• Sweden's news in English

Sweden to keep immigrant kids in school

21 Feb 2013, 11:57

Published: 21 Feb 2013 11:57 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Education and Integration Ministers Jan Björklund and Erik Ullenhag proposed on Thursday that children who are older than twelve when they arrive in Sweden should have to keep studying until they are 18.

At present, Swedish children are bound by law to go to school until the year they turn 16, in practice finishing compulsory education. Attending high school is optional.

Björklund first hinted at lengthening compulsory schooling for newly-arrived children last autumn, as the government presented its annual budget.

At the time, he said that foreign-born children's academic performance had deteriorated in recent years, partly due to the surge of underage asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Somalia, whose education levels had suffered due to years of wars.

In addition, immigrant children were generally older than their Swedish-born peers when they enrolled in school in Sweden.

A proposed 30 million kronor ($4.7 million) per year would add three more hours of Swedish-language instruction per week for the first four terms that the children are enrolled in school.

The proposal also called for newly arrived children to start studying as soon as possible, rather than languishing in orientation courses that can stretch up to one year.

Björklund estimated that the changes would affect around 3,000 students in every grade.

Story continues below…

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:16 February 21, 2013 by jostein
These politicians have gone stark raving mad from their insatiable hunger for power. Why not make these people slaves outright?

They are fed, housed and clothed by the government. They require them to do what the government tells them each and every day, or they are punished. The whole point of keeping them in school is to instruct them exactly what and how they should think. And after 18 they are quickly placed in fas 3 and the slavery continues.

No wonder these psychotic politicians are in favour of immigration? They can give their sick lusts of dominating their fellow man free reign?
13:24 February 21, 2013 by allnotmoney
nice steps
15:23 February 21, 2013 by RobinHood
Institutionalised racism!

To treat one child differently from another on account of his or her race is repugnant. If the government gets up to it, is it OK for every one else to do it too?

Discrimination on account of race, or anything else is wrong. How did these people possibly get themselves into a state of mind where they think it is right?
15:25 February 21, 2013 by Logic_and_Reason
These types of students who come to Sweden at the age of 10 should not be put in regular classes. They have had little or no formal education, certainly not to the level of their Swedish peers. Many of the courses they are put into are pointless and fruitless and illogical. Why should such a student study psychology or philosophy or law or business admin or other such subjects in gymnasium when they barely speak Swedish and have the math skills of a fourth-grader? They need to be put into schools that focus on critical skills to get them up to speed in their new community; skills such as basic math and literacy. Most of these kids fail courses in the later years of högstadiet and certainly at gymnasium because they start out way behind and never, ever catch up to their peers. So it is not a matter of teaching them longer, it is a matter of teaching them more efficiently. Do away with the fluffy, needless classes that waste everyone's time.
15:38 February 21, 2013 by tigger007
Well put Logic and Reason!
16:16 February 21, 2013 by Svensksmith
Why just immigrant children? Isn't education good for all?
23:25 February 22, 2013 by Iftikhar_Ahmad
Migrant Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental period. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.


20:28 February 23, 2013 by bcterry
Iftikhar_Ahmad ,

It's no wonder you do want non muslim children in your wet dream state funded muslim schools, because it would make it difficult for you to continue to teach your children to hate if there were any little outside eyes who would go home and discuss the days "lessons" with their parents.

Muslim schools in any Western country should be banned outright, and your children would then be forced to learn to live together with other children.
20:07 February 24, 2013 by Iftikhar_Ahmad
The silent majority of Muslim parents would like to send their children to state funded Muslim schools. They are not extremists who want to change of ethos of those schools where Muslim children are in majority. It is the democratic right of every Muslim parent to see that their children receive balanced education, so that when their children grow up, they do not find themselves cut off from their cultural roots and linguistic skills. It is a question of common sense, humanity and reason that bilingual Muslim children must be educated in state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. The whole world believes that people who speak more than one language is a vital economic asset. Pupils who speak more than one language do not cause difficulties. It is the politicians and monolingual teachers who are the problems for bilingual pupils. Muslim school will help to cultivate the child into a healthy, fully flourishing individual with a passion for learning. There are hundreds of state and church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies.

Muslim schools are not only faith schools; they are more or less bilingual schools. Bilingual Muslim children need to learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. State schools with monolingual teachers do not teach Standard English to Migrant children. Bilingual Muslim children learn English in the playgrounds and in the streets. They speak street language with its own grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The teachers let them speak the same accent in the classroom. They have no courage to stop them or correct them. This is one of the main reasons why one third of children have difficulties with reading when they leave primary schools. Majority of such children are Muslims. In other European countries and in the sub-continent argot and slang are not allowed into the classroom. In Britain primary school teachers do not feel that it's their role to interfere with self-expression in any shape or form. They encourage children to read poems and stories written in ethnic dialects.

Muslim faith schools are more or less bilingual schools. Priority will be given to the teaching of Standard English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages. All Muslim children will learn and be well versed in Standard English and Quranic Arabic and at the same time they will learn and be well versed in one of the community language to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Majority of children will learn Urdu language because it is a lingua franca of the migrants from the sub-continent. And majority of British Muslims are from Pakistan and their national language is Urdu.


Today's headlines
Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available