trainee programmes need reform as young Swedes bear the brunt of unemployment.

He praised trainee programs in Austria and Germany, saying they made young people attractive on the job market.

“Nobody says 'Let’s go to Germany because of the low youth wages!' People chose to have their production in Germany because of the quality, because of the access to the best metal workers and the best engineers.”

Borg also expressed admiration for the study habits of children and teenagers in many Asian nations.

"The Chinese combine hard studying with real entrepreneurial spirit, which means we face a real challenge," Borg said.

He dismissed the notion that countries such as China are at a competitive disadvantage because they do no foster creativity.

“Go to any China Town around the world and look at the entrepreneurial spirit,” Borg said.

Asked by The Local if he made a distinction between creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, he specified that creativity was part and parcel of the arts and research, while entrepreneurial spirit was linked to financial activity.

He said that on a recent trip to Asia a counterpart had praised Swedish after-school activities.

“He said 'it's so amazing that Swedish kids don't do homework in the afternoons and are instead outside playing ball. I wish it was like that here',” Borg said.

“I just thought, what is this man telling me? It's obviously the other way around."

The top 20 best countries for education based on, among other factors, international test scores and the proportion of students who graduate:

• Finland

• South Korea

• Hong Kong

• Japan

• Singapore

• UK

• Netherlands

• New Zealand

• Switzerland

• Canada

• Ireland

• Denmark

• Australia

• Poland

• Germany

• Belgium

• USA

• Hungary

• Slovakia

• Russia

Ann Törnkvist

Follow Ann on Twitter here

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

19:51 November 27, 2012 by Decedo
Sweden scored below the US? ....scary.
20:05 November 27, 2012 by organic225
Not to mention Russia...
21:08 November 27, 2012 by Freelife
Sweden is 21st.
21:22 November 27, 2012 by just a question
Dear minister,

Nothing will work until you don't give the teachers the authority they don't have now.Change the laws so a teacher is respected in class and can do his/her duty without being interrupted by cellphones, computers, shouts, verbal violence, etc
22:26 November 27, 2012 by Eric1
Study? Why? Studying is for capitalist who want to make money. In a socialistic society there is no need, just sit at home and get money. If you work, it's just taken in taxes, so why work.
02:48 November 28, 2012 by Grokh
@Eric1 come to sweden sit at home with no work and see what happens.... ignorant fool.
03:17 November 28, 2012 by Eric1
Come on Grokh, you are better than the name calling. This works in America and I have seen it work in Sweden. How do you think Obama got elected. He keeps the "free" stuff coming while destroying the country.
08:23 November 28, 2012 by SecondGen
@Eric1;

You need to try living on what the government pays before you think one can do so easily. I live in Chicago, USA and had a nice 6 figure income before being laid off after a corporate merger in the 2009 crash. I had savings and was given a package so it wasn't too bad for me, but if I had been left to unemployment, I would have had to sell my home, my Porsche, other cars and assets... Anyone trying to live on that would be in pain, especially someone living in a big city (after paying my mortgage I would have had less than $700 per month for food, utilities, bills - some of my coworkers who also lost their jobs had mortgages bigger than unemployment pays in a month). That I suspect is why we have so much crime (and such a high shooting rate in Chicago), those on public assistance can't afford basic necessities without turning to crime.

Luckily for me, I found new employment within a year and I'm almost back to my pre-layoff wages, which is much better than some of my coworkers who were laid off and took the first job offered (I used the time to go back to school and do a masters degree - and every other week unemployment would demand I come in and show them my school schedule to show I was only taking night classes and could still work during the day if a job came around).

Those on TANF (Welfare) are limited as to what they can buy. I'm often behind people at the grocery store using iLink cards (Illinois TANF) where they are digging through their order trying to figure out what is causing the purchase to reject. They can't buy candy, booze and other items with the iLink card, which simply creates other opportunities for fraud. Unemployment is different than TANF though and there are no limits to what someone on unemployment can use their money for.

Government pays poverty wages, its not worth sitting around for.
11:24 November 28, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:58 November 28, 2012 by Freelife
@Spuds MacKenzie

Sir. Does Sweden just give away citizenship to every refugee on arrival?

Finland and UK too get sizable number of refugees.

Don't you think it is in the interest for the betterment of Sweden, if the govt. makes effort to improve the education system?
21:53 November 30, 2012 by La
'No body says...' doesn't look right to me.
15:34 December 1, 2012 by KossBoss
Eric1 - Must be due to being the number ONE fool here. Quite entertaining ONE as well. Why not go back to high school for some remedial classes, because after reading some of your comments you seem to have slept through most of it all.

Now. Go lookup the word 'socialism' and let's see if you can give an account on what it means. Go on, do your homework, because you have way too little to do boy.
17:11 December 1, 2012 by Bentham
@just a question

Principals and teachers in Sweden have the right to confiscate cellphones or other disturbing objects during lessons, as well as give detentions after school or in the morning before school starts, expel, suspend, replace or move the most unruly students. They may also defend themselves with violence if necessary. In addition, there's a clear behaviour plan that's been implemented at all schools, which works like a stair of measurements that will take place if things yet haven't improved.

So, no, students certainly don't rule the roosts in the schools.
Today's headlines
UN council seat focus of Löfven’s US trip
Photo: AFP

UN council seat focus of Löfven’s US trip

Sweden’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council will dominate Stefan Löfven’s trip to New York and Washington, DC. While in the US, he will also meet Vice-President Joe Biden. READ  

New trial to start in 8-year-old’s death
Photo: TT

New trial to start in 8-year-old’s death

An appeal gets underway on Monday in the case of 8-year-old Yara Alnajjar, a girl from Gaza who was beaten to death in Sweden last year. A female guardian was charged with murder while the girl’s uncle received a lesser sentence. READ  

Pub shooters wore skull masks and police vests
Photo: TT

Pub shooters wore skull masks and police vests

The two men who opened fire at a Gothenburg pub on March 18 were wearing skull masks and police vests, surveillance cameras footage reveals. Two people were killed and eight injured in the incident. READ  

PM brings up death penalty on China trip
Photo: TT

PM brings up death penalty on China trip

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven broached sensitive subjects such as the death penalty and human right in a Saturday meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. READ  

Saudi ambassador to return to Stockholm
Photo: TT

Saudi ambassador to return to Stockholm

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Sweden will soon return to Stockholm after a diplomatic spat, Swedish officials said Saturday. But an envoy sent to Riyadh stopped short of offering the Saudis an apology. READ  

Swedish MPs meet Snowden in Moscow
Photo: TT/Right Livelihood Award Foundation

Swedish MPs meet Snowden in Moscow

Three Swedish parliamentarians met with fugitive US intelligence agent Edward Snowden at a secret location in Moscow on Friday to discuss mass surveillance. READ  

Spring budget
Petrol to cost more as Greens get their way
Social Democrat Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson and her Green Party deputy Per Bolund at a press conference on Friday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT.

Petrol to cost more as Greens get their way

Sweden's left-wing government proposed a hike in petrol taxes on Friday, citing the drop in oil prices and pressure put on it by its coalition partner the Greens. READ  

Swedish Nobel laureate Tranströmer dies aged  83
Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX

Swedish Nobel laureate Tranströmer dies aged 83

UPDATED: Swedish poet and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Tomas Tranströmer has passed away at the age of 83, his publishers confirmed on Friday. READ  

Sweden Democrat head: 'I'm on antidepressants'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson before his sick leave. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

Sweden Democrat head: 'I'm on antidepressants'

Jimmie Åkesson, who is poised to return as leader of Sweden's nationalist party in April after months of sick leave, has revealed he is taking antidepressants for exhaustion and sleeping difficulties in an interview set to air late on Friday. READ  

Is Swedish super coach Pia Sundhage quitting?
Pia Sundhage, left, celebrating after Sweden beats Scotland in the World Cup qualifier. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Is Swedish super coach Pia Sundhage quitting?

Swedish football coach Pia Sundhage's contract leading the women's national team runs out next year. And she has not yet made up her mind as to whether or not she wants to stay on. “If they asked me today, I would say no,” she told The Local on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm is the 'Boston of Europe'
National
Which words are changing in Sweden's latest dictionary?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Blog updates

27 March

Celebrating Three Great English Exports In 2015 (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Deputy Head of Mission Aidan Liddle joins us for another guest blog today. In 2015, England..." READ »

 

27 March

Editor’s blog, March 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Europe remains in shock following the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps that killed 150..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Is this house 'un-Swedish'?
National
Sweden pays tribute to victims of Germanwings Alps crash
National
Neo-Nazi activity rising in Sweden
National
How to make Swedish Waffles
Gallery
Property of the week: Torslanda - Hjuvik
National
Stray dog Arthur moves in with Swedish owners
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
National
Sweden triples maximum limit at asylum centres
Gallery
People-watching: March 21st
National
Why elderly Swedes are among the world's happiest people
National
TIMELINE: Gothenburg shootings
National
Can Sweden's feminist party score success in neighbouring Norway?
National
Why Brits can't get enough of Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's solar eclipse
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Royal wedding countdown begins
National
Viking ring reveals Islamic ties
National
TIMELINE: Julian Assange sex allegations in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: March 18th
National
One in three Russian diplomats are spies, says Sweden's Security Service
National
Hitchcock opera set to hit Gothenburg stage
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Northern Lights on show across Sweden
Technology
Why Swedish pop star Robyn is pushing for more girls in tech
Gallery
Property of the week: Umeå
National
Introducing Sweden's Eurovision 2015 entry Måns Zelmerlöw
Gallery
People-watching: March 13th - 15th
National
Why have Swedish prosecutors made a U-turn in Julian Assange case?
Sponsored Article
How Sweden and India can work together
Politics
Who's the new young leader of the Christian Democrats?
Travel
Why are Swedes so obsessed with Mallorca?
Gallery
Princess Estelle celebrates her mother's name day in Stockholm
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Obama's anti-Semitism team heads to Stockholm and Malmö
Gallery
People-watching: March 11th
Technology
How a Swedish app is teaching children to empathize
Swedish grandparents put on disguises to snatch baby
National
Why Sweden may not be as gender equal as you think
Politics
Why does Russia blame Sweden for the crisis in Ukraine?
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen
National
Listen to the English remix of a Swedish 'genitals' song gone viral
Technology
'Swedish women are strong and ambitious'
National
Why are 11 Roma people suing the Swedish state?
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,445
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se