Full text: Iceland 1930

Though Iceland is thinly populated and schools few and far be- 
ween in many of the rural districts, elementary education has been 
brought within the reach of even the poorest, and there is no grown- 
up person, male or female, but has learned to read and write, unless 
he (or she) is mentally defective. Under the Public Elementary Edu- 
cation Act of 1907 (revised in 1926) attendance at shool was made 
compulsory on children between the ages of fen and fourteen, while 
parents and guardians are required to provide for the instruction of 
their children and wards up to that age; for, unless they are men- 
tally defective, they must have acquired a certain amount of proficiency 
in reading and writing before they enter school. The local education 
authorities may on application be permitted to extend the compulsion 
to children between seven and ten years of age; and this has already 
been done in a number of districts. 
All children are thus under a statutory obligation io attend school 
between the ages of ten and fourteen; but they do not, as a matter 
of fact, all receive their instruction at the elementary schools, for ex- 
emptions from aftendance may be allowed, provided the arangements 
made for their teaching are recognized as being satisfactory; and, 
besides, this act has never been rigorously enforced. The average at- 
tendance at the elementary schools is seven or eight children per 
hundred of population. 
For purposes of elementary education the country is divided into 
school districts, the number of which is somewhat lower than that of 
the parishes (municipalities), though, as a rule, a parish (municipality) 
constitutes a school district. 
Local elementary education is under the control of a board of edu- 
cation. consisting of five (or three) members, acting for a term of

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