• 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
Beggars 'objectified' at Malmö exhibition
Roma migrants who have swapped the streets for an art gallery. Photo: Albin Balthasar

Beggars 'objectified' at Malmö exhibition

Two Roma beggars have been paid to take part in a controversial art installation that has seen them sitting and standing in silence with a paper cup in front of them in a Malmö art gallery. READ  

More open borders for Swedish nationals
An SAS plane taking off from Sweden. Photo: TT

More open borders for Swedish nationals

From this summer, Swedes may be be able to leave their passports at home when travelling to the UK and other non-Schengen countries within the EU. READ  

Thick snow set to cause further travel chaos
A sign warns about falling snow and ice in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Thick snow set to cause further travel chaos

UPDATED: Heavy snowfall has caused major traffic problems in parts of western and southern Sweden, with further bad weather set to sweep across the country this weekend. READ  

Presented by Verksamt.se
'Immigration is critical' for Stockholm’s future
The city of Stockholm. Photo: Björn Olin/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se

'Immigration is critical' for Stockholm’s future

Stockholm’s business community gathered on Friday to discuss the future of the city’s labour market. While housing and education were mentioned, it was another theme that reigned supreme. READ  

Jay-Z seeks Swedish music service takeover
Rapper Jay-Z at an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on January 16th 2015. Photo: TT

Jay-Z seeks Swedish music service takeover

Project Panther, an enterprise linked to American hip hop artist Shawn Carter - better known as Jay-Z- is expected to take over Scandinavian-based digital music firm Aspiro, one of Spotify's biggest rivals. READ  

Spotify mute about fresh funding rumours
Spotify is the world's largest online music streaming service. Photo: TT

Spotify mute about fresh funding rumours

Swedish music streaming giant Spotify has declined to comment on reports that it is raising new funds that could delay a public listing. READ  

Swedish troops join Somali pirate mission
A Somali pirate near Hobyo, Somalia in 2012. Photo: TT

Swedish troops join Somali pirate mission

Around 70 Swedish soldiers are heading to east Africa as part of EU efforts to prevent attacks from Somali pirates. READ  

Housing queue now '20 years' in parts of capital
Apartments in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Housing queue now '20 years' in parts of capital

The queue for housing in Stockholm lengthened dramatically 2014, with many "insecure" residents signing up because of fears the shortage of accommodation in the capital could get worse. READ  

Sweden will make 'demands' on Palestine
The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Cairo this month. Photo: TT

Sweden will make 'demands' on Palestine

UPDATED: Sweden’s new government recognised Palestine in its first foreign policy decision in October 2014 but Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has said the state needs to change in order to retain Sweden’s support. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to make delicious Swedish mushroom tart
A rich Swedish mushroom tart. Photo: John Duxbury

How to make delicious Swedish mushroom tart

This classic mushroom tart may not be Sweden's most visually pleasing dish, but it's certainly a rustic dream if you're a mushroom and cheese lover. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What’s on in Sweden this week
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
Gallery
IN PICTURES: European Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm
National
The return of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Lifestyle
Top five trends from Stockholm Fashion Week
Blog updates

30 January

Editor’s blog, January 30th (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Sweden where much of the country is heading for what could be the coldest..." READ »

 

26 January

The mysterious -s, part 1 (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! How is your Swedish coming along? A while ago I read on a forum on The..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: January 28th
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
Does Sweden help returning Isis fighters more than Swedish veterans?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: January snow snaps
Society
Is Sweden's healthcare system a national embarassment?
Gallery
Property of the week: Skanör, Vellinge
Lifestyle
'Life as a Swedish candy-maker is sweet'
National
Why Sweden's Left party wants a European 'Red Spring'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's hottest new fashion designers for 2015
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who travels on Stockholm's different subway lines?
Lifestyle
Why this Swedish baby is a US hit
Lifestyle
'Limousine' snowplough for sale
People-watching: January 24th - 25th
Gallery
People-watching: January 24th - 25th
Society
Meet the 'beggars' buttoning up immigration critics
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years
Features
Learn Sweden's bizarre dating lingo
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Gallery
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Society
Why Sweden's viral 'genital' video is getting an English remake
National
Why does Sweden's Luleå have a giant ice beaver?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who are Sweden's richest one percent?
Business & Money
How a classic Swedish snack got a revamp for 'busy' Stockholmers
Lifestyle
The Local's top Swedish acts for 2015
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Årets Bild photography prize winners
Business & Money
'I met my Swedish man in Tokyo's first Ikea store'
Gallery
Property of the week: A cozy apartment in Bromma, Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: January 17th - 18th
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish gravad lax
Lifestyle
Four hot Swedish home design trends
National
How The Local's video on a strange Swedish sound went viral
Gallery
People-watching: January 14th
National
The Local's guide to Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects in Sweden and across Europe
National
Swedish Muslims react to new Charlie Hebdo magazine
National
The Local talks to Sweden's Home Affairs Minister about Paris attacks
Business & Money
Will Spotify launch on stock market after users rocket?
Accelerated
Texans and Swedes to play ice instruments
Gallery
Property of the week: An 18th century mansion in Stockholm
Business & Money
'Snowboarding drew me to work in chilly Sweden'
National
Are Sweden's royals moving to London?
Sponsored Article
Everything you need to know about moving to 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

1,092
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
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options