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EDUCATION

Educators working on the side for Apple: report

Local education officials in Sweden are moonlighting for an Apple-supported project which promotes the company's products in Swedish schools, leading to concerns the extra gig presents a conflict of interests.

Educators working on the side for Apple: report

The project, called Tänk om (‘Rethink’ or ‘Imagine’ in Swedish), has direct ties to Apple’s marketing efforts in Sweden and often employs teachers and education officials as consultants.

According to an email reviewed by Sveriges Radio (SR), Apple representatives say the company has invested “substantial sums” in the project, calling it a Swedish version of the Apple Professional Development Programme for K12 Education.

A review by SR found that public servants in several Swedish municipalities receive additional income from Tänk Om – and the list of people with potentially conflicting interests includes teachers, principals and IT coordinators.

“You should be buying the best education materials, not the ones tied to your income,” public administration profssor Olle Lundin at Uppsala University told SR.

“This clearly risks denting the public’s trust in the system.”

To make matters worse, it appears that several educators feel pressure to stay silent on the matter despite niggling doubts.

A principal, who wanted to remain anonymous, told SR that both Apple and Tänk Om had been in contact after they questioned whether it was appropriate for educators “to sit on two chairs,” the Swedish expression for a person who has potentially conflicting interests.

Apple refused to comment on the dilemma when contacted by SR, stating it had no official spokespersons.

Experts told SR that Apple currently commands around 40 percent of the market for school computers in Swedish, which is estimated to be around 1 billion kronor ($153 million) annually.

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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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