“Give unhappy schoolkids a year off”

School pupils who are fed up with classroom life should be allowed to take a year or term 'sabbatical', according to a proposal from the Christian Democrats. The option should be available to all students who, for whatever reason, are not managing with school.

It would be a shame if they completely lost the desire to learn, explained the Christian Democrats’ Inger Davidson in Svenska Dagbladet.

“Instead, these pupils ought to have the option of taking a break so they can come back with new enthusiasm and a new attitude,” she said.

But the time off should be spent productively: Davidson says that students should do something else during their sabbatical year, such as gaining work experience.

Schools minister Ibrahim Baylan dismissed the idea as “an experiment” which he thought “sounds remarkable”.

Baylan fears that a 13 year old who leaves school will never come back. He also pointed out that it might be hard to find work experience places for 13 year olds.

However, the chairman of the opposition alliance’s working group on schools, Jan Björklund, reacted positively to the idea.

“Without having considered every aspect, I’m in favour of the basic thinking. Youngsters are all different and increased flexibility is good,” he said.

The alliance parties have recently put forward a joint proposal to remedy the fact that every tenth student leaves school having failed one or more core subjects.