Chinese to Be Taught in All Swedish Schools

Sweden’s education minister has pledged to make Chinese tuition available in all schools in order to boost the country’s competitiveness, according to the AFP.

“I want to see Sweden become the first country in Europe to introduce instruction in Chinese as a foreign language at all primary and secondary schools,” said Jan Bjoerklund, who heads the Liberal Party, a junior member of the centre-right ruling coalition ….

“Not everyone in the business world speaks English. Very highly qualified activities are leaving Europe to move to China. Chinese will be much more important from an economic point of view than French or Spanish,” he said ….

Bjoerklund acknowledged that such a move would demand a lot of resources, especially for recruiting educators who can teach Chinese, but said that within a decade all primary schools should be equipped to teach the language, while it might take 15 years for secondary schools to readjust.

And from TheLocal.se:

“If we look towards the next generation, it’s almost unavoidable to think anything else than that China will be a very important global actor,” said the minister in an interview with Sveriges Radio (SR) ….

“It all boils down to teacher training colleges and other institutions expanding their programmes, and if we decide to do this, it’s definitely possible,” said Björklund to SR.