Oslo municipality has tightened the rules for the requirement for knowledge of Norwegian language for assistants in kindergartens and schools.
Up to now, there have been more stringent requirements for taxi drivers than for kindergarten and school assistants.
In the case that was adopted by the city council before Christmas, it was stated that ‘it is a challenge in Oslo that in some of the kindergartens, and schools, with many children with weak Norwegian skills, there are also employees with weak Norwegian skills’.
‘Many children in kindergartens do not learn Norwegian well enough. I have even heard that some parents with minority backgrounds don’t send the children to the kindergarten because they think the employees don’t speak Norwegian enough,’ said Inga Marte Thorkildsen of the Sosialistisk Venstreparti (SV) to Aftenposten newspaper. She took over as a city councillor for children and knowledge justbefore Christmas.
From 2012, the municipality had a requirement that candidates for new appointments in municipal kindergartens should master Norwegian at level B1. With the new rules that will come into force at the end of January, all assistants must have completed upper secondary education, and have Norwegian skills at a level between B1 and B2.
The level scale prepared by the Council of Europe contains six levels. A is the lowes level, B is intermediate, and C is fluent.
The city council will spend eight million kroner on competence enhancement measures this year, and next year.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today