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Immigrant children shortchanged by Swedish schools

TT/The Local/rm · 24 May 2011, 16:03

Published: 24 May 2011 16:03 GMT+02:00

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The number of Swedish students who don’t qualify for high school (gymnasium) when finishing their primary education (grundskola) has increased in the last five years.

And falling furthest behind are kids who have immigrated to Sweden during their primary education.

Among these, only 51 percent qualified for high school last year compared to 58 percent five years ago, according to the National Agency for Education (Skolverket).

The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) is critical of the figures, charging that these students often don’t get the education they deserve.

Moreover, not qualifying to receive a high school in Sweden will have a detrimental effects on the students' chances to compete in society and in the labour market, according to the inspectorate.

The inspectorate is especially of how schools treat students who have recently arrived in the country.

Often newly arrived immigrant children are all lumped together in a communal preparatory class, regardless of their different levels of education.

They can remain in such courses for several years, meaning they often they don’t get a chance to study all the subjects on the standard Swedish schools curriculum, according to the inspectorate.

Sweden's deputy minister for education and minister for integration and gender equality, Nyamko Sabuni, thinks that schools must get better at mapping the education levels of recently arrived students and avoid placing them in preparatory classes.

“I strongly criticise preparatory classes where students are isolated with other new arrivals and separated from Swedish-speaking students. That slows down integration," Sabuni told news agency TT.

Story continues below…

But she doesn’t think that the problem lies in lack of financial resources.

“Most importantly, schools must be organised better. It is very much about following the guidelines that are there to ensure that these students have a better chance,” said Sabuni.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:30 May 24, 2011 by Frobobbles
It is not Sweden's fault that they didn't go to swedish school when they grew up in Somalia
19:14 May 24, 2011 by Syftfel
",,,,get the education they deserve" ?? Exactly what kind of education do they deserve? Do we have enough qualified techers to teach trigonometry and divinity in amharic and pashtu?
19:42 May 24, 2011 by bramblebush
When one doesn't want to learn the language and want's the host country to convert to thier culture, then one doesn't get educated.

Sweden needs ditch digger and porters too...
19:53 May 24, 2011 by play nice
Well, I'm must agree with this muti-tasking minister of this, that and the other, but total immersion works best. Without a working knowledge of Swedish they are set up for failure.
20:51 May 24, 2011 by peno
How come people are so corrupt in their thinking when they come to this board? Be constructive and stop showing the whole world that you are not a racist. It is something you hypocritically do not show outside not to talk of when you travel outside of this country. Be courteous for once for there are your citizens in other places of the world as well and they are treated as humans. Stop thinking that this "cocoon" is about the only place to be.

Get a life....phew!
21:00 May 24, 2011 by summerboy
@Frobobbles, Syftfel, bramblebush, play nice.

you guys are so mean. You speak as if Swedes don't migrate to other nations for the purpose of livng there. You are so happy to see Sweden destroying the educational opportunities of immigrants children. Swedish language is not everything, it is only a part of the integration process and integration is a two-way traffic. The Swedish owe immigrants a great deal to make them comfortable, just as other nations make Swedes comfortable in their country. Many of these kids speak excellent English and not all immigrants come from Somalia!!
21:20 May 24, 2011 by Iraniboy

Those posters you mentioned happen to be some non-Swedes who haven't yet grasped the morality and standard of Swedes and Sweden since they have immigrated here!
21:21 May 24, 2011 by truthworthy
@Summerboy , those bigots you mentioned above are not Swedes they are immigrants themselves and pure racists.

We are talking about children here not adults. Children deserve better education and courses. It is true the system lets down this children and by the way it is no secret that these children if they came from Somalia had no basic education - that is not a matter to joke about but it is a serious situation.
21:42 May 24, 2011 by RobinHood
Many immigrant kids arrive in Sweden with little, or even no basic education. They find it very difficult to catch up with their native Swedish peers, and the state finds it very difficult to help them. Even with the best of intentions from both parties.

These figures tell us nothing other than the obvious - if you start late (at anything), it's hard to catch up. Throwing money at the problem won't change that.
22:16 May 24, 2011 by occassional
High time Middle Earth updated it's curriculums in line with Sweden's then. The local leftist brigade meanwhile can kindly...get knotted.
23:31 May 24, 2011 by Frobobbles
I am called a bigot and a racist. But what I said is a simple truth. Would you expect persons from the worlds most dysfunctional country, a majority of them analfabets when arriving to Sweden, the females mutilated, a large number of them carriers of parasites and diseases like tuberculosis, to have an equal performance as native swedish children? THAT would be a statistical anomaly and a sensation.
23:31 May 24, 2011 by hughknows
"The inspectorate is especially of how schools treat students who have recently arrived in the country."

"They can remain in such courses for several years, meaning they often they don't get a chance to study all the subjects on the standard Swedish schools curriculum, according to the inspectorate."

Maybe some of these foreign kids not getting into Gymnasium do have great English? Perhaps they can be employed as proofreaders and editing staff at The Local... ;)
08:57 May 25, 2011 by uunbeliever
Racists hiding behind their keyboards...thank God, or Allah, or Buddha, or Gaia that you are all line-working, small minded ignoramuses with no real influence in society.

A quick suggestion to all of us from another country, become a cultural liaison or teachers assistant. The opportunities exist for us that no Swede can match.

"we can take it in English" is not good enough English, by the way...
09:44 May 25, 2011 by infidel2012
Attention fake asylum seekers, here's an idea...

Don't come this country if you can't handle it.

If you, immigrants don't like it here, go the Phuck back to where you came from.

No really wants you here, your just a tax write-off anyway.

And, the crime rates will drop back to pre 9-11 numbers.
09:53 May 25, 2011 by technoviking
Educating the children of cave men is indeed no easy task...

Leave them in their caves and there won't be any "problem" any more.
10:21 May 25, 2011 by farnoxo
I have noticed an interesting correlation whenever there is a vaguely contraversial topic that incites the xenophobes to flood the comment threads. It seems that the more vitriolic the hatred the worse the quality of written English.

Could it be possible that native English speakers are, by nature, more tolerant, cultutally aware and..dare I say it...intelligent :-)
10:50 May 25, 2011 by uunbeliever

We do come from more tolerant and less isolated lands.
11:18 May 25, 2011 by zb78
" Could it be possible that native English speakers are, by nature, more tolerant, cultutally aware and..dare I say it...intelligent "

well, you must be really intellligent, "by nature"...
11:44 May 25, 2011 by Jes
( If you are a FOOL , don`t read this )

Nyamko Sabuni , the deputy Minister of Education in Sweden, immigrated from Congo/ Burundi to Sweden under her primary school education . I believe that there were teachers named Syftfel who said that a little girl from Africa who could neithther speak or white well was heading nowhere .

But look ! many years later , she is not only a lawyer , but also a Minister in a country that is full of ignorant cowards that call themselves @Frobobbles
15:59 May 25, 2011 by technoviking
@ farnoxo

Are you making the ridiculous assertion that the majority of people in the UK, US and Aus like Muslims?

In what alternate universe?
19:31 May 25, 2011 by Infart
@ Jes-

It's true what you say. I actually have a VERY high regard for Nyamko Sabuni as does every Swedish person that I know. But guess what happens when her name comes up on this site? All of our 3rd world refugee friends call her bad names and refer to her basically as a 'sell-out.' Interesting how they call her those names yet she is the most successful, refugee immigrant that Sweden has ever had.

It's the same thing in schools too. Trust me, I've worked in one. If an Arab kid actually cares about learning something, doing something with his/her life, he/she is ridiculed by their peers. I think that the system needs to get less blame and probably the parents more of the blame. After all, they are the ones yelling at and hitting their kids on a regular basis. Not to mention, filling up their kids' heads with lies and filth about the West.
20:47 May 25, 2011 by Jes
@Infart , I was almost misled by your first paragraph . Your reasoning is faulty , I am afraid !

Of course some immigrants call Nyanko Sabuni bad names just as some Swedes call Mona Sahlin terrible things . We are not going to say that what some white people say about white successful public figures is a total reflexion of the thinking of all the white race ,are we ?

Are we going to say that Alof Palme was killed by an Arab at the instruction of his/ her yelling parent , are we ?

I suspect that your definition of "schools " is dissappointigly narrow . You should first pay a vist the Universities in Umeå , Uppsalla , Örebro , Västerås before you write your next comment . There are many many sons and daughters of immigrant who care about learning much more than a racists eye can see .

You better tighten your belt if you are suffering from a complex and other things , because the next time you fall sick , the the doctor who attends to you might just turn out to be the son of an immigrant who was told that Sweden has no time to teach him/ her in "amharic and pashtu" by one @syftfel .

To borrow your nice words : trust me , I have worked in hospitals and universities . I know what I am talking about .
21:21 May 25, 2011 by Infart
@ Jes- Well, I don't know where my reasoning is wrong. We are talking about two vastly different things. You are talking about universities and hospitals and I am talking about high schools. Sure, I don't care about who is treating me as long as they have a proper education and are certified. Plus, any refugee/asylum seeker who is motivated enough to educate themselves and become a doctor is fine with me. But that wasn't the point at all. The point was, stop blaming the system and look at what is happening at home with these asylum seeker/refugee kids. All the teachers know what happens. It's time the higher-ups started doing something about it. I guess it's easier to blame the system though since that is more PC.
22:17 May 25, 2011 by karex
I think it ios merely a matter of poor choice in the process. That children with very little education and lack of language knowledge have a hard time keeping up is of course to be expected. But integration happens much faster if these children are immersed with native speakers and already integrated children. They may not pass and might have to repeat the year but I bet they will spend less years catching up than if they're segregated. I grew up in an international community and studied in an American school overseas with many nationalities in the student body. Many arrived not knowing how to speak one word of English. They were placed with everyone else in the same age group and received additional language tutoring. The greatest benefit they received came from their fellow students, not from the additional tutoring which BTW didn't really cost very much extra either.
10:10 May 26, 2011 by technoviking
@ karex

"...studied in an American school overseas"

Which means your classmates were rich by global standards. Meaning their parents could actually impart useful values to them regarding their education and help them progress.

I doubt you were studying with the children of Iraqi sheep farmers or Somalis or any other sort of illiterate, unskilled, broken religious nuts that Sweden is so fond of admitting.

Come on...
11:21 May 26, 2011 by Jes

your reasoning is wrong because you fail to see that "education" ( which is the subject under discussion ) does not start and end at "high school " . Those immigrants you find in the universties I mentiones had to go through primary , high school , etc , before joining .

Your reasoning is wrong because you ignored to read the first 3 comments before you wrote yours . My comments were directed at some of these people

Your reasoning is wrong because you seem to be of the opinion that :

" If an Arab kid actually cares about learning something, doing something with his/her life, he/she is ridiculed by their peers. I think that the system needs to get less blame and probably the parents more of the blame. After all, they are the ones yelling at and hitting their kids on a regular basis."

I just told you that the above opinion of yours is, subjective , prejudicial and misleading . For example , per capita , Tunisia has more College/ university graduates than Sweden . Surely , it could be absurd to argue that Tunisia is a society that redicules the educated .

For all its faults , even paranoid Iran produces more intellectuals than most of you care to find out before you hit the blogs .

So yes , the system is to blame just as most experts have observed . But this is not to say that some individual parents are not partially responsible for not encouraging their children to focus on education and integration .

That said , bad parents don`t come from only one race or country . You will find Swedish parents that yell , hit and fill up their kids heads with hate and lies about immigrants , other races or societies . You don´t have to look very far to see chaps that were badly brought up that way . You only need to read a few posts to see what I mean .
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