The number of pupils in the Norwegian primary schools has increased over the last decade, but in Northern Norway classrooms become increasingly emptier.
The decline in the number of children has resulted in 90 school closings in the region in the past decade. The last ten years has seen an overall increase of 9,000 school children in Norwegian schoolyards, but this is not reflected in the northernmost part of the country, NRK news reports.
Since the 2006-2007 school year there have been 7,500 fewer primary school children in northern Norway. During the same period, 19,800 more are to be found behind the school desks in Oslo and Akershus.
– Demographic changes have had, and will continue to have, major impact on school structure in Norway, says researcher Karl January Solstad at Nordland Research, who has written several papers on the subject.
He says that the centralization that is now taking place has a reinforcing effect, in that the places that lose their schools are even less attractive to settle in.
Oslo and Akershus, which already has the highest number of pupils has experienced a growth in students of almost 20 percent, while schools in the three northernmost provinces experienced a decline of between 9 and 15 percent in the same period, according to figures from Statistics Norway (SSB).
During the same period, 352 Norwegian primary schools closed down. Most of these small schools in sparsely populated areas.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today