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Björklund axes school reforms

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11:32 CEST+02:00
Sweden's new government is axing major school reforms planned by the Social Democrats to take effect next autumn.

Schools minister Jan Björklund wrote in Dagens Nyheter that it would be indefensible to allow the planned changes in the structure and grade systems at gymnasia, or upper secondary schools, to be implemented given that the government plans to completely reform the gymnasium system in a couple of years.

Björklund said that some aspects of the planned reforms had been a step in the right direction, but were insufficient to fix the problems of the schools system. Other aspects were wrong altogether, Björklund argued.

The new minister, a member of the Liberal Party, said that the government would appoint a commission to bring forward proposals for reform of the system. Such reforms would be in line with the Alliance's election manifesto.

Likely changes would include changing the status of vocational qualifications so that they do not automatically qualify a student for university entry. A new marking system with more grades would also be a probable feature of any reforms.

The former government had planned to axe the current system in which pupils are given a grade for every course they take within a particular subject. This was criticized for stressing pupils and encouraging them to study tactically. The plan had been to replace them with grades for a subject as a whole. The new government will now keep the course grading scheme for the time being.

Metta Fjelkner, chairwoman of teachers' union Lärarnas Riksförbund, welcomed the news that the reforms were being scrapped.

"It would be unfair on teachers to let them work on reforms that wouldn't become reality or that would be changed after just a few years," she said.

Fjelkner said she also wanted a the government to outline promptly how it wants change the schools system.

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