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Schools do not want to be political toys

Schools are increasingly being misused as political playthings, warned the president of the teachers’ association on Switzerland’s first National Education Day.

Beat Zemp is therefore calling for a binding contract and a curriculum that is valid nationwide – an ambitious demand given Switzerland’s federal structure, with each of the country’s 26 cantons being responsible for local education.

Politicians from all parties attended the event in Bern on Friday. Zemp welcomed this political interest in education but said there was a negative side.

“The price for political influence in public education is not only ideological bickering between lobby groups and experts,” he said. “Schools are increasingly being misused as party-political vehicles to win votes.”

Franziska Peterhans, the association’s general-secretary, said an important point was a “meaningful and clear curriculum that was valid across the whole country”.

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