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MYPs get a 360-degree view of the Danish Education System

YPP Study Visit

Copenhagen, December 02; On the final day of the YPP Study Visit, the MYPs had a rigorous set of interactions regarding all tiers of the Danish Education System. This included learning about the opportunities afforded by the system and some of the major challenges faced by it.  

The MYPs first visited Skolen pa La Cours Vej, a local public school in the Frederiksberg municipality. Upon arrival, the delegation was welcomed by Ms. Kirsten Kristensen, Deputy Director of the School and Ms. Xenia Nielsen, Pedagogical Director. The delegation received a brief introduction about the school. From there on, the delegation was divided in two groups and set out to visit classrooms from grade 0 to grade 9. The delegates interacted with students from all the grades, and got a chance to observe them in their classrooms. Following this, the MYPs saw a documentary on Danish School System.  

The key takeaways from this visit were well received by the MYPs and the delegation showed keen interest in working towards implementing them in Pakistan. Small class sizes, multiculturalism, focus on uniqueness of every student, especially through extra curricular activities, frequent parent-teacher meetings and physical fitness as a core course are some of the few traits of the school that stood out for the MYPs.

The second stop for the delegation was at the Technical Education Center, H. C. Orsteds Gymnasium.  After receiving a warm welcome by Mr. Mogens Bagger Hansen, the Principal, the MYPs were briefed about the history of Fredrisksberg in general and the school in particular. Being a public-private partnership, the school takes great pride in hosting almost a quarter of the technical education pupils in Copenhagen.  As discussed with the representatives, this school differs from ordinary high schools in a way that it focuses mainly on the education that is relevant in the broader social context. 

The MYPs then visited the Copenhagen Business School to learn about the university. The members were greeted by Mr. Thomas Skinnerup, Vice President of the Student Association at CBS.  He kicked off his presentation with a brief overview of the historical role universities have played in Denmark. They were mostly used to prepare people for offices of the Church. There were restricted admissions, and only the landed gentry, elites and males were allowed to attend. After a student uprising in France in 1968, the Danish Government decided to open up the universities and make the admission process more inclusive. 

The presentation then transitioned onto democracy on campus. The pre-1968 years were labelled as the ‘ Mightiness of Professors’ where only academia had the power and ultimate discretion with regards to curriculum, hiring and firing of staff etc. In 1970s, this was reversed in an era of the students across Europe agitating for greater rights. The Ministry of Education conceded that democracy was needed on campuses and a law was passed in 1970 that mandated that the President of the university had to be elected by the academics and students based on 50% representation each.  This breathing space accorded to universities was partially curbed by a 2003 law that said that more efficiency was needed and therefore professional management, along the lines of that of a corporation was hired. 

Mr. Skinnerup emphasised that the student bodies still continued to have significant powers on the campus, and maintained a constructive, rather than combative relation with the university management. 

In the evening, the MYPs were hosted by the Honourable Ambassador of Pakistan to Denmark, Ambassador Masroor A. Junejo, for a dinner reception.

PILDAT and YPP delegation extended a special thanks to the DANIDA Fellowship Center, and the staff at Tana for their continued facilitation for the Study Visit. 

Members of 8th Youth Parliament Pakistan who are part of the Study Visit include: Mr. Abdur Rehman (YP3-54-ICT01) Deputy Speaker, Third session, Ms. Afia Waheed Khan (YP2-13-PUNJAB02) Deputy Speaker, Second Session, Mr. Azeem Armaghan (YP4-53-ICT01) Leader of the Opposition, Fourth Session, Mr. Basharat Ali (YP1-59-GB02), Ms. Bakhtawar Komal (YP4-06-KP02), Mr. Bilawal Bin Nasir (YP2-17-PUNJAB06), Mr. Faizan Daud (YP1-15-PUNJAB04), Leader of the House, First Session, Mr. Iftikhar Khan (YP4-55-FATA01), Mr. Irtaza Haider (YP1-18-PUNJAB07), Mr. Masood Ur Rehman (YP1-02-BALOCHISTAN02), Mr. Muhammad Usama (YP4-48-SINDH09), Mr. Nadir Khawaja (YP4-58-AJK01) Chairperson Youth Standing Committee on Finance, Fourth Session and Syed Muhammad Raza Zaidi (YP1-49-SINDH10). PILDAT officials accompanying the Delegation include: Muhammad Saad, Projects Manager, PILDAT.