With the outbreak of the coronavirus which causes the illness COVID-19, the Government is following developments carefully and is in continuous contact with the responsible authorities. The Government is taking the decisions that are necessary to help curb the spread of the coronavirus and combat the effects of the virus spreading through society. Below is a summary of the work being done in the policy areas of the Ministry of Education and Research.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden has announced that there are currently no plans to close compulsory schools and preschools. The Government is continuing to prepare for a change in the situation and ensuring that care will be available for children and pupils whose parents work in areas vital to society even in the event that preschools and schools must be closed.
A new act will enable the Government to temporarily close preschools, schools, out-of-school centres and other educational activities. The act also allows a responsible entity to decide in some cases to temporarily close a preschool, out-of-school centre or other educational activity.
Sweden’s upper secondary schools, municipal adult education, vocational adult education and higher education institutions are recommended to provide distance learning until further notice. Parents are urged to take their parental responsibility and make clear to their children the seriousness of the situation. Young people must continue to study even in these new circumstances.
The Government considers that student loans that have been granted should not have to be paid back in cases where there is no teaching due to extraordinary circumstances.
The Swedish Council for Higher Education has decided that the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test will not be conducted in spring 2020. The Government is reviewing how this should be dealt with in view of the autumn’s intake.