Arvidsjaur – Best school district in test. Alcohol locks in public buses. Sweden´s competitiveness second best. Stingy Swedes.
Arvidsjaur – Best in test
Lomma won three times, Lund twice. But this time the number one spot is way up north – Arvidsjaur municipality can now boast with being the best municipality in Sweden when it comes to schools. Being named “Sweden’s best school municipality” is an extra bit of encouragement to the municipalities that strive to raise the quality in the Swedish schools. When Lärarförbundet looks at schools around the country, they look at issues like resources for the classroom, educated teachers, healthy teachers and good salaries. And in fact it is not only Arvidsjaur that emerges as a winner this year, northern Sweden in general does. Six of the ten municipalities on the top of the list are located either in Västerbotten or in Norrbotten. “Here’s to teachers as well as students and everybody who lives in Arvirdsjaur for having a school with high quality,” says Eva-Lis Sirén, chairwoman of Lärarförbundet (the Swedish Teachers’ Union). By looking at the criteria stated above as well as statistics including the students’ grades and how many of the students who continue studying at college- and university level, Lärarförbundet picks an annual winner. The top ten municipalities for best schools in 2010 are: 1. Arvidsjaur 2. Piteå 3. Vindeln 4. Lund 5. Luleå 6. Lomma 7. Olofström 8. Pajala 9. Mörbylånga 10. Norsjö.
Alcohol locks in public buses
Local buses in Stockholm will be equipped with alcohol locks. This decision was taken by SL (Storstockholms lokaltrafik) already in 2006, but will now be implemented. The reason for the delay was that SL feared drivers would feel offended if they had to prove they were not affected by alcohol, daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports. ”There are fears, especially among the union members, that the drivers will perceive it as a violation against their integrity and feel uncomfortable blowing in the alcohol lock,” says Erik Stenbäck at SL. Nevertheless, the alcohol locks will now be installed in all SL’s buses. The drivers will be required to blow at the start of their workday, both when the bus is in the garage and when they change drivers in a public place.
Sweden´s competitiveness second best
Sweden has advanced from its former 4th place and is now the world's 2nd most competitive economy, only beaten by Switzerland, according to the annual comparison by the World Economic Forum, and thus overtaking both the U.S. and Singapore. Among the Nordic countries, Finland is placed 7th, Denmark 9th, Norway 14th, and Iceland is place 36th. The U.S. placed 4th. The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the Report.
We’re used to seeing Sweden on the top, or close to, on the kind of lists that everybody wants to be on. But among the 10 most generous countries in 2010 you won’t find Sweden. Not even among the 20 most generous. In a first-of-its-kind survey launched by the Charities Aid, 153 nations are ranked on the willingness of their citizens to donate time and money to charity, Sweden placed 45th. Australia and New Zealand shared 1st place, Ireland came after, then Canada. The United States tied with Switzerland for 5th. What is surprising is, of course, that Sweden topped the index of Commitment to Development last year, indicating that we have the most generous government by far (followed by Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway). Generous government – but not a very generous population.