Finland: 85-90% of Somali newcomers are illiterate

Finland: 85-90% of Somali newcomers are illiterate

Finland is ill prepared for illiterate asylum seekers, according to the newspaper Aamulehti. Illiterate immigrants need basic education before they can begin to learn the language.

For example, 85 to 90 percent of Somalis are illiterate when they move to Finland, according to the Finnish Immigration Service.

Kerstin Söderlund of the Finnish Immigration Service says that 15 and 16 year olds have a particularly difficult time. The youth belong to the comprehensive education system in Finland. However, in practice they are often left behind.

Jarno Ruotsalainen of the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development says that current funding for language education ought to be reformed. He says job training becomes nothing more than language studies.

Illiterate immigrants coming to Finland receive 200 days of basic education. The integration plan includes 40 credits of Finnish or Swedish, which falls short for those wanting to enter study or work programmes.


Source: YLE (English)

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