More hours of math and more education for math teachers – that’s what’s on Minister of Education Jan Björklund’s agenda as he described it during a recent press conference.

“We are making math a priority in our schools,” Björklund said. Adding that 2.6 billion SEK ($405 million) will be put aside for the subject, as math is important and Swedish students are getting worse and worse at it. Math teachers, too, will get more training in math, since many of them are lacking in competence. The government will give money, but also decide how math will be taught in the future; more involvement from the teacher, less work done by the student alone.

“It’s new that the state interferes with teaching methods, but it is at the same time of national importance that we do so, as everything so far (concerning math) has failed,” Björklund said. From the fall of 2013, Swedish students will have 120 hours more of math, and much of the focus will be on the youngest students, but also on honor students, who are talented in math. Björklund hopes that the investment done in math will show results in about 6 years.