• Sweden edition
 
Swedish children need to study more: minister

Swedish children need to study more: minister

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Sweden Floods
Flood chaos continues with more rain forecast
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Flood chaos continues with more rain forecast

UPDATED: Sweden's floods are set to continue over the weekend with the national weather agency predicting more showers for some of the affected areas. READ  

Elections 2014
Reinfeldt better at handling a crisis: Poll

Reinfeldt better at handling a crisis: Poll

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's hopes for remaining in office has been given a boost after more Swedes said they had greater faith in him handling a crisis compared to election rival Stefan Löfven. READ  

Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits
Actor Robin Williams. Photo: AP

Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits

The internet search giant has revealed what Swedes googled for most over the summer period with the top 10 made up of diverse search topics ranging from sport to wasp stings READ  

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons

A man in central Sweden was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault on Friday after doctors noticed that both his twin sons had sustained serious and unexplained injuries. READ  

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Clocking in. File photo: Shutterstock

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial

Officials finalized plans on Friday for the "Gothenburg guinea pigs" who will test out the six-hour workday, a move it's hoped will cut down on sick leave, boost efficiency, and ultimately save Sweden money. READ  

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job
Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/TT

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job

Three Swedish soldiers risk prison after they were found to be drunk while guarding Stockholm's Royal Palace. The men, who were all armed at the time, were charged on Friday. READ  

Stockholm
What do the Swedes do when summer's over?
Photo: Isabela Vrba

What do the Swedes do when summer's over?

The heatwave is well and truly over, the days are getting shorter, and winter is coming. With this in mind, The Local's Isabela Vrba chatted to ten Stockholmers about how they plan to tackle the autumn. READ  

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend

Swedes are spending more than ever on makeup - and a growing chunk is going directly to their fingernails, new figures showed on Friday. READ  

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops
The pharmacy section of a grocery store. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops

After a drastic increase in the number of paracetamol poisonings in Sweden, authorities have said the drug should only be available in pharmacies. READ  

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden
File photo: Andreas Hagerman/Flickr

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden

After finding traces of listeria in ham sold in Sweden, food companies decided on Friday to recall several Danish cold cuts. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
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

729
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
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:
http://psdmedia.se