Shorter courses without theory for those tired of school

Sweden's Education Minister Jan Björklund has announced plans to cut down on the number of students who drop out early from upper secondary school.

The minister wants to offer those students set to leave school early the chance to stay on instead by offering shorter courses with no theory work. He hopes the idea will cut down on the thousands of students who leave early every year.

"Students that are either not eligible for upper secondary school, because they have bad marks from compulsory school, or are students that have started a national programme but are so tired of school that they are about to drop out," said Björklund.

"Those affected will be offered to start a vocational education programme. It could be for a year or one and a half years depending on the demands from that particular field of training. After that, the student will receive a certificate showing that the student has the proper qualifications," he further told Swedish National Radio.

Eva Lis Syrén from the Swedish Teachers' Union disagrees with the minister's idea.

"If these measures are introduced, we will get kids that in no way are competitive on the labour market. Instead, upper secondary schools must be upgraded. Resources must be spent in order to obtain as good teachers as possible who are able to motivate individual pupils," Syren told Swedish Radio..

The proposal will now be reviewed in detail with the education department.