SWEDEN. The school system is failing and there’s many reasons why.

In 2003 Sweden was on place 17 in maths in the international PISA tests, but around 2006 the results started to sink and when the ones for 2012 was published in December 2013 Sweden had slipped to the 38th place in maths. It caused panic among politicians and as 2014 was an election year they all made grand promises and promised more teachers. Media went into crisis management mode and have over the last years focused on positive stuff from the test, like good results in cooperating with others. They have also written about other countries bad results.

A report from 2018 showed that it’s more common that immigrated students perform badly compared with those who are born in the country and that group make up about 20% of all students. In Sweden they get 60% lower results! That they are very motivated doesn’t seem to help. But before this report it was considered racist to imply that PISA had dropped because of immigrated kids. I can’t understand that. If you truly are a non-racist why would you allow this group to suffer instead of helping them?

The soundlevel in Swedish classrooms are high and most of them are equipped with hearing protectors for the students to use when (yes, when – not if) they can’t stand the noise anymore. Due to immigration it’s often more children in the schools than they can handle and there was a shortage of teachers even before the wave of 2015. Now there’s a need for 10 000 more. One teacher have to handle about 25 children whereof several need extra help. It isn’t uncommon that an immigrated child who doesn’t speak any Swedish is placed in a regular class and if another child speak his language he get the job of interpreting. That’s hardly fair for anyone involved!

The last couple of weeks there have been a lot of discussion about students who misbehave in the classroom. A 15-year old in Malmö are to recieve 25 000 kronor ($2 715) because he felt offended when a teacher carried him out of the classroom. It wasn’t the first time it happened and it was judged to be uncalled for, even though he was causing trouble and didn’t listen to the teacher. It’s just one of many similar cases from the last couple of years and teachers are now afraid to get sued if they take action against students who act out.

In a school in Hjulsta, Stockholm, there have been 43 reports of violence and threats in only six months and the culprit is a new method called low arousal approach which hasn’t even been researched and evaluated yet. The aggressive child are to be treated with calmness and sometimes you shouldn’t call him out when he misbehaves. Instead you should have a meeting about it later on. No wonder the kids have taken over the school. But don’t worry, they have decided to delve deeper into the method and if they can only hang on to it they will be able to harvest the longterm effects. Unfortunately the school will be burned down and they will all be dead by then.

The ways of misbehaving varies: refusing to listen to the teacher, screaming and calling them and students names, the use violence, threaths. And then there’s the rapes of students and even one teacher. Jewish teachers and students have a hard time and there’s immigrants who call them names and refuse to take part in lessons about the Holocaust (as it didn’t happen according to them). Christians have been mistreated too. There’s parents who want to implement the rules of Islam in schools and there’s the impact of clan- and honourculture.

Personally I think that not talking Swedish as a first language is a big culprit as it make you behind every one else from the beginning. But it’s hardly allowed to talk about these things as it’s racist too. Some teachers can’t even accept the idea about only talking Swedish in school. The focus have mainly been on how wonderful it’s that these children are bilingual. But I guess it’s better to let them fail than imply that things won’t fix themselves. That they in fact demand hard work.

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