Tuesday, January 03, 2006

School in Switzerland

One of the most fascinating things for me while I was living in Switzerland was learning about how kids go about school each day. There was a great article in Swiss Info today which reminded me of some of the differences in a Swiss School. Here are some of the differences I've noticed.

Swiss school hours are still quite odd for my standards.
Kids walk home for lunch. However, Bern is the first city to begin daycare during school hours. Can you believe this is a first for them? Growing up in the US, it's a bit odd, but since I lived in Switzerland I realized this was part of every day life.

Kids take off their shoes while in school and trade them in for slippers. This is one concept I'd love to see everyone do because it sure would cut down more on dirt and clutter. From what I've seen here in Canada, the places to put your backpacks and coats are the same as in Switzerland.

Kids in Switzerland and France for that matter usually go to school on the year round calendar. It makes for easier vacations and less time out of school. It's something I think all schools should follow because it forces kids to be ready for school all the time.

So the biggest change that is happening in Switzerland is that kids are starting to have more supervised after school care. It means that more parents are probably working today compared to years in the past. Many Swiss schools are large and quite recognizable buildings such as the one in the photo above. If I'm not mistaken, most kids might still be on break. But I guess we will just have to wait and see on this one.

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