Voters have decided that toddlers at Zürich kindergartens will only learn Swiss German in future, instead of the standard language spoken in Germany.

 

"/> Voters have decided that toddlers at Zürich kindergartens will only learn Swiss German in future, instead of the standard language spoken in Germany.

 

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EDUCATION

Standard German banned from Zurich preschools

Voters have decided that toddlers at Zürich kindergartens will only learn Swiss German in future, instead of the standard language spoken in Germany.

 

The outcome of the Sunday referendum was welcomed by the “Yes to dialect in the kindergarten” group that argued for the change.

Currently, one third of the teaching in kindergartens is carried out in the dialect, while one third is in the so-called “High German” and one third is decided by the teachers.

Promoters of the initiative argue that learning standard German as toddlers did not prove to pave the way for better grades at school. They also say it is beneficial for foreign kids growing up in Switzerland, who can then integrate better into Swiss society. 

The issue of using Swiss German instead of High German is a sensitive one in a country where over 60 percent of the population speaks it.

Swiss German, a mainly spoken dialect, is almost unintelligible in most of Germany and remains a strong element of the Swiss identity. High German, which remains the language of official communications, is used in writing and on television. Switzerland has three other national languages, French, Italian and Rumantsch.
  

Reports said a similar proposal was rejected by Basel voters over the weekend.

HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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