Lotta Edholm, the Swedish Minister of Education, has decided to abandon the digital learning strategy presented last year by the National Agency for School Education. And, at the same time, give back to textbooks part of the prominence they had in the classroom before the digital revolution and the generalization of screens. This year, 60 million euros will be allocated so that students once again have paper manuals, at least one per subject. And for the next two years, items of 44 million euros are planned.
The digitization of society is, with great probability, an unstoppable phenomenon. It affects all spheres, from education to health, including information and leisure. And it gains ground daily. But it is a proven fact that its extension coincides, for example in our country, with a drop in school performance and with a loss of skills among young people, which is manifested particularly with the decline in reading comprehension.
Sweden puts the brakes on digital education and returns prominence to manuals
Too high a percentage of students reach secondary school, and beyond, without mastering the process of reading and comprehension of texts, which is an almost insurmountable obstacle to their intellectual development and, also, to access the job market.
From a very early hour, the youngest find their main windows to the world on the screens. Mobile phones, tablets, computers or televisions, which serve as supports for innumerable networks, are now almost an extension of the human body. It is estimated that young Spaniards spend an average of four hours a day using screens at home. Undoubtedly, more than those who spend reading.
There are no good means and bad means. There are no virtuous supports and perverse supports. It all depends on the use or abuse that is made of them. But that is just as true as that one and the other stimulates the innate abilities of young people to a different extent. The screens offer immediacy and an incomprehensible flow of information. But, precisely for this reason, they do not always encourage careful attention or reflection, which have traditionally been associated with reading a book. Seeing and looking are different actions. As they are hearing and listening. And, frequently, the medium in which we receive the information is decisive. It is not about prioritizing one channel of knowledge to the detriment of another. It is a matter, at least in the case of screens and books, of finding the balance point that favors those who are being formed.
Sweden, an advanced country, is now correcting an educational system with a lot of digital weight. It’s good that it is. And not only to restore prominence to the book. Also because it indicates that you are looking for the best combination and you do not hesitate to correct the course until you find the right one.
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