MP Criticises Downsizing Of Icelandic Classes For Foreigners - The Reykjavik Grapevine

MP Criticises Downsizing Of Icelandic Classes For Foreigners

Published November 16, 2011

Amal Tamimi, an alternate MP for the Social Democrats, has criticised what she sees as a lack of prioritisation placed on teaching foreigners Icelandic.
Among the cuts the government has made to the budget, Icelandic classes for foreigners have seen a significant drop in funding. This is despite the fact that learning Icelandic is one of the most important things to many immigrants in this country.
Amal Tamimi spoke up on the matter yesterday, pointing out that learning the native language is one of the most crucial aspects to integration.
She brought up a recent example from the news, of a woman of foreign origin who was being abused by who she thought was her husband, an Icelander. After going to authorities to seek a divorce, it was discovered that she was already divorced – her “husband” had some time ago made her sign papers, witnessed by the county seat, which he told her was the contract on a car.
This case also underlines the importance of being granted an interpreter when having meetings with public officials, lawyers and doctors, Tamimi said.
Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson thanked Tamimi for her input, and said furthermore than parliament does need to officially address the budget for Icelandic classes for foreigners.


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