Children of high-educated parents perform better
This probably does not come as a surprise: According to the results from national tests, third-graders with high-educated parents do better in school than children to parents with less education. The latter got considerably worse results than the former, and it is especially true when it comes to math, according to Skolverket (The Swedish National Agency for Education). More than 96 000 students participated in the survey. In the small group of children to parents with only the nine-year compulsory school, less than 50% passed the math tests, while 80% of the children of parents with college- or university education passed the same tests.

Swede puts up Cat Stevens musical in Australia
Anders Albien from Höllviken in Skåne is set to direct the world premiere of the musical “Moonshadow” by Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens). It’ll all take place at the Princess Theater in Melbourne next year in May, and the music is based on the hits of Cat Stevens (of which “Moonshadow” is one of many), but it also contains some newly written material. Albien and Yusuf Islam has worked with the musical in over eight years. For more information:

Donna – the first veiled Swedish police
Daily Expressen met Donna Eljanmal, a pioneer of sorts. She is the first woman at the Swedish Police Academy (Polishögskolan) to wear a veil. “It’s all about daring,” Donna tells Expressen. Five years ago, the Police Academy allowed students to wear veils, yarmulkes and turbans, but it’s not until now that a veiled woman has signed up. “I’ve always felt that being a police would fit my personality,” Donna says. She sees no problems with being a police in a veil - on the contrary. “I think it’s a great advantage in all occupations to have personnel with many different backgrounds. That way you increase the knowledge among the employees, and decrease the number of situations where you might misinterpret other people’s cultures or behavior.” Donna adds that she’s never had any problems wearing a veil. Says Kalle Wallin, administrative director at Rikspolisstyrelsen (the Swedish Police): “Since we live in a modern multi-cultural society it is only natural to accept the fundamental rights that exist. And among them is freedom of religion.” When asked if there’s any kind of headgear not acceptable, such as perhaps the burka, Wallin says there are no such regulations, and that they will make decisions about the burka, if and when it becomes necessary. Link to the interview on TV4 Play: TV4-Nyheterna Luleå-Polis med slöja

Sharia law in Swedish divorce cases
More and more Swedish courts rule in favor of the Sharia law when it comes to divorce cases involving Muslims. For instance, when Iranian-born Sina broke up with his wife and ended up in a Swedish divorce court, he learnt that he had to pay up: “The court ruled that I had to pay two million SEK even though we had only lived together for three months," he told Swedish Radio International. According to Sharia Law, that’s the compensation a groom is required to pay to the bride at the time of a divorce. And since Sina had lived in Sweden for less than two years, and had traveled to Iran to marry his wife, the Swedish court decided that the law of his home country should apply. Says Professor of International Law at Lund University Michael Bogdan: “You see more and more decisions by district courts concerning this, and it is because of the increase of Muslims in Sweden.” And juridical representative Farzaneh Dehdari adds: “Many Iranians believe Iranian rights aren’t practiced in Swedish courts, and that Swedish law does not know (about them), but that’s wrong.”

Students snowblind after UV-radiation
Students at Göteborg University were exposed to high doses of UV-radiation while studying biology. The students were not using protective goggles during a laboratory lesson and many reported eye problems afterward. The supervisor forgot to tell the students they needed to use goggles. “It feels a bit like being snowblind or like when you stare into the sun. You feel as if your eyes get grainy, but it passes in a few days,” says Inga Tunblad-Johansson, director of studies at Institutet för cell- och molekylärbiologi (the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology). All students except one have now fully recovered, and Tunblad-Johansson says the University regrets the incident. “It was the instructor’s mistake,” she says. “The students were working with poisonous chemicals and he didn’t want them to touch their faces as they removed and put on their goggles. So he felt it was more important for them not to wear any, but it was a mistake.”