SHARE
COPY LINK

TEACHER

‘Extend school year to improve reading’

The Christian Democrats want to extend the school year by a week in an effort to improve literacy, but the Swedish Teachers' Union (Lärarförbundet) disagrees.

'Extend school year to improve reading'

If approved the proposal could lead to shorter summer breaks for Swedish school pupils.

“It is alarming to see how school results are dropping and particularly reading skills, which is the basis for all other learning,” Annika Eclund, head of the Christian Democrats schools policy group, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

A parliamentary inquiry has shown that the time allocated to Swedish language teaching has shrunk by 300 hours since the 1960s, from 1,800 hours to 1,500.

When it comes to literacy Swedish pupils are falling behind in international league tables.

According to the Sweden Democrats this has to do with a number of factors, including a shorter than average compulsory schooling compared to the rest of Europe.

Swedish pupils aged 9 to 11 study 50 hours less than the European average. In the 12 to 14 age group, Swedes study 130 hours less.

The Centre Party and the Liberal Party are positive to the proposal but the Moderate Party said they want to prioritize efforts to improve poor-performance schools and to get more skilled teachers.

The Swedish Teachers’ Union also believes extending the school year is the wrong approach.

“All international research and experiences show that what really improves results is access to well-educated and competent teachers. That is what we need,” Eva-Lis Sirén, chair of the Teachers’ Union, told Sveriges Radio.

“We currently have unqualified teachers in Swedish school, but we also have a lack of teachers,” she added.

But Mattias Hallberg, chair of Sweden’s Student Associations (Sveriges elevkårer) thinks that pupils would actually welcome more Swedish classes, but he is not sure shortening the summer break is the right way forward.

“I think you could do a lot when it comes to improving scheduling, such as fewer free periods during school days,” said Hallberg.

The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TRAVEL

Summer heat causes Swedish rail delays as tracks buckle

This weekend’s heatwave in Sweden proved troublesome for train passengers on the Sundsvall–Timrå route after buckled tracks resulted in disruptions.

Summer heat causes Swedish rail delays as tracks buckle
File photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Although Norrtåg reassured passengers that replacement buses would be provided on affected routes, national operator SJ experienced difficulties procuring enough buses, TT reported on Saturday.

The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) said it expected the issue to be resolved by Sunday.

“We have three trains that will be redirected. They will be up to four hours late,” SJ press spokesperson Anders Edgren said on Saturday.

Another route, between Boden and Murjek, was also reported to have been disrupted by buckling on the tracks.

Although both routes were expected to be running normally on Sunday, travellers are advised to check journeys in advance.

READ ALSO: Nordic countries sizzle as European heatwave moves north

SHOW COMMENTS