After betting on digital in schools in the kingdom, Sweden is preparing to return to the good old textbooks. According to the center-right government, which relies on several medical studies, the tablets are partly responsible for the drop in the overall level of students.
For five years now, Sweden has decided to put digital technology at the center of education. Indeed and as dictated by a directive from the Swedish Ministry of Education, the idea is to train generations to become seasoned digital users from an early age.
This is why young Swedish people, right from nursery school, find themselves with iPads in their hands. Be careful, however, it is not a question of stupidly consuming YouTube content on a tablet. As this Swedish professor explained in a report by Swiss radio RTS info, we train children to use these digital tools. They are taught in particular to take photos, to do editing while they discover from the age of 5 the basics of programming.
However, and for several months now, this strategy has been called into question by the new centre-right government, and more precisely by Lotta Edholmthe current Minister of Education.
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Sweden backtracks on digital at school
On May 15, the political leader buried the strategy of the national agency for school education in favor of the pursuit of digital technology, just presented in December 2022. As our colleagues from Le Monde point out, the minister had already expressed her fears against this measure in a column published in the newspaper Expressen.
In her own words, she described the use of digital in primary schools as a “experimentation” and pointed the finger “the uncritical attitude that casually saw digitization as good, whatever its content”. She went even further, blaming this strategy for having led to the “shelving” textbooks.
Result, the Swedish government wants to backtrack. 60 million euros will be put on the table from 2023 to finance the return of textbooks to schools in the country. An additional 44 million euros will be released for 2024 and 2025with a simple but ambitious goal: one textbook per student and per subject.