Back to school … again

Month-long teacher lockout ends to mixed reviews

The government intervention that put an end to the four-week teacher lockout was met mostly with celebration by parents and students alike. Many of the kids seemed ready to get back to their normal routine, while parents were finally given a break from scrambling for daycare options or dragging their children along to work.

Schools across the country welcomed teachers and students back today with morning songs, speeches and, in some cases, fresh-baked rolls.

As students tried to remember where their seats were after a month’s break, teachers expressed their satisfaction at being able to teach again. Many were not, however, happy with the outcome of the lockout.

"We have lost a month’s salary and were still bulldozed by the government in the end, so I find it hard to know whether to smile at everyone or tell them how hard the last month has been,” Nanna Lambert, a teacher at Bobjergskole in Asnæs, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

The four week lockout has also put pressure on older students getting ready to take final exams. Various proposals, including evening and weekend classes, have been suggested to help students make up for lost time, but none of them are getting rave reviews.

Agnete Vienberg Hansen, the head of the student advocacy group Danske Skoleelever, does not believe that extra classes are the way to go.

"It is important that we help students get ready for the exams during these final two weeks, but I don't think extra classes will work, whether they are forced or voluntary,” she told DR News.

Hansen said that only the strongest students would bother with voluntary classes, while making extra classes mandatory would only add stress to what is already a tough time for graduating students. She added that students should be able to enjoy their final weeks in school, including social aspects that would be curtailed by extra classes.

Meanwhile, one of the ancillary benefits of the lockout disappeared as schools opened for business again this morning.

“Miss the lockout already,” tweeted Aalborg truck driver Dom Kelly. “The traffic is back.”

Kelly said that his wife Dorthe is a teacher, and that he was really just trying to “wind her up". Kelly said that the lockout had hurt them financially, so the family was glad that she was back at work. 





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