A mere 4.7% of teachers in primary schools are immigrants or born to immigrant parents, 2012 data from Statistics Norway shows. The new bi-Partite coalition intends to improve this teacher percentage.
The figures also reveal 40% of the students have a mother tongue other than Norwegian or Sami.
Joke Dewilde, at eastern Norway’s Hedmark University College teacher education faculty, states a higher number of bilingual teachers will be good for students, and good for Norway.
“Norway is part of a global world and getting more teachers with a different background to a Norwegian one will be reflected in tuition. In turn, it will be easier for students from different backgrounds to find their place,” she told Aftenposten-run website osloby.no.
Neither SSB nor the Ministry of Education have a list of teachers’ backgrounds, but the government intends to increase the proportion of teachers from minority groups.
“We need talented people with diverse backgrounds in the teaching profession, and we want a teacher capable of reflecting society and students in the classroom. The school system currently has 11 per cent of pupils from immigrant backgrounds. This therefore makes intercultural competence important in schools,” said the Conservatives’ (H) Deputy Minister of Education, Birgitte Jordahl.