Local councils puzzled by extended holidays

13.08.2019 - 14:08
Local councils puzzled by extended holidays
Local authorities cannot meet the sudden increase in day-care demand brought about by extended school holidays

It’s not only parents who were taken aback by the education minister’s recent decision to extend school summer breaks to eight weeks.

Local councils have no measures in place to help families who find themselves unable to care for their children during the long holidays.

Like the Teachers’ Association said last week, Eyðun Christiansen, who heads the Association of Municipalities, says that local councils have not been consulted on the matter.

“If local councils are to provide day-care solutions to meet the increased demand in the summer months, the state needs to look at ways to finance this added burden,” he says.

A sudden decision

Education minister Hanna Jensen says the main reason for extending the summer break is to give teachers an extra week of preparation time.

She adds that local councils have shown an interest in expanding their day-care offerings to accommodate the increased demand.

 >> SEE ALSO Parents worry over longer school holidays

But according to Christiansen, the only communication between the education ministry and local councils in this context has dealt with a possible reduction of weekly school hours, but no discussions have taken place regarding a reduction in school days.

The Pedagogue Union is also critical of the changes, saying it is unfair that teachers are given one additional week of preparation time at the stroke of a pen when Pedagogue Union members had to resort to an industrial strike in 2012 to secure a single day of extra preparation time.

Translated by prosa.fo

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