Sweden’s first virtual primary school opens

Sweden is a leading IT-nation and a longtime user of computers and software in public as well as private education. And now comes the first virtual school for Swedish children, anywhere in the world, accessible 24 hours a day every day. All communication is done over the Internet.

It is called PippisHemskola and offers the full Swedish primary curriculum, from grade 1 to grade 6 and is approved by the Swedish school authority, Skolverket. Education, which is conducted in Swedish only, starts this fall.

We asked cofounder Ms. Anna Lunden to elaborate on some issues.

How is response so far?

“Marketing began this May. Still, parents of around 30 kids have already contacted us. As of June 2002 we had signed up some 15 students for sure but do believe that more will join during the autumn. Education starts 1 September and is always on, anytime, for any student anywhere,” says Anna Lunden.

She adds that Swedish associations, embassies and media have shown great interest in the school and this helps getting the message out.

From where does the first batch of students come?

“From all continents. Most of them live outside the Western hemisphere. Still we have some requests from Europe, like Oxford, Grenoble and Vienna.”

Why did you name it PippisHemskola?

“Thanks to Pippi Longstocking’s liberal attitude to the school and education. Furthermore, she is a tough girl fighting for the small. She is a good example in more than one way. ‘When you are very strong you must be very kind’ is a wise Pippi saying that we support. Pippi’s strength and intelligence conquer traditional adult thinking and do thereby widen the limits of what can be done.”

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