A major concern of governments across Europe is how to get their hundreds of thousands of new residents into work, and the Swedish government is to ease newcomers into the teaching profession by dropping the Swedish language requirement.
Sweden is about to undergo a major revolution in teacher training following an announcement by education minister Gustav Fridolin who said yesterday that newly arrived migrants would be put on a “fast track” to get them qualified and in the job in a year.
A number of reforms are to be undertaken to make access to the profession are planned. The first pledge, to have newcomers in the job after a year’s training is striking in contrast to the typical four and a half year training period that native Swedes will undertake if they want to teach.
Another requirement for Swedes who want to enter the nation’s classrooms as a profession is they speak a high standard of Swedish — and this too is to be dropped for foreigners. To make things even easier, at least part of the new condensed training programme will be taught in Arabic, reports Svenska Dagbladet.
The first fast track teachers, who typically will already have worked in education in Arab nations and have a degree will start to train in April, with 420 placed up for grabs. There next tranche will take 720 future teachers.
Explaining his decision, Mr. Fridolin said there were individuals entering Sweden from abroad who have “good subject knowledge, but for obvious reasons don’t speak Swedish”. He said it was “reasonable”, therefore to get them into training and worry about them learning Swedish later.
While the Swedish teacher’s union prefaced their remarks on the plan by saying they accepted the idea, spokesman Anders Almgren expressed the union’s fears it would just mean Swedish teachers working harder to pick up the slack of others. He said: “Our members are already heavily loaded.
“Attempts to reduce the workload are made at every level, but this will be an additional burden… chances are this will be received badly”.
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