Sweden’s Education Minister says she is “convinced” it was the right decision to keep schools open during the pandemic

On Twitter, Sweden’s Minister for Education wrote that she is “convinced” it was the right decision not to close down schools in March 2020.

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In response to an article posted by The Economist stating that “new data suggest that the damage from shutting down schools has been worse than almost anyone expected”, Sweden’s Minister of Education discussed her decision to keep schools open.

Minister Ekström said that Keeping schools and preschools open when other countries closed them was an extremely difficult decision.” and that she received “harsh” criticism for not closing down schools.

However, she says she is “convinced that it was the right decision.”

Sweden was one of the few countries that kept schools open during the pandemic and minimized masking and other quarantine rules.

Sverker Lindblad from the Faculty of Education at the University of Gothenburg said Sweden’s situation was unique and that the “main reason why Sweden did not close its schools was the Swedish Constitution, under which government agencies are independent and governance by ministers is prohibited. This meant that the Government was unable to overrule the Public Health Agency of Sweden, whose judgement formed the basis for the Government’s decisions,”.

Lindblad added, “Another important aspect is that the Swedish strategy largely rested on trust rather than regulation. In other words, relying on citizens acting on the recommendations issued in a spirit of solidarity.”

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