50 teachers who volunteer to provide free Norwegian lessons to asylum seekers have received no money to buy textbooks and dictionaries.
Since last fall, the teachers have spent their afternoons at Refstad transit center on providing tuition to the residents, the newspaper VG reports.
– We thought we were going to meet people who would be on the reception in three to five days, and that we’d give them a quick introduction to the Norwegian language. Instead, many of them stayed there for months, and the interest in our Norwegian courses was completely overwhelming, Ingebjørg Lundevall, who heads the volunteer teachers, says.
– When we got hold of some dictionaries , it created a great atmosphere and it was heartbreaking to see someone taking so much pleasure in being able to explain words and phrases in their own language. We then realized that we had to obtain more textbooks and dictionaries.
The group has applied for support from a grant the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) has created for integration measures for adults in refugee centers. The teachers planned on using this money to buy more dictionaries and textbooks, but the application was rejected.
Section Manager Morten Tjessem IMDi Region East says that which organizations they give priority to, is based on where the projects take place. According to a list obtained by VG, neither of the 104 grant recipients have stated that they will give Norwegian lessons at Refstad
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today