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EDUCATION

New grading scale for Swedish students

The government has proposed a new grading scale for Swedish schools.

New grading scale for Swedish students

The proposed grade scale would consist of six levels corresponding to the letters A through F.

“For the sake of pupils I want it to be easier to attain a higher grade. Today many pupils wonder why the Pass grade is given for very different results. The new system will be fairer,” said Education Minister Jan Björklund in a statement.

Currently, Swedish students can receive one of four grades, with three corresponding to passing marks and the fourth representing a failing grade.

In the new system, A through E will correspond to a passing grade of varying degrees. Students whose work is deemed unworthy of a passing grade will receive an F.

A corresponding numerical value ranging from 10 to 20 will be assigned to each letter grade, with the exception of F, which will be assigned a value of 0.

The new system also allows for a dash to be used when there is not a sufficient basis on which to judge a student’s performance, such as a prolonged absence.

The government’s plans for a new grading system have been discussed earlier, but Wednesday’s proposal was the first time the plan had been presented to the public in any detail.

According to the proposal, the new grading system will be introduced in Swedish high schools (gymnasium) in the 2010-2011 school year and into compulsory level schools (grundskola) the following year.

In the meantime, the government will instruct the National Agency for Education to prepare new syllabuses with grade criteria.

HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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