Denmark: Attracting immigrant youth to teaching positions

Integration minister Rikke Hvilshøj, and education minister Bertel Haarder, are launching a campaign that shall get more students with immigrant background into the country's teacher seminaries.

The reason for the campaign is that teachers with an ethnic background other than Danish are underrepresented in elementary schools.

"Children in Denmark need bright, committed teachers, that go forward and display a good example. And with the rising number of bilingual pupils in public schools there is a need for more danish teachers of an immigrant background, that among other things can act as role-models for the pupils" said Hvilshøj.

Haarder added: "In the future public schools shall have a more professional focus, and therefore there is a need for many skilled, bright teachers. We know that among the bilingual pupils there are many with a big potential. With this campaign we would like to make an effort to get the best students for teacher training."

The campaign "Holding hands for the future" is part of a campaign started in 2002 called "Need for All Youngsters" and designated to cut down on immigrant drop-outs, specifically from vocational training, and to make sure they enter the job market. Information is in English, French, Bosnian, Turkish, Somali, Persian, Arabic and Urdu.

Source: Jyllands-Posten (Danish)

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