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The Government's work in the area of education in response to the coronavirus
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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.
To meet an increased need for training and transition in the labour market and to make it easier to study throughout the country, the Government has proposed initiatives including in adult education, liberal adult education and higher education.
A new act allows the Government to temporarily close preschools, schools, out-of-school centres and other educational activities. The act also gives the responsible entity the right to temporarily close an educational activity in some cases. There are currently no plans to close compulsory schools and preschools. The Government has made preparations to ensure – should the situation change – that care is available for children and pupils whose parents work in areas vital to society.
The Government has decided that schools that must be closed following a decision by an expert agency may adapt their educational activities to, for example, remote or distance learning. It is recommended that Sweden’s upper secondary schools, municipal adult education, vocational adult education and higher education institutions provide distance learning until further notice.
The Government considers that student loans that have been granted should not have to be paid back if no teaching is provided. To enable health and medical care students to work in the health care sector without their student aid being reduced, the Government proposes that the income ceiling for all those receiving student aid be temporarily removed in 2020.
The Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) 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 ahead of the autumn’s intake.