Selection for the classes will be made through admissions testing and brainy high school students will be given the chance to earn university points at the same time as they pursue their school studies.
20 high schools (gymnasium schools) in Sweden will introduce streamed elite classes from 2009 within social and natural science subjects.
The Norra Real school on Kungsholmen in Stockholm will be the first school to introduce an elite class, in mathematics, aimed at students with “an interest and good aptitude for” the subject.
The government writes in a memorandum to be presented next week, according to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, that “the study tempo would be considerably higher than a regular high school education.”
“We have to leave behind the Social Democratic schools policy where nobody should think they are special. Clever students also have the right to develop at their own pace. They should not have to sit and kick their heels waiting for their classmates, said education minister Jan Björklund to the newspaper.
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Schools will be given the right to select students based on admissions tests, previously only used for profiled courses in subjects such as music and sport.
Students will be able to gain university points at the same time and Metta Fjelkner, chairperson of the national union of teachers is positive to this initiative.
“I think that Sweden has been afraid of encouraging those with special talents. These students also have a need to be stimulated and motivated,” she said.