Education Problems for Paperless Chechen Asylum Seekers in Norway
The daily Norwegian newspaper, Haugesunds Avis has reported that paperless Chechen asylum seekers cannot go to high school in Norway.
According to the report, the families of 15 year old Markha Bashanova and 16 year old Razet Arsnukayeva arrived in Norway in 2008 and in 2009 their applications were rejected. For the last two years, Markha and Razet have continued their education at Håvåsen Elementary School in Haugesund. However, in the beginning of the new semester they will not start high school due to the local laws of Norway. The Norwegian laws say that asylum seekers are entitled to secondary education as long as they have legal residence.
“Authorities demanded that our parents return to Russia voluntarily and they accepted. The police can pick us up anytime, it is a lot of stress and we can’t take it any longer. We want to know whether we are going to be sent back,” said Markha.
“Many examples shows that the process for voluntarily return takes between 2 and 8 months. As long as we are in this country, we would like to have education. One of my best friends can’t go to school and waits to be sent back. She is depressed and lost most of her Norwegian language skills because she is no longer continuing in school,” said Razet.
“Sure their asylum demands have been refused, but their situation is unpredictable. Earlier, many people waited a lot of time before they were sent back. While Markha, Razet and other paperless children are here, we could give them an educational opportunity. Sitting all day in the reception center is destructive in every way. Providing education is always beneficial. If they have access to education, it could be a benefit both for them and their country, where they will be sent back. These girls are victims of poor development policy. Norwegian authorities should seek a new method to provide education for these paperless people,” said teacher Arild Bjordal.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco