The first few days were fun, but now Adrian Kroken Nicolaisen is tired of playing. He should rather be at school.
– It was fun the first few days, but I think everyone now finds it boring. At the start we were together quite a lot, but now we are only together digitally, says Adrian, in the gaming chair in the boys’ room.
He and his mates have been sitting here quite a bit in recent weeks. Their teachers have been on strike.
– Now I do nothing. I don’t have math or anything. I miss it. I know I don’t understand all the “math” now. It’s boring.
The children’s ombudsman is concerned
Children’s ombudsman Inga Bejer Engh’s main task is to shout loudly if the children’s rights are in danger. She does now.
– Every day is serious. When this strike is over, both the municipalities and the government must sit down and think of all the possible measures they can put in place. So that they ensure that this learning loss is not something that children bring on, and which may lead to dropping out, says Engh.
She adds that she is worried about the children, who have already had a poorer education during the pandemic.
– The Corona Commission’s latest report concluded that we failed to protect them in a good enough way, and now they have received this in addition.
The strike and children’s rights are both fundamental. Therefore, this situation has reached a tipping point, the children’s ombudsman believes.
– Now we are in a situation where the government must now weigh these rights against each other.
FAU: Strong injustice
In Porsgrunn, the teachers’ strike has lasted for five weeks. FAU fears a fifth-grader in recent years may have had as much as a year away from school, i.e. about 1/4 of his schooling so far.
Parents at several schools have therefore joined forces to write letters to the Norwegian authorities about the consequences of the strike.
FAU leader at Grønli school, Vidar Friis, is one of those who is worried about everything the students are missing out on.
– Now they are just at home. There is no requirement, no homework, there is nothing for many of them.
– Do you think this is a breach of the Education Act?
– Clearly. They are entitled to a certain form of training. There were states of emergency during the pandemic in working life and all that, but now it is only the students that are affected.
Hope the strike ends
Adrian and his mates got used to sitting at home during the pandemic, but then at least they got digital teaching. Now now wants the strike to end.
– I think the teachers deserve the salary they want, but I think it is stupid that there is a strike. We learn a lot less, says Adrian.
Children have a constitutional right to education, and have the right to good development, says children’s ombudsman Engh.
– School is an important factor in children’s lives, not only when it comes to education, but also how they function well in everyday life.
The last point is particularly important for vulnerable children, points out Engh.
Tomorrow, the parties to the strike will meet at the Riksmekleren at 10 o’clock. The children’s ombudsman is looking forward to this meeting.
– It’s good, none of us can sit and watch this. We need to find a solution to this as soon as possible.
The Education Association has announced that they will take 300 new teachers out on strike from Wednesday next week. This will increase the number of teachers on strike to around 8,450 nationwide.