The Confederation of Icelandic Employers and Iceland Chamber of Commerce have just published a report on the state of education in Iceland and how to improve it.

The publication entitled Stærsta efnahagsmálið. Sóknarfæri í menntun (the biggest economic issue: opportunities in education and training) analyses the Icelandic educational situation and points out that the educational level in Iceland is lower than in other Nordic countries and the situation seems to be worsening. Icelandic children, especially boys, seem to leave compulsory school with worse economic prospects than other Nordic children.

It points out that it is absolutely necessary to improve the situation, and that this should not be done simply by increasing education and training funds, since funding in Iceland is already the highest in Nordic counties.

Instead, the report calls for reorganisation of the entire education system, increased decentralisation, autonomy for each school, better teacher education and variations on how education is delivered.

For students to choose between different types and contents of education, information on educational pathways needs to be improved, and constant and more qualified feedback needs to be guaranteed. The report also highlights that hardly any information is available on quality of education and training and that there is no unified system on how schools grade students’ performances, which leads to discrimination when choosing a career.

The report does not differentiate between general education and training and VET. However, it points out that while unemployment rates have grown among university graduates - particularly social science graduates - there is a growing need of people with technical education and VET.

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