Today’s headlines – Friday, Dec 21

Poor readers doing well
The majority of students who have been dubbed “functionally illiterate” while in public school go on to start secondary education, according to new findings from Aarhus University. Six out of every ten students with reading problems end up doing well, the study reported, which also found that having reading issues is rarely the reason why young people fail to continue after finishing primary school. The research indicated that 60 percent of the students who scored lowest in the Pisa test have started or completed a secondary-school programme within three years of leaving primary school. Since the Pisa test was introduced over ten years ago, Danish children’s poor reading results has worried educators and lawmakers alike, and it was only a couple of weeks ago that the government presented a new school reform that would tackle the more than 15 percent of Danes who leave primary school without being able to read adequately.  Jyllands-Posten

250,000 Danes are scrutinized for abuse
Every year, nearly a quarter of a million Danes are investigated for child abuse when they apply for jobs involving children. The investigations are part of a ‘child certificate’ programme, and have prevented 69 people convicted of child abuse or possessing child pornography from being employed in childcare facilities or youth activity centres. A child certificate is a special form of long-lasting criminal record that indicates whether a person has been convicted of the aforementioned crimes in the past 15 years. Jan Darfelt, of Danmarks Idræts-Forbund, the national sports federation, said that while he was pleased that the system was filtering out potential child abusers, it was worrisome that so many child sex offenders were applying for jobs involving children. – Berlingske

Group exams making a comeback
Group exams will be returning to public schools this summer in a number of subjects, including maths, history and languages. The goal of the group exams was to place students in the same type of working groups they would encounter in workplaces. In these exams, two or three students take the exam together. Each individual student is assessed separately and the exam time will be multiplied with the number of students in the group. Group exams were first implemented in primary schools in 1997, but were eliminated again in 2005 by the Venstre-Konservative government.  Politiken

Rail technicians strike
Technicians with Banedanmark, which maintains the nation’s railway infrastructure, went on strike this morning in protest over what they consider to be a poor work environment. The employees are striking after Banedanmark’s management in October cancelled some local workplace agreements. “Banedanmark treat their workers badly. We don’t ever know what’s going on and they don’t respect us. I never know when I’m off work and that’s not okay,” an employee spokesperson said. The staff are responsible for responding to technical problems on the railway network, and their absence could result in significant delays should a problem arise. It is the third time in a week that passengers could endure long train delays after technical problems and a bomb threat halted trains recently. – Ekstrabladet

Cloudy with the chance of flurries. Highs around 2 C. Temperatures falling to -3 C overnight. Today is the shortest day of the year.