Minister of Knowledge, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Conservatives) wants to introduce requirements for knowledge of the Norwegian language for assistants in kindergartens. The language requirement is reasonable, the industry believes.
The reason for the measure is concern that there is a large variation in children’s language skills at school start, according to the newspaper Vårt Land.
The Government proposes that those seeking employment as assistants must meet certain language requirements. It is also being considered whether they should have to pass an oral and written Norwegian exam.
Both Deputy Leader in the Education Union, Hege Elisabeth Valås and CEO in ‘Private Barnehagers Landsforbund’, Arild M. Olsen, are positive.
– The Norwegian requirement is reasonable. It is important to strengthen the Norwegian knowledge of the children and the communication with parents.
– In critical situations, it is important that all staff in kindergartens communicate clearly with the outside world, says Olsen. He states that they have received several concerns about employees who have insufficient skills in Norwegian.
According to Statistics Norway (SSB), more than 16 percent of assistants in kindergarten were immigrants in 2015 – equating roughly 9,500 men and women.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today