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Think tank calls for more day schools

Under the day-school system, children are able to stay for lunch Keystone

Switzerland’s leading think tank has called on the authorities to keep schools open during lunchtime.

Avenir Suisse said the lack of all-day schools was hampering parents’ ability to mix family life with professional responsibilities.

The think tank’s recommendations come less than a month after the Swiss Teachers’ Association appealed to education bosses to consider opening more day schools.

Currently many educational establishments close for lunch and the association would like to give parents the opportunity to leave their children at school for a whole day.

Avenir Suisse said it was sending a manual entitled All-day schools to the 2,800 local authorities across the country.

“[We] want to encourage the transformation of the traditional local school system into one where schools are open all day,” the think tank said in a statement.

“Such schools [would] give parents more opportunity to juggle their private and professional lives.”

Slow reform

According to Avenir Suisse, so far only 35 local authorities in German- and French-speaking parts of the country have introduced day schools.

The manual published on Tuesday is billed as a “practical guide” designed to help education officials reform existing school systems.

Christian Aeberli, co-author of the publication, said day schools should no longer be the exception to the rule.

He added that they were “ideal” for families where both parents were keen to pursue their own careers – and suggested that allowing children to stay at school all day would lead to increased productivity in the workplace and could contribute to economic growth.

The Swiss Teachers’ Association has previously made it clear that the money to fund day schools could come from three sources: federal government, parental contributions and private enterprise.

swissinfo with agencies

Avenir Suisse is sending its day-school manual to all local authorities across the country.
The think tank argues that parents as well as the economy will benefit from more such schools.
Its call for an overhaul of the education system is supported by the Swiss Teachers’ Association.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR