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'Make secondary education mandatory'

'Make secondary education mandatory'

Published: 30 Jan 2013 07:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Jan 2013 07:15 GMT+01:00

Children in Sweden should be required to attend school until they are 18-years-old to ensure they are prepared to enter the labour market, Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven proposed on Wednesday.

"For more than 50 years, required schooling has been nine years long. Today, that sort of education is far from sufficient," Löfven and Social Democrat education policy spokesman Ibrahim Baylan argue in an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Today, completing secondary education (gymnasiet) is a precondition for young people to compete in the labour market, they write.

However, the current centre-right Alliance government of Fredrik Reinfeldt has consistently forgone investments in education and made large cuts to Sweden's secondary education system, Löfven and Baylan claim.

In 2012, 675 million kronor ($106 million) in secondary education spending was cut, with a further 1.36 billion kronor planned in 2014.

"For the first time in our history, Sweden has a government that is lowering ambitions for the education of the next generation," they write.

Making secondary school mandatory is an "ambitious but realistic" step, they argue, adding that any final proposal would include exceptions to the requirement for students with good reason to leave school early.

The Social Democrats also want to see more pathways for students to complete a secondary school degree, including allowing students to combine practical work experience with their studies.

In addition, vocational training programmes ought to be revised to ensure they better align with their respective industry sectors.

"This reform is going to require resources. But the costs of letting young people end up outside the labour force are significantly higher," write Löfven and Baylan.

The new school requirement proposal will be presented at the Social Democrats' party congress in April.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

10:18 January 30, 2013 by adshasta
I totally agree with this move towards a better prepared individual to enter and compete in the job market.
20:44 January 30, 2013 by dizzymoe33
In the States we start school at age 5 and go until 18 years old. So it is called K-12 (Kindergarten through 12th grade).
22:13 January 30, 2013 by BackpackerKev
Its not about the length of education that is the problem, its syllabus that is the problem. 9 years or 15, or 20 for that matter doesnt mean anything if the quality of the education is poor. That Children are being taught certain things that are inaccurate and conditioning them to be a worker bee and not strive for more than their social allocated lot in life.

Personal experience has shown me that its all well and good going to gymnasia, but if you may spend 1-3 hours there a day and have a poor teacher, or a lack of teacher who can stand in at a moments notice, its the students education that is lacking and many are just happy to skip and only do what is necessary, not work above and beyond the expectations that are put on them.

To make students be able to compete in the labour market, they need to learn common sense and be more than just a Swedish citizen, they need to be people of the world as such a large market is international, and allow them to have the tools to live and work outside of Sweden efficiently. However Swedish mentality as I see it, stop this development from happening, in the home, schools and within the culture.

What was is? something like the largest percent of people, i think 16% as i last read it (immigrants)coming to live in Sweden, just happen to be Swedish who have lived outside the country. Many I would argue don't have the skills or compatibility to live elsewhere, they feel more secure and safe in Sweden. I wouldnt say adaptability is a swedish persons strength, and this is something that does need to be taught in schools more.
19:55 February 1, 2013 by tadchem
Keeping people out of the labor market until they are 18 only protects the union laborers - especially those with marginal employability.
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