Schooling for asylum seekers

Helsingor Mathilde Bech 08W

All asylum children aged 6-16 attend school. After reception of an asylum seeker with registration, interviews etc., attendance is compulsory for asylum seekers in the same way as for state schools. This means that asylum children have to attend school every day, unless the school and the parents have agreed otherwise.

Asylum children are taught the same subjects as in the Danish state schools

During the first weeks, asylum children attend Regnbueklassen (’The Rainbow Class’) where all new students start out. The language of instruction is Danish, and the number of lessons as well as the subjects taught are the same as in state schools: Danish, Mathematics, English, Natural Sciences/Technology, Home Economics, Music, Physical Education, Visual Arts and Native Language Teaching. The objective of this is partly to prepare the children and their parents for the Danish school system.

An important purpose of the teaching is to give asylum children an understanding of participation, co-responsibility, rights and duties in a society with freedom and democracy. Lessons are characterised by equality and democracy, and the time spent in school prepares the children for their future lives, whether they are able to stay in Denmark or not.

Just like other schoolchildren, children in asylum centres need the thrill of learning new things and feeling appreciated. It gives them confidence for the future, no matter what it may bring.

The children are transferred to the local state school when they are ready

Teaching takes place both at Red Cross schools and in the local state schools to which the children are transferred as soon as teachers and after-school staff consider them ready, academically and socially. Going to school with Danish children is important in terms of learning the Danish language and, not least, getting Danish friends of their own age.