Education Minister Kari Nessa Nordun (Ap) wants to ban mobile phones in school

Education Minister Kari Nessa Nordun (Ap) wants to ban mobile phones in school

Education Minister Kari Nessa Nordtun (Ap) wants to point the finger at the Russians and ban mobile phones in the classroom. But she denies being the school's Aunt Sophie.

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– I'm not strict, exactly, says the Minister of Education in a Christmas interview with the NDP.

She says she's trying to be clear. In a rapidly changing world.

– While research confirms that having a mobile phone during recess and in the classroom is not a good idea, it interferes with learning. Then he says we have to do something.

– Need more discipline at school?

– I think it is important for the teacher to have authority in the classroom and to have confidence in it.

New everyday life

Two months have passed since the former Stavanger mayor took a flight to Oslo to take up a job as chief executive of a Norwegian school.

– It's been a busy few months. He says that he is coming to this job directly from the election campaign.

Despite Labor suffering its worst national election in 99 years, the party surged ahead with 6.7 percentage points to become the largest party in Stavanger – a city traditionally dominated by the Conservative Party.

It was still not enough that Nordun was allowed to continue as mayor. However, the effort was noticed centrally in the party, where he became a rising star.

As education minister, he has already marked himself as a brake on “uncritical digitization” in schools and he is clear on increasing municipal management of kindergartens. Recently, he declared himself a party break for Russian celebrations.

Among other things, Nordun would move Russian language time after exams and ban Russian clothing at school when this could lead to exclusion.

– Not here to fool around

Without divulging details, Nordun promises several major moves in Norwegian schools in the coming months.

– I didn't come to Oslo to have fun. We have big ambitions for Norwegian schools. He says I can do whatever I want and I can show concrete action to justify the fact that I'm away from the kids four or five days a week.

Read on

The requirements were reduced in the twelfth hour – this is how students with lower math scores scored better in the exam.

Without notice, the Directorate of Professional Affairs changed the conditions. Many students who were otherwise grade 2 were promoted like this…

– What do you want?

– I want to contribute to making Norwegian schools better. I want us to stay together to make sure both kids are happy and learn more. This is very important.

– Are we far from there today?

– Yes, we are. We have many studies that support it. Norwegian schools are very good, but growth is negative in many important areas.

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The last PISA survey came out in early December.

It shows that the skills of Norwegian 15-year-olds in maths, science and reading have fallen sharply since 2018. Worse results than ever for Norwegian youth.

Some of this has been illustrated by the pandemic and closed schools in recent years. However, the education minister has pointed out that Norway's results have fallen worse than many other countries have closed schools.

- While research confirms that having a mobile phone during recess and in the classroom is not a good idea, it interferes with learning.  Then something needs to be done about it, says the Minister of Education.  But she denies being particularly strict.

– I am concerned that academic results are not good. We need to properly prepare young people for working life, adulthood and later social life. That is the mission of the school.

– Is digitization the whole problem?

– No. It's complicated. But we know that many students are distracted during their school days by their own digital device or other people's digital devices. And we can't be like that.

– Totally insane

Norden talks about “a sensible balance between screen and book, pen and keyboard”.

– When my son started first grade, they didn't have any books. They came home from time to time with a few sheets of paper, and then got Chromebooks halfway through the school year. There are schools in Oslo that only have iPads. Rich parents buy books for their children there, says Education Minister.

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She exclaims:

– This is absolutely crazy! Where are we going?

A normal Christmas

After a hectic few weeks in Oslo with a new everyday life, the Minister of Knowledge is looking forward to as normal a Christmas as possible with his family in Stavanger.

But it is completely screenless. Neither did her three boys. She is not that strict.

– Like most parents, I think I can always do more to control screen use at home. Screen time is available at six o'clock on weekdays. Then they can watch movies on the iPad, but they can't play games. They only get it on weekends. Then a little in the morning, then six in the evening.

– Can you have a completely iPod-free Christmas?

– Yes, it would be possible. But kids use iPads instead of watching TV. It's a little different than when I was a kid.

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Joshi Akinjide

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