Pupils hope Wednesday’s strike action against a new absence rule will make the government change their minds about introducing it.
The strike went very well, we are very, very satisfied with the turnout, John Akerø ,the leader of the Oslo division of the Pupil Organization says to news agency NTB.
– Around 2,000 pupils turned up outside City Hall, in addition to pupils gathering for the demonstration in other places, we had probably expected about 800, Akerø says.
He says it was a powerful demonstration with a very clear message.
– We hope that the politicians in Stortinget will get the message. We truly believe we will achieve something here, now we are waiting for the parliament to discuss and decide on the proposal in June, Akerø says.
On June 17 will student organizations further stress resistance by organzing a national demonstration.
The rule to be introduced this fall, says that if a student has more than 10 percent undocumented absence in a subject, then the student will not get any grades in the subject for the semester in question.
Students believe that the new rule will affect pupils like those with periodic mental illnesses who are not able to get a medical certificates continuously.
Believes rules may prevent truancy
Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H) says the rules are to be introduced in order to prevent truancy and to encourage steady effort. He believes the call to strike against the absence rules are unwise.
– Political commitment is a good thing, but I believe that encouraging absence is a not a sensible way to show this. It will hit the pupils themselves the hardest, because they will miss important lessons, he writes in an SMS to newspaper VG.
Proud of the students who went on strike
The pupils get warm support from teachers who are organized in the National Association of the schools.
– We are proud of the pupils who show a strong commitment. The minister’s faith in disciplinary action will affect those who are truly vulnerable the most. It is unlikely to have a positive impact on the greatest challenge we have in school, which is the large number of pupils dropping out from school, union leader Anne Finborud says .
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today