• Sweden's news in English

Social Democrats want compulsory preschools and high schools

The Local · 6 Apr 2013, 14:42

Published: 06 Apr 2013 14:42 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

As soon as the economy improves, steps should be taken to ensure that all municipalities in Sweden offer free preschool places for all toddlers, regardless if their parents or legal guardians are gainfully employed, unemployed or on parental leave, the congress established.

The party also wants to scrap the childcare allowance for parents or guardians of preschool-age children.

Further, the Social Democrats want to make high school (gymnasium) attendance compulsory. Swedish high school corresponds to grades 10 to 12 and is currently not mandatory.

The aim is to ensure that all Swedes have a complete high school degree before the age of 25.

According to the Social Democrats, by 2020, the number of 18- to 24-year-olds without high school degrees should be halved and 50 percent of 30- to 34-year-olds should have completed at least two years of higher education.

To achieve this, the Social Democrats want to increase the number of higher education places and to reintroduce work experience as a valid merit for university applicants. The party also wants to review the age limit for claiming student loans.

In his speech at the congress, Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, head of Sweden's Trade Union Confederation (LO), outlined several measures to reduce unemployment, including investing in vocational courses and increasing housing construction.

If housing construction increased at a proper rate it could lead to the creation of 35,000 new jobs, said Thorwaldsson.

Earlier, the congress also determined that the municipalities should have "decisive impact" when it comes to establishing privately-run, publicly-funded free schools (friskolor).

However, the National Free School Committee (Friskolekommittén) said it would be difficult to reach an agreement on this across the right and left blocks.

The head of the Free School Committee, Lars Leijonborg, told Sveriges Radio (SR) that the Social Democrats' decision is practically a veto which renders any cross-party deal on the future of free schools impossible.

Story continues below…

The committee was close to a deal, said Leijonborg, with six parties ready to reach an agreement.

But Social Democrat education policy spokesman Ibrahim Baylan dismissed claims that the Social Democrats were vetoing a deal, saying he would not be surprised if the Committee used this as a "pretext" for failing to reach a decision.

"The really big problem with the Free School Committee has been that we haven't really known what the centre-right government's premise has been," Baylan told SR.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available