Vogelaar to investigate integration

29th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – The integration project started by the previous government is not producing results. Minister Ella Vogelaar (Living, Neighbourhoods and Integration) is therefore going to investigate why this is the case and what is needed to improve the quality. She announced this in Parliament today.

29 March 2007

AMSTERDAM – The integration project started by the previous government is not producing results. Minister Ella Vogelaar (Living, Neighbourhoods and Integration) is therefore going to investigate why this is the case and what is needed to improve the quality. She announced this in Parliament today.

More than half the participants in assimilation courses failed to reach the required language level in 2005. Many even failed to make any progress after following language courses.

"We act as if people are assimilating. But 65 percent of those who took the tests did not receive a satisfactory mark," Vogelaar said. She wants to find out where the "leak in quality" is before taking action.

Coalition parties Christian democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and ChristenUnie have agreed that a "delta plan" will be introduced to help older and newer immigrants catch up. The cabinet wants to work away all the waiting lists for assimilation and language courses in the coming years and raise the level of the assimilation course so that those who complete it are ready to take part on the labour market.

Vogelaar tempered this ambition somewhat. The PvdA minister hoped her comments on the failure of the integration project thus far would impress upon the coalition parties that the situation is a very problematic one. The plan is to eventually increase the number of participants in the integration project. But Vogelaar warned that an examination of the quality of the project could lead to a change in priority.

PvdA MP Staf Depla lamented this "first setback" and wondered whether all the money spent has been wasted, now that it turns out that people cannot speak proper Dutch after the language course.

Freedom party PVV MP Barry Madlener pointed out that the integration project has given rise to an enormous industry. "And one that produces nothing," he added.

Green-left GroenLinks MP Tofik Dibi called the situation an "integration tragedy."

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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