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Opposition agrees education compromise

TT/The Local · 7 Jul 2010, 07:42

Published: 07 Jul 2010 07:42 GMT+02:00

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Testing within school education has been one of the key sticking points for the "red-green" opposition and the announcement is a significant retreat for the Left Party, and rules out any hope of a cross-bloc compromise between the Social Democrats and the governing Alliance parties.

"We will absolutely refuse to introduce grades for six-year-olds," Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin said.

The opposition proposal means introducing grades from 13-14-years-old and written testimonials for 7-year-olds while the government has proposed grades from 12-13-years-old.

The Social Democrats and the Green Party were able to get the Left Party to concede to the change by agreeing to increase funding with the goal of raising the number of qualified teachers in primary schools to at least nine per 100 students.

Education minister Jan Björklund called the move "inadequate".

"It is a half step forward that they're willing to move the grades down one year compared to today, but I'm not that impressed because it is inadequate. We need grades from the intermediate level in Swedish schools and this is what the government has proposed," Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund said in a comment.

Eva-Lis Sirén of the national teachers' union (Lärarförbundet) however welcomed the news.

"I am very happy over the commitment to pupil-teacher ratios."

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Sirén reserved criticism for the fact that the opposition could only agree to testing from seventh grade while the government has proposed the sixth grade.

"This means that the politicians recognise their inability to develop a long term sustainable system."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:33 July 7, 2010 by Nemesis
Here is a better idea.

Firstly take every politician that has an education idea and send them to another country to annoy someone else while other work on the education system.

Start education earlier at about 4 or 5 years of age.

Ensure mathmatics is taught from day one.

Ensure very basic science that they can comprehend is taught from day one, such as using diosaurs to explain evolution.

Also start with languages such as Chinese and English from day one.

Now the little problem that politicians need to understand but can't due to there blinkers. The classroms need discipline. Teachers in sweden have no control over there class's at all.
10:59 July 7, 2010 by Jes
Only in Sweden can one see a politician dressed like a homeless bum .

These people , why don`t they respect the public by dressing up responsibly ? Toes is a no no go when you are a public servant on a public mission .Its just shows that one has no public manners .

Yes we know , that enviroment guy with a gray beard has no class- - and the other one is an uncultured communist - - - but what has Mona got to say about hanging out with these 2 men ?
20:17 July 7, 2010 by glamelixir

WHAT???? your political opinion on all the important topics our country is and will be faceing is about how Mona Sahlin lacks style??? Omg... who are you? one of those Sex and the city love chics that can't read anything besides cosmo?

Btw, Berlusconi has a proud Italian style held on by corruption and circus show off... not exactly what I want for Sweden.

Where are you from?

On another aspect, I think it is a good idea with the test, in other countries schools have this kind of tests every years since 1st grade. I personally find Swedish education quite poor, but as always it really depends what one is comparing it with.
01:42 July 8, 2010 by reason
Everybody has their nice ideas based in ideology. "Children need discipline!" "Children need freedom!" "Children should not compete!" "Grades are good!" "Grades are bad!"

Based on these we get the blind fumbling of sweeping changes to grade systems, curriculum and testing. And in the end, we don't even know if it's better or worse. We just get the (widely varying) opinions of the bunch of ideologists again. Want to teach the scientific method to our children? Trust it enough to use it!

Take the cue from physics education research. Obviously it'll be a lot different teaching small children than college students, but the approach is the same. Develop a measure for a child's reasoning capability and grasp of general concepts. Decide which teaching approaches we want to compare (for example if more discipline in the class room helps a child develop the skills we want or if it is the other way around). Then test them in parallel, on a massive scale, nationwide. The larger the sample, the clearer the answer will be. It'll take some years, sure. But then we'll know. We'll have the numbers to show which approach works better and we can move on to refine that one.
01:46 July 8, 2010 by glamelixir

AMEN. Can you run for candidate? I would vote for you.
06:34 July 8, 2010 by Da Goat
I agree Reason should run !

yes the children do require discipline any thing without fences either runs away or forms into a tight frightened huddle, children require certainty and rules too.

Not sure about Nemesis's idea of using dinosaurs to teach religion! (evolution) however yes it is a good idea to teach science so the children understand how things work!

Anyone brave enough to apply science to evolution will find it goes gay (dissipates with a poof)

other than that every child is different and they grow up to be politicians without proper clues.

they just have to get back to the real world if it has not been lost from sight!
12:01 July 8, 2010 by Jes
@glamelix , does it matter where I come from ? You are you - - yourself anyway ?????

Yes , the important political topic is education. My opinion is that adults should also show/teach the young how to behave in public . Wearing sandals while one is meeting the public is not good manners.Education is much more than maths and science .

Also , you should think twice before you rush to talk about Berlusconi`s "corruption" Remember that Mona Sahlin does not come in with a clean sheet .
17:32 July 9, 2010 by Iftikhar_Ahmad
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 turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. 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.

Iftikhar Ahmad

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