Copenhagen: fighting school segregation

I find Bech's comment at the end curious. Wouldn't it have sounded so much better if he simply said "These parents are taking a real interest in their children's future"?

Bussing children of immigrant parents to schools with predominantly Danish children has proved to be a positive part of the city's integration initiative
Copenhagen has taken the integration battle to the streets through a new bussing project, and the results so far have been positive, reported Politiken newspaper. The city's form of bussing is not based on the American model, however. It is instead part of the 'Copenhagen Model', where places in schools that traditionally have mostly ethnic Danish students have been reserved for children of immigrant parents. A number of these parents decided for themselves last year that they wanted to send their children to schools outside the district in which they live, and most who elected to do so are pleased with their decision. 'Although it is a bit difficult with the transportation, I think the quality of education is the most important thing,' said Huda Al-Ghazali, mother to one child being bussed from the Nørrebro district to Øster Farimagsgade School in the Østerbro district. Copenhagen's integration efforts go beyond bussing, however, and not all aspects of the programme are purely voluntary. The goal of reducing the high percentages of immigrant children at certain schools has also been assailed on the geographical front, as the city has realigned its school zones. Many immigrant families now find themselves living in zones where their school is primarily populated by ethnic Danes. Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard, Copenhagen's deputy mayor for children's affairs, said the numbers show that progress is being made in the city on the issue of integration. Some schools have halved the number of 'two-language' children attending since last year. 'Copenhageners would mostly like integration to happen voluntarily. And in that respect, the programme is going far, far better than I had hoped.' Axel Bech, principal at Øster Farimagsgade School, said that while the children's parents have been a bit nervous about the bussing project, they have also been curious and interested. 'They've been very open about it and don't hesitate asking if there's something on their mind. I think these parents are trying to take a real interest in their children's futures.'

Source: Copenhagen Post (English)


Anonymous said...

Yes, Esther: "Futures" is an investment term.

It will be interesting to see how the bussing works.

Esther said...

Hi nevsky,

Whether it will work or not is up to the future. What I found interesting was the principal's hesitation in saying that the parents actually care about their children's success. How do parents *try* to take an interest? You can try to get information, not to take interest.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Esther! I wonder if "trying to take a real interest" is New Age Newspeak?