MP condemns Danish language failure rate among immigrants

Participants miss one in every third language lesson

A Socialistisk Folkeparti politician has expressed her disappointment with the “really poor” Danish language exam pass rate among refugees and those in Denmark as part of the family reunification process, who have been in the country for at least three years. The success rate is just 43 percent according to Rigsrevisionen.

“[Learning Danish] is a fundamental requirement in order to be a citizen of Denmark,” Socialistisk Folkeparti‘s integration spokesperson, Karina Lorentzen,  told Metroxpress.

All foreigners with a valid Danish CPR number are offered at least 15 hours per week in Danish at a language school across the country for three years.

Poor attendance, poor results
The figures showed that in 2013, the 53,784 course participants missed approximately one in every third lesson. Foreigners on welfare benefits (dagpenge and kontanthjælp) had the worst attendance record, with absenteeism marked at 39 and 36 percent respectively.

Poul Neergaard, the chairman of the Danish Language Centre, said the figures reflect a lack of motivation.

“At the end of the day, we are just an offer, and many choose to prioritise their work over learning Danish,” he told Metroxpress.

“The same applies to recipients of unemployment benefits – municipalities focus on getting them into the workforce, rather than getting them to their language classes.”

Criticism for the classes
In February, the National Audit Office criticised the Education Ministry for the inadequacy of the Danish language program.

“Either the language schools are poor, or the problem lies with the students,” Mehmet Ümit Necef, an integration researcher at SDU, told Metroxpress.

“There is no doubt that some refugees are unable to learn the language and that others are illiterate. However, you have to create the motivation to get them to show up.”