Start of school - no more fun?

For many children the first day of school is a big adventure, while for some it's a source of fear. All over Europe children will be starting school in the next days and weeks. Journalists in various countries describe how stressful the school years can be for children and parents, and who needs most support during this time.

Open/close all quotes
Iltalehti (FI) /

Disadvantaged children need more support

As the first day of school in Finland approaches Iltalehti worries about the quality of education for the youngest pupils:

“According to statistics, 6,000 of the 61,000 children who start school this year won't learn to read well enough in the next nine years to be able to continue their education. ... Families, schools and society must ensure that these children learn to read. Parents, for instance, can broaden their children's vocabulary by reading them bedtime stories, and they can encourage boys to read as well. Society, in turn, should support schools and kindergartens located in neighbourhoods where many immigrants and unemployed live.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

It doesn't always have to be university

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung sees the pressure to perform well at school growing:

“Education is a prerequisite for social advancement. In academic circles the negative version of this formula applies: without adequate qualifications social decline looms. And 'adequate' means that the next generation must also achieve a university degree or at the very least obtain the Abitur [university entrance qualification]. Yet it's well known that other qualifications and educational programmes can also lead to a successful career and perhaps even hold more promise of a fulfilled life. Most mothers and fathers accept this - but only when it's not their own children they're talking about. Their own children should jolly well complete their Abitur!”