Denmark's 200 Year Old School

200 years anniversary of schooling in Denmark
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   The photo shows King Frederik 6 th ’s signature on the srcinal Arrangement for Commoners’ School System in the Country of July 29, 1814 = foundation of the Act which governs / regulates the Folkeskole in Denmark even today. Folkeskole = people’s school like VW = Volks Wagen = people’s wagon * The Folkeskole consists of one year of pre-school class, nine years of primary and lower secondary education and a one-year 10th form. Education is compulsory in Denmark for everyone between the ages of 6-7 and 16. Whether the education is received in a publicly provided school, in a private school or at home is a matter of individual choice, as long as accepted standards are met. It is education itself that is compulsory, not school. In 1814 King Frederik the 6th signed five school laws, which together said that all Danish children were required to education. Most children had previously received some form of education as a prerequisite for confirmation. But a new provision stated that compulsory education must came into force when the child is 7 years-old and last until confirmation which typically occurred in the 14-16 years of age.  The new school laws provided not only the number of school years, but also requires regular schooling, either a half day from Monday to Saturday or all day every other day throughout the week. At the same time, the requirements for the content of teaching increased. All children should learn reading and Christianity as before, but now also writing and arithmetic and singing, if the teacher could sing. If the teacher had learned to teach gymnastics, the boys should be taught that as well. Moreover, the children should learn about native history, geography, natural history and the country's laws. For the vast majority of school children the teachings took place in a school, but a special clause in the school legislation ensured that parents or smallholders who had the means, could engage a private tutor, who could then teach the children in their homes. In the country the school could often be far from the child's residence, and roads were in many areas difficult or even dangerous for small children. Therefore, many parents kept their children away from school when weather or road was too rough. To facilitate access to the school the Education Act dictated that for rural areas no child may have more than a quarter mil  –  i.e. about 1.8 km. - to school. In order to achieve this statutory requirement, it was necessary to build many new schools or expand existing ones, so they could accommodate more students. But school building was (and is) a costly affair and the Danish economy was in ruins after the national bankruptcy in 1813, thus it took decades before the network of Danish schools was developed. 
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