7.10.2016

Uppsala med i skuggrapporten till Europarådet om läget för de nationella minoriteterna i Sverige



Sverigefinländarnas delegation och Svenska Tornedalingars Riksförbund-Tornionlaaksolaiset har inlämnat en skuggrapport till Europarådet. Fokusområden i rapporten är förvaltningsområden, myndighetsstyrning, utbildning och media. 

Skuggrapporten är skriven av Uppsalaborna Kaisa Syrjänen-Schaal, enheten för flerspråkighet vid Svenska kyrkan, och Leena Huss, professor emerita i finska vid Uppsala universitet. Båda sitter i presidiet för Sverigefinska delegationen. Leena Huss är också vice ordförande i Rusukki.

Här finns även ett mindre smickrande exempel från Uppsala kommun:

"4.2.4 A Catch 22 Situation for Multilingual Children in Preschool
There are also examples of negative development based on how government agencies interpret the legislation and regulations relating to education. The purpose of the legislation is to define certain protection or support for the children concerned but this purpose is lost in implementation. According to the School Inspectorate there is no right to mother tongue support in preschool with language competent pedagogues, that parents can refer to.65 At the same time there is a clear trend of fewer peripatetic pedagogues in preschools.66

The Example of Uppsala Municipality
For a long time, preschools in Uppsala have offered support in other languages than Swedish for those children whose parents have requested it. Generally, the support has been given via peripatetic pedagogues with skills in the relevant languages. In the spring of 2016, a reorganization of the mother tongue support system was launched by the politicians of the Uppsala municipality Board of Education (utbildningsnämnden). Referring to received criticism from the Swedish School Inspectorate, to the effect that the former mother tongue support was too weak and too poorly integrated in the daily work in the preschools, the municipality decided to replace most of the peripatetic pedagogues with an integrated system where the ordinary personnel in each preschool would be charged with the task of supporting the development of the mother tongues of the children. The personnel would, in an initial phase, be given help and advice by special ”culture pedagogues” to learn how to support the various languages. In practice, this meant the disappearance from preschools of virtually all language-competent pedagogues with the exception of those serving newcomer refugee children during an initial phase of their stay in Sweden. Multilingual, non-newcomer children could also be exempted if they had other reasons than lacking Swedish language skills for not being able to participate in the daily activities at the preschool.
    The political decision was made in spite of extensive protests from parents, pedagogues, researchers and others, but the local Sweden Finnish consultation group managed to change the situation for the national minority languages, among them Finnish. Uppsala belongs to the administrative area of Finnish, and the children have a legal right to ”childcare partly or wholly in the minority language”, but according to the Minority Act, other national minority children as well have special rights as to language and culture. However, the consultation group feared that the status of mother tongue support would drop drastically as mother tongue support according to the new system would label children as deficient in Swedish or otherwise. It was also feared that parents would be forced to fight for their rights as many preschools might not remember to distinguish between national minority languages and other mother tongues.
    The Finnish minority media contacted the School Inspectorate and was given a confirmation: the School Inspectorate was indeed not in favour of peripatetic mother tongue pedagogues; rather, the local personnel in every preschool should take the whole responsibility of supporting the children’s mother tongues. When asked if it was not a problem that the ordinary personnel usually did not have any skills in the relevant languages, the Inspectorate referred to the National School Agency, who had the special competence in the pedagogic details. 
    When the representative of the National School Agency was given the same question, her answer was that the Agency had never recommended that language competent peripatetic mother tongue pedagogues should be dropped, on the contrary, they were a great asset, but in addition, more responsibility should be given to the local preschool to promote mother tongues in their daily activities. If municipalities were stopping the use of language competent pedagogues, the municipalities should be asked why they did it – maybe it was a question of money, she added. 
    Uppsala municipality has previously emphasized that it is not a question of money at all, only a way of improving mother tongue support in preschool according to the instruction of the School Inspectorate.  This has become a Catch-22 situation with very detrimental consequences for many multilingual children, their families and Swedish society at large.

65 SR Sisuradio, 19 May, 2016, http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=185&artikel=6435668 
66 SR Sisuradio, 19 Apr. 2016, http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=185&artikel=5456213

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