Norwegian school system blamed.
Parents are turning their backs on the Norwegian school system. Chaos, job opportunities, and standard have meant international schools in Norway have never had it so good.
“We’ve had pupils who have transferred from Norwegian schools because they feel they haven’t been challenging enough for them,” Ingwer Nommensen, principal at Deutsche Schule - the German school in Oslo – tells Aftenposten.
Norway’s 13 international schools currently have over 4,000 pupils; twice as many as 10 years ago.
Both a high standard and good environment are important to many families, including some Norwegians.
“We found Norwegian schools to be chaotic, with a standard my English husband refused to accept. He preferred to move back to London,” says Berit Stokke, who has one son studying at the International School in Oslo (OIS).
Some international companies require their employees’ children to have access to a top quality education, and foot the bill.
But it’s not only families of NATO personnel, embassy staff, or oil companies who attend. 26 percent of OIS’ students are Norwegian, with a staggering 46 percent at 6th-Form Level.
Even some Norwegian immigrant families will gladly pay for their children to take the International Baccalaureate (IB), giving them access to the best universities.
Oslo International School (OIS) costs 135,000 kroner per year, with a 17,500 fee for an application and registration.
“These are students whose parents have moved home from abroad, plan to move abroad in the future, or who are just interested in their children being educated in an international environment,” says Tom Baker, the school’s principal.
Gro Elisabeth Paulsen, head of the Norwegian Association of Graduate Teachers (Norsk Lektorlag), says her impression is international schools give education-conscious parents what they want, sticking to traditional schooling.
“These schools also haven’t thrown themselves at the worst experiments in Norwegian schools,” she says.
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