Radikale want Arabic taught in schools

Including the language would offer huge benefits, a city councillor argued

Danish municipalities use words like ‘parasitic’ or ‘spoiled’ when describing autistic people (photo: iStock)
May 22nd, 2014 8:55 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

If it were up to government coalition party Radikale, public school students in Copenhagen would be offered the opportunity to learn Arabic for free during school hours, as they are today with French and German.

Tommy Petersen, a City Council board member and the spokesperson for children and youth issues for Radikale, said that it didn’t make sense that Arabic isn’t among the languages offered in public schools.

“Arabic is one of the most spoken languages in the world,” Petersen told Berlingske newspaper. “Some 280 million Arabs are practically neighbours to Europe, and Arabic is the most spoken immigrant language in Denmark.”

Petersen went on to add that Denmark had loads of business interests in Arabic nations and that it was also wrong that children of parents from Arabic nations can’t have their mother-tongue lessons paid for after fifth grade, as is the case currently thanks to a reintroduction of the initiative last year.

READ MORE: Bilingual students in Copenhagen continue to struggle

Bertel said 'nej'
The City Council asked permission to offer Arabic as an optional language course in public schools as a trial in 2009, but Bertel Haarder, the education minister at the time, shot down the idea. Now, Petersen and Radikale want to try again.

“It’s a huge advantage that Danes are good at foreign languages, and if the grounds are set to become really good at a language because it is spoken at home, then it should obviously be strengthened. It can only be an advantage.” Petersen said.

According to the city's child and youth committee, Københavns Børne- og Ungdomsforvaltning, it would cost about four million kroner a year to extend the free mother-tongue education from the fifth grade through to grade nine.

Photoshop away the cables and Copenhagen is under alien attack (photo: Hasse Ferrold)
The bridge that has made the River Kwai one look like a weekend job
After six years of waiting and speculation, Copenhagen has taken a monument...
International demand is soaring (photo: Carnby)
International demand encouraging Danes to make medieval-style mead
It seems beer – even from the most obscure microbrewery – is too mainst...
At best, you end up with minus 0.5 percent less than you invested (photo: iStock)
Saving up for pension in Denmark guarantees you lose money
'Save up for 30 years and you lose a maximum of 0.5 percent on your investm...
Some 340 young Danes started military service yesterday (photo: Forsvaret.dk)
Male and female military service recruits to sleep and bathe together
New recruits to the Danish army will not only be asked to bear arms, but to...
The waters in the area are reported to have been perilous in recent days (photo: iStock)
Danish man dies in popular Bulgarian holiday spot
A Danish man’s holiday in Bulgaria ended in tragedy on Sunday when he beg...
Copenhagen jobs could be hitting the road (photo: iStock)
DF wants to move thousands of public sector jobs to the provinces
Dansk Folkeparti (DF) has made a concrete proposal for which government job...