• Sweden edition
 
'Extend school year to improve reading'

'Extend school year to improve reading'

Published: 05 Jan 2013 15:47 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Jan 2013 15:47 GMT+01:00

If approved the proposal could lead to shorter summer breaks for Swedish school pupils.

"It is alarming to see how school results are dropping and particularly reading skills, which is the basis for all other learning," Annika Eclund, head of the Christian Democrats schools policy group, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

A parliamentary inquiry has shown that the time allocated to Swedish language teaching has shrunk by 300 hours since the 1960s, from 1,800 hours to 1,500.

When it comes to literacy Swedish pupils are falling behind in international league tables.

According to the Sweden Democrats this has to do with a number of factors, including a shorter than average compulsory schooling compared to the rest of Europe.

Swedish pupils aged 9 to 11 study 50 hours less than the European average. In the 12 to 14 age group, Swedes study 130 hours less.

The Centre Party and the Liberal Party are positive to the proposal but the Moderate Party said they want to prioritize efforts to improve poor-performance schools and to get more skilled teachers.

The Swedish Teachers' Union also believes extending the school year is the wrong approach.

"All international research and experiences show that what really improves results is access to well-educated and competent teachers. That is what we need," Eva-Lis Sirén, chair of the Teachers' Union, told Sveriges Radio.

"We currently have unqualified teachers in Swedish school, but we also have a lack of teachers," she added.

But Mattias Hallberg, chair of Sweden's Student Associations (Sveriges elevkårer) thinks that pupils would actually welcome more Swedish classes, but he is not sure shortening the summer break is the right way forward.

"I think you could do a lot when it comes to improving scheduling, such as fewer free periods during school days," said Hallberg.

The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

17:59 January 5, 2013 by johan rebel
An extra week? How about two or three, plus longer school days?

Why is it that Swedish kids need two months of summer vacation? They days when they had to help bring in the harvest are long past.
22:33 January 5, 2013 by DavidtheNorseman
As someone who's been involved in education for decades this is just pure political posturing and idiotic. By the end of the regular school season the students (and teachers) are exhausted (no, not physically - for the morons out there). Adding a week would simply be an expensive exercise in futility.

Kids learn 6+ hours of new material every school day - a grueling regime few adults would survive long. By the end of the 200 odd school day season they need a mental rest.
02:26 January 6, 2013 by Svensksmith
Far better to adopt a year round schedule with breaks scheduled in at quarter ends.
11:32 January 6, 2013 by StockholmSam
The first three posts above are correct. Another solution would be to eliminate some of the frivolous subjects students are forced to learn that are major wastes of time and little more than stress factors. Decrease the number of courses a student has to study and increase the emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic.
18:42 January 6, 2013 by johan rebel
"Adding a week would simply be an expensive exercise in futility."

Let me get this straight. Are you saying that students and teachers is all those countries were summer vacations are shorter than eight weeks (six weeks seems to be fairly typical) are engaging in colective annual exercises in futility?

Kids are not adults. If properly taught, they brains suck up knowlege like spunges.

I must confess that I had 12 weeks of summer vacation as a kid. That was for the simple reason that back in those days US diplomats got six weeks of home leave every second year, and embassies could not send half their staff home at the same time each summer. On the other hand, I was educated at a time when teachers were highly qualified, and students were expected to make an effort and then pass demanding exams to prove they had applied themselves.
23:40 January 6, 2013 by star10
Teach mainly literacy (reading, writing) and numeracy (math). Reduce the amount of other trash classes like social studies.
08:14 January 7, 2013 by skogsbo
in teaching, quantity is rarely preferable to quality.

Lower literacy will have more to do with how little kids are reading out of school, bedrooms full of tvs/computers/play stations/ smart phones and not a book in sight. I suspect many parents are too busy with the same toys to help the younger kids read, or give those younger still a bed time story. Reading and writing are becoming lost arts.
18:27 January 17, 2013 by D. ane
If they cannot do it in 9 months another week will not make any difference. They need to stop using all their wireless technologies and get a book and paper and do some of this at home.

Their brains are confused with all the input not to mention the microwaves that damage their nervous impulses. Yes we are devolving (instead of evolving)!

Skogsbo and star10 got it right!
Today's headlines
Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

982
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
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN