Denmark: Copenhagen plans Arabic school classes

A Copenhagen municipality is planning to introduce Arabic classes in all the capital’s schools, in order to boost integration of Arab immigrants and to help promote trade with Arab countries. “It is very important that we give students a choice of languages that includes Arabic… There is a need to give a helping hand to young people from the Arab-speaking countries to reinforce their education and integration into Danish society,” said Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard, the city’s vice-mayor in charge of youth policy. Kjeldgaard said that Arabic is planned to be introduced as a second language, alongside English, French, and German in all schools in Copenhagen. Kjeldgaard also believes that Arabic classes would give pupils from immigrant families more changes to success in the high school admission exams. According to official estimates, ten percent of Copenhagen’s 31,000 secondary school students speak Arabic as their mother tongue.