UPDATE: Norway’s kindergartens lag behind / News / The Foreigner

UPDATE: Norway’s kindergartens lag behind. The majority of Norwegian kindergarten teachers are under qualified. Just one third of staff has approved certification, putting Norway bottom amongst the Nordic countries. “Following up child education as a priority area needs to be done in the future,” says Mimi Bjerkestrand, head of the Union of Education Norway (Utdanningsforbundet). NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) handed the government its evaluation of pre-school education yesterday. Bjerkestrand sees a need to improve and expand it to include a Master’s Degree.

kindergarten, children, preschool, kristin, halvorsen, education, minister, lisbeth, rugtvedt, unqualified, institute, mimi, bjerkestrand, kristin, halvorsen, utdanningsforbundet, fagforbundet



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UPDATE: Norway’s kindergartens lag behind

Published on Tuesday, 21st September, 2010 at 11:04 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 21st September 2010 at 15:29.

The majority of Norwegian kindergarten teachers are under qualified. Just one third of staff has approved certification, putting Norway bottom amongst the Nordic countries.

Nygårdsparken kindergarten (Illus. photo)
Nygårdsparken kindergarten (Illus. photo)
Photo: Aqwis/Wikimedia Commons


Too basic

“Following up child education as a priority area needs to be done in the future,” says Mimi Bjerkestrand, head of the Union of Education Norway (Utdanningsforbundet).

NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) handed the government its evaluation of pre-school education yesterday. Bjerkestrand sees a need to improve and expand it to include a Master’s Degree.

The report, commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Research (Kunnskapsdepartementet), shows most students receive a satisfactory education, but many do not put in enough effort.

Bottom of the scale

However, many personnel working in kindergartens lack even basic formal qualifications.

Both the Union of Education and NUMGE (Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees/Fagforbundet) have sent the Socialist Left’s (SV) Education Minister Kristin Halvorsen a letter, demanding a better competence level amongst staff.

“Norway is poorest amongst the Nordic countries when it comes to the percentage of teachers working in kindergartens with proper education. Everyone on Iceland has a educational background, whilst both Sweden and Demark have between 50 and 60 percent,” Bjerkestrand tells Dagsavisen.

Norway shares its place at the bottom of the class with Finland.

Staying behind

The two unions suggest one solution could be to ensure every employee has a minimum level of competence.

“We are not suggesting a new type of education, just that kindergarten staff should at least be qualified as an assistant, or have another education to do with children,” she says.

Meanwhile, State Secretary Lisbeth Rugtvedt at the Ministry of Education says the government is doing its homework on the issue.

“The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research has two important strategies on the field of recruiting and competence. We have established a lot of efforts that will give us results in some years, and we will continue to improve the competence of all groups of the staff in the kindergarden.

“Development of an education for the administrative leaders  of the kindergarden is established, and from 2011 will all the new educated pre-school teachers be offered direction in the first year in their new profession. We are also working to establish good offers to improve the competence for pre-school teachers, the specialized workers and the group of assistants without special formal competences for the work in the kindergarden,” she writes in a statement to The Foreigner.



Published on Tuesday, 21st September, 2010 at 11:04 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 21st September 2010 at 15:29.

This post has the following tags: kindergarten, children, preschool, kristin, halvorsen, education, minister, lisbeth, rugtvedt, unqualified, institute, mimi, bjerkestrand, kristin, halvorsen, utdanningsforbundet, fagforbundet.





  
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