Nordic countries debate mandatory adult education for seniors

The Nordic Council, an inter-parliamentary elected body of the Nordic region, is debating a proposal to force all citizens - including senior citizens - to go back to school to "refresh" their skills. The proposal would make adult education mandatory for all throughout the citizen's life.

One politician referred to the idea as a "mandatory right."


“To prepare ourselves for the future we need to think out of the box,” writes Nordic Council rapporteur Poul Nielson in Proposal 7 of a new report (pdf) about the future of work in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Aaland. His proposal outlines a plan for mandatory adult education and continuing education in the region, in order to stay competitive in the global market.

A startling point in Nielson’s proposal is the word “mandatory.” He hopes to make continuous education compulsory for all, and to build it into the regular career cycle of Nordic workers.

“The combination of rapid technological development with the gradual increase in retirement age increases the need for new forms of education,” the 73-year-old Danish politician explained to EU Observer:

It is not a huge problem for the very well-educated. But with a rising pension age, people approaching 60-65 years—who still have 5–10 years more on the labour market—they should have the opportunity to refresh their skills seriously. And as a new mandatory right.

Basically it is like lifting mandatory education to the next level.

Continuing education and adult education is not a new idea in Scandinavia. In Denmark, elderly learners can enroll in designated “folk high schools” that provide short-term training in subjects like history, science, literature, and math, without the pressure of exams and papers.

Everything about this proposal is fine - except for the "mandatory" part. What is it with these socialists that everything about them is coercion? Removing the individual's right to choose whether to further their education is positively draconian. 

It's justified by the claim that the state will benefit by workers being better educated. Those who don't wish to go to school are brushed aside as being irrelevant to promoting the "greater good" - as decided by bureaucrats and managers. 

A perfect example of why individual rights are dying in Europe and a warning that it could easily happen here.



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