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Do Sweden's free schools make the grade?

The Local
post 16.Jan.2013, 02:21 PM
Post #1
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 22.Dec.2004

The UK has taken a page out of Sweden's textbook and is surging ahead with the free school movement. The Local's Christine Demsteader looks at the lessons that can be learned from Sweden's system of publicly-financed, privately-managed schools.

It's been 20 years since Sweden enacted reforms which partially separated the country's school system from the state.

Legislation allowed private operators to start up and manage schools with public money, but with greater flexibility in drawing up lesson plans and shaping the schools' profiles.

Since then, the concept has attracted attention from educators in other countries, with officials in the UK especially keen to replicate Sweden's pioneering innovations.

Click to read the full article.
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BackpackerKev
post 16.Jan.2013, 09:39 PM
Post #2
Joined: 28.Jan.2012

Personally I find Swedish schools a joke, swedish schools may boast high grades or successes, but the level of Swedish education compared to many other nations seems much lower, What is arguably an A Grade in Sweden, could be compared to a C Grade in England.
From personal experience again, I find there are many teachers that don't go above and beyond the expectations of the school. The lack of tests and exams allow teachers to be more inconsistent in their teaching as by the time any exam happens, half the class have not understood the content of the class, but are too shy to raise awareness, and the level is increasing within the class where it now becomes the majority not understanding, or more students requiring assistance.
Every person has a right to education, but these companies that run the schools are more interested in making money and than giving a good education. If they were to educate the students to the correct level, the student themselves would see that the education itself is lacking, so it is in the best interest to keep students somewhat dumb and ignorant to good education so they don't question the professionalism of the low paid teacher or themselves wanting a higher standard.
At the end of the day, the schools are there to do one thing, produce sheep who will work and pay into the inefficient system though taxes and not motivate or educate the population to ask the relevant questions that will bring Sweden into the 21st Century.
Its similar to watching Dragons Den, many of the (delusional)people are trying to sell items that obviously don't work and will never work, or if they do work, other countries have been using a similar item for years.
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Migga
post 17.Jan.2013, 11:14 AM
Post #3
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

Even though you have that personal opinion Kev Sweden is doing fine when it comes to being inovative and competative.
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Iftikhar_Ahmad
post 18.Jan.2013, 07:56 PM
Post #4
Joined: 7.Jul.2007

Almost all children now believe they go to school to pass exams. The idea that they may be there for an education is irrelevant. State schools have become exam factories, interested only in A to C Grades. They do not educate children. Exam results do not reflect a candidate's innate ability. Employers have moaned for years that too many employees cannot read or write properly. According to a survey, school-leavers and even graduates lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. More and more companies are having to provide remedial training to new staff, who can't write clear instructions, do simple maths, or solve problems. Both graduates and school-leavers were also criticised for their sloppy time-keeping, ignorance of basic customer service and lack of self-discipline.

Bilingual Muslims children have a right, as much as any other faith group, to be taught their culture, languages and faith alongside a mainstream curriculum. More faith schools will be opened under sweeping reforms of the education system in England. There is a dire need for the growth of state funded Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim parents and children. Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the running of their local schools. Parent-run schools will give the diversity, the choice and the competition that the wealthy have in the private sector. Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be trusted.
The British Government is planning to make it easier to schools to "opt out" from the Local Authorities. Muslim children in state schools feel isolated and confused about who they are. This can cause dissatisfaction and lead them into criminality, and the lack of a true understanding of Islam can ultimately make them more susceptible to the teachings of fundamentalists like Christians during the middle ages and Jews in recent times in Palestine. Fundamentalism is nothing to do with Islam and Muslim; you are either a Muslim or a non-Muslim.
There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam's teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.
IA
http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk
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BackpackerKev
post 18.Jan.2013, 09:16 PM
Post #5
Joined: 28.Jan.2012

To some extent you have to separate education that is on a general level among all and faith. We are not in an idealistic world, nor do we live in idealistic countries.
The mere separation at an educational level based on faiths creates social problems within itself. Muslim, or non muslim, is being human not enough to have a positive and fulfilling role to society. I am non religious and I have tolerance and respect but I also have objectivity(something i would say is very important) because i educate myself on both and or all sides of a subject matter. Objectivity is not something that is taught in schools based on faith. Course content must be controlled as not to allow for contradictions or deviations, or freedom of thought because a faith school in itself has its own agenda.
Schools should have only one purpose, to teach everything it possibly can, and to prepare the students to continue to teach themselves once they leave.
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shinnam
post 19.Jan.2013, 02:47 PM
Post #6
Joined: 29.Jun.2009

The author needs to talk with some teachers at the free schools if she wants to write a story that informs. Just look at arbetsförmedling site and how often the free school are advertising for teachers...
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andreasbe
post 22.Jan.2013, 09:08 AM
Post #7
Joined: 13.Dec.2010

Me personally had a great education in the Swedish school system, looking at Private Education around the world it is obscene how much I pay for my Kids education, and I personally believe that the SkolPengen system works.
Look at a school franchise like VITTRA, this is an awesome and progressive network of schools, great program and great results.
Then look at a school like SSHL in Sigtuna, they have more problems with pressure and scandals than the Zimbabwean Government... On top of that the SSHL still charge you 200,000.00kr additional over and above the funds that they get via Skolpengen.
PS! I went to S:t Per(Sigtuna), S:t Olof(Sigtuna), Spanga Gymnasium/Kista Annex(Kista) and Thorilds Plans Gymnasium(STHLM).
My sister went to: S:t Per(Sigtuna), S:t Olof(Sigtuna) and SSHL (Sigtuna)
My Brother Went to: S:t Per(Sigtuna), S:t Olof(Sigtuna) and Marsta Gymanium (Marsta)
My Kids go to Bishop Bavin (Johannesburg, South Africa)
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AquamanUK
post 22.Jan.2013, 07:56 PM
Post #8
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

Do NOT believe the Propaganda of the Tory/Conservative/RIGHTWING-NUTS of the UK, Free Schools in the UK are a Disaster! They gloss over all the problems and 'just wrong' about the entire concept of 'Free Schoools' in UK by the rightwing-nuts! They are NOT popular schools, they are the breeding ground for Taliban, and other Ethnic groups who can Teach WHAT they want HOW they want WHEN then want - all without any supervision of the Local Educational Authority!
They are Wrong, They are a Disgrace, and I would never send any of my children to any of the UK (clone of Sweden) Free School!
Children learn from having to deal with and over come the adversaries of life - to put them in a school of all muslim or Bangladeshi, or Sri Lankan, or Indonesian etc etc etc etc etc - Is TOTALLY WRONG!
All children should go to school together and with time and experience - LEARN how to cope and deal with "DIVERSITY",
Putting all the same children into GHETTO Schools - is so wrong on SO many LEVEL's - something ONLY a right wing-nut politician would propose!
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Youdee
post 23.Jan.2013, 05:12 PM
Post #9
Joined: 3.Nov.2009

Independent school is the correct translation. Free school is a direct translation.
http://www.friskola.se/Om_oss_In_English_DXNI-38495_.aspx
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EtoileBrilliant
post 28.Jan.2013, 07:42 PM
Post #10
Joined: 28.Feb.2007

@ Iftikhar_Ahmad - Can you tell us how Muslim schools address subjects such as creationism versus evolution?
"Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, from the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "Faith schools are by and large established to enforce the religious teachings of our lives, and the theory of creation is one of the cornerstones of our faith."
To me that is the best argument as to why Muslims should be integrated into state approved curricum.
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