LPF: integration exam foolish and ridiculous
1 November 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Former populist LPF Immigration Minister Hilbrand Nawijn has launched a scathing attack on the proposed integration exam. After taking a mock test with 99 other Dutch people on Saturday night, he dismissed the questions as "foolish and ridiculous".
1 November 2004
AMSTERDAM — Former populist LPF Immigration Minister Hilbrand Nawijn has launched a scathing attack on the proposed integration exam. After taking a mock test with 99 other Dutch people on Saturday night, he dismissed the questions as "foolish and ridiculous".
*sidebar1*Nawijn said he will raise his concerns about the exam with current Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk in the Dutch Parliament. His reaction was welcomed by the leader of the quiz and participant Marc Verhoeven.
"Some questions were very moronic and didn't make sense," Verhoeven said.
He cited the question: 'What should you do when a child is born in the Netherlands?' "For a refugee from Botswana, for example, this question appears to me to be absolutely irrelevant," Verhoeven said.
A group of 100 famous and ordinary Dutch people sat the first ever National Integration Exam in the Paradiso in Amsterdam on Saturday night. The mock test closely resembles the real exam that will be given to immigrants to test their level of integration in coming years.
Among those who sat the test were former MP and Amsterdam alderman Rob Oudkerk, former culture minister Hedy 'd Ancona and Amsterdam Culture Alderwoman Hannah Belliot.
The participants scored on average a moderate score of seven out of 10. The celebrities scored an average 6.7, while the rest did slightly better with a score 6.9, news agency ANP reported.
Verhoven blamed the relatively low score on the fact the questions were so absurd that people didn't know the answers.
"As a game, it is not serious. But if your passport depends upon it, it becomes blood serious," he said.
The Netherlands is currently moving to curb immigration and stimulate the integration of newcomers and long-term immigrants with a variety of legislative proposals.
All foreigners will be forced in future to prove their credentials by passing an exam after they arrive and barring certain exceptions, non-EU nationals will also be forced to undergo pre-arrival integration exams from 2005 at the earliest.
But Verhoeven hopes that Nawijn's questions in parliament will spark a debate about the relevancy of the integration exam. The former LPF minister is expected to lodge his questions later on Monday.
[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news