Norway: Shock over school reform plansShock over school reform plans
Teachers, students and experts have expressed widespread bafflement as to how proposed education program reforms can include a curriculum that ignores modern history. A key component in the draft national high school curriculum proposes replacing much Norwegian, European, world and modern history with digital presentations of the Viking age, the rise of the Roman Empire and the development of medieval China. Students already fear a knowledge gap filled by repetitive Power Point presentations on the same few subjects. The new program leaves out the world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Cold War, and does not mention the topics of Nazism or Communism. The world wars are potentially included under a clause that would allow teachers and students "to choose and examine two or more recent international conflicts, and assess cause and effect". The reform would further complicate the teaching of general education by reducing the number of hours of history to two hours a week. Criticism of the plan, and its bureaucratic formulation, has come from all quarters, and while Minister of Knowledge Øystein Djupedal has insisted that the reform process will be ready by January 2006 and in force by autumn next year, he has clearly registered the protests.