Compulsory education :: Swissmem - Switzerland's Work Place and Think Tank

Compulsory education

In the German-speaking and multilingual cantons, basic education objectives have been harmonized by adoption of the 'Lehrplan 21' curriculum, creating significant advantages for businesses, schools and the general population.

Harmonization and objective-setting

The 'Lehrplan 21' curriculum is a welcome step in education policy as far as the business world is concerned. For the first time, the German-speaking and multilingual cantons have a national frame of reference. By defining in detail the competencies to be acquired by pupils, Lehrplan 21 makes a decisive and necessary contribution to clarifying what compulsory schooling is intended to achieve and setting the relevant objectives. By doing so, it also provides guidance in the creation of teaching materials and training of teachers as well as to the areas of education that follow.


Focus on competencies: mapping the requirements of the labour market

Lehrplan 21 sets out clear performance objectives in the form of competencies. This focus on skills not only emphasizes the gaining of knowledge, but goes one step further by considering how such knowledge is applied in a variety of situations. This practice-based, real-life approach has proven its worth in vocational education and training, where it is widely accepted.


Business needs a transparent and efficient nexus between lower and upper-secondary levels

The harmonized educational goals of Lehrplan 21 allow VET schools and host companies to build on a common foundation and thus provide efficient training. The harmonization efforts make it easier to recruit trainees from different cantonal school systems and help make their training at upper-secondary level more efficient and consistent.


Vocational focus: the way forward for the economy

As well as imparting academic skills, a smooth, successful transition to upper-secondary level is one of the main aims of compulsory schooling. Providing every pupil with high-quality vocational and educational choices is a crucial factor in guiding them onto the educational track that best matches their abilities, aptitudes and preferences.


Strengthening the MINT subjects

The business world has a great need for skilled labour in the MINT areas (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, technology). Greater attention must therefore be placed on promoting these subjects. Appropriate concepts, teaching and learning materials that draw on the educational objectives of Lehrplan 21 can be developed and used.


René Will

Manager Training


Telephone +41 44 384 48 51

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