Information on TVET in Norway
Diagram of the education and training system in Norway (taken from "Norway. VET in Europe – Country Report 2009, see http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Information-services/browse-national-vet-systems.aspx "
The Norwegian Education System
Universal schooling for children was introduced in Norway 250 years ago. From 1889, seven years of compulsory education were provided, 1969 this was increased to nine years and in 1997 to 10 years.
As a result of Norway’s scattered population, forty per cent of primary and lower secondary schools are so small that children of different ages are taught in the same classroom. Primary and lower secondary levels are often combined in the same school.
The collective objectives and principles for teaching in primary and lower secondary schools are laid down in the national curriculum. The curriculum for primary and lower secondary education includes:
- Core curriculum for primary and lower secondary, upper secondary and adult education
- Principles and guidelines for primary and lower secondary education
=Curricula for individual subjects
The subject curricula lay down a common learning content for all pupils, which increases in scope throughout the school and is greatest at the lower secondary stage. This common learning content is enlarged on and supplemented to adapt it to local conditions and to the needs of individual pupils.
=The Sami curriculum
The culture and traditions of the Sami community are part of the common Norwegian and Nordic culture that both the national curriculum and the special Sami curriculum require all pupils to be acquainted with. In areas defined as Sami districts and according to specific criteria elsewhere in Norway, this teaching is given in accordance with the special Sami curriculum. For Sami pupils, this teaching is intended to build a sense of security in relation to the pupils’ own culture and to develop Sami language and identity, as well as equipping Sami pupils to take an active part in the community and enabling them to acquire education at all levels. State support is provided for the development of textbooks written in the Sami language. The Sami College has a special responsibility for training Sami teachers. The University of Tromsø has responsibility for Sami language and Sami studies.
=Building teaching competence
To ensure that pupils receive an education compatible with the curriculum for primary and lower secondary education, the Ministry prepared a plan for competence building for the period 1996–2000, giving special attention to supplementary training for teachers at primary and lower secondary schools. For the period 2000–2003 a targeted plan for competence building, development and experimentation gives particular priority to the lower secondary level.
=School subjects at primary and lower secondary levels
- Christian knowledge and religious and ethical education
- Social Studies
- Art and Crafts
- Science and the Environment
- English (is compulsory from the primary level)
- Home Economics
- Physical Education
=Compulsory additional subjects
In addition, time is set-aside at all levels for School’s and pupils’ options. These hours are taken from the teaching hours allocated to the main levels. A separate quota of hours is allocated to class and pupils` council work at the lower secondary level. At the lower and upper primary levels, it is possible for schools to allocate a quota of hours locally for this purpose from the hours allocated to other subjects.
In addition to the compulsory subjects, pupils are required to choose one of the following options:
- Second foreign language. Pupils can choose a foreign language in addition to English, i.e. German or French or another language on the basis of local or regional needs.
- Supplementary language study. Pupils can choose additional in-depth study of a language they already have a basic knowledge of.
- Practical project work. This is an activity that is planned in cooperation with the pupils.
- For deaf pupils, curricula have been set up for Norwegian sign language as a first language, supplementary study of Norwegian Sign Language, special syllabuses in Norwegian, English and Drama and Rhythmics for deaf pupils.
=Primary and Lower Secondary Education
Primary and lower secondary education is based on the principle of an equal and adapted education for all in an inclusive unified school. The introduction of the reform "Knowledge Promotion" has provided all grades with new curricula with clearly stated competence objectives. The curriculum has emphasised basic skills in being able to express oneself orally and in writing, in reading, in numeracy and in the use of digital tools.The municipalities fund primary and lower secondary education and have a great deal of freedom when it comes to organising the education. Compulsory schooling in Norway lasts for ten years, and the children start school the year they are six years old.
=Tertiary Vocational Education
Tertiary vocational education is an alternative to higher education and is based on upper secondary education and training or equivalent informal and non-formal competence. Higher Education Entrance Qualification is not required. The education consists of vocational courses lasting from half a year to two years. Apart from the traditional schools of technical management and maritime subjects, which are publicly financed (by the county authorities), most of the schools offering this kind of education are private ones.
All courses must be accredited by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). An up-to-date list of recognised courses can be found on NOKUT’s website.
=Upper Secondary Education and Training
All young people between the ages of 16 and 19 have a right to upper secondary education and training. The pupils can choose between vocational education programmes or programmes for general studies.
All levels in upper secondary education and training are adopting new curricula with clearly stated competence objectives. The curricula place a general emphasis on basic skills in being able to express oneself orally and in writing, in reading, in numeracy and in the use of digital tools.The county authorities fund upper secondary education and training and have a great deal of freedom when it comes to organising the education. The vocational education programmes include training in training establishments or education in school.
Most of the information above is taken from the website of the Ministry of Education Norway
Major TVET Projects
Strategic Plan "See the Opportunities and Make them Work 2004-2008" - Government Strategy for entrepreneurship in education and training