Björklund Dismisses Proposal on Mandatory Swedish in School

Jan Björklund does not support the idea that core subjects should be taught only in Swedish. 

A working group within the Liberal party had presented a proposal that classes in the first 9 grades of Swedish schools should only be allowed in Swedish.

Today, all children who speak a different language at home, have the right to take instruction in their own language. But  some schools have also offered other subjects, such as maths and English, in different languages, on a trial basis. The government recently decided to continue the trial period until 2010, according to Swedish News Agency TT.

The working group was proposing that this should be stopped. The concern was that the pupils’ knowledge of Swedish would suffer if the foreign language classes were allowed.  

The proposal met with hard criticism from both opposition and the the Liberal Youth. Critics within the Green Party said that the real danger was that fewer students would leave school with a good knowledge of maths, English and Swedish, if there was a ban on classes in other languages.

However, the leader of the Liberal Party, the Minister for Education Jan Björklund, spoke out against the proposal on Monday afternoon. He said to Swedish News Agency TT that although he understands the working group’s concerns he does not think that banning tuition in other languages is the solution. The proposal will come up for vote at the party meeting in November. Without Björklund’s support it would be unlikely for it to pass, according to TT.

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