Should Sweden's school age be raised?

Oliver Gee
Oliver Gee - [email protected]
Should Sweden's school age be raised?

After the new coalition announced plans to extend Sweden's compulsory schooling until the age of 18, The Local asked two Swedes at high school if they agreed with the idea.


YES says 16-year-old Jonathan
"I'm completely behind it. I almost dropped out myself when I had the chance in the 9th grade and I'm so glad I didn't.
At the time, I was so tired of it all, really burnt out, and not interested in anything school-related. I mean, it's tough and a lot of the students get frustrated with all the tests and exams. And at the same time you realize how important all the decisions are and it just gets to you. 
But, I came around and realized that it was only a few more years, so I decided to persevere. Now, I'm in my second year of upper secondary school and enjoying it. None of my good friends dropped out, but I know some people who did and they certainly regret it. 
I think the idea from the new government is important - younger students need to realize how valuable education is. There are kids in other countries who would be begging for an opportunity like this. But in Sweden, it's almost like the kids don't know."
NO says 18-year-old Ann
"The poor results the Swedish school system are not due to a shortage of time, but rather a consequence of how poorly that time is being managed. We do need smaller classes (and the teachers could sure use a pay raise), but there is much, much more that needs to be looked at. 
Firstly, some people simply aren't suited nor willing to commit themselves to a more advanced education. Forcing them to continue studying won't benefit anyone, especially not those who choose their higher education voluntarily, like me. 
Secondly, maybe it's a bit insensitive to say this, but one of the greatest things with the current system is that you get rid of most of the "troublemakers" who disturb everyone else during class and spread a "studying is uncool" mentality. They don't want to be there and forcing them to stay will only result in grades dropping further and teen suicide and depression increasing, or at least that's my prediction. 
Thirdly, knowing that you're studying because of your own free will is a huge boost in motivation. If you want to get the most out of people you have to feed their individual ambition, not expect everyone to behave like identical replicas of each other. People want different things from life and the politicians need to respect that, or at the very least work towards improving school so that more people actually want to continue studying (I mean, a bad chef wouldn't force people to eat his food, but would rather work to improve his recipes, right?)
Having said all this, I can't pretend to know what it's currently like on the job market. What I do know, however, is that what Sweden really needs right know is more jobs and an education system that actually works somewhat efficiently, not a prolonged mess."


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also