Immigration courses in chaos

The bureaucracy surrounding the government’s compulsory integration schemes for most immigrants is so chaotic that only a fraction of the people who are supposed to take the courses are doing so, newspaper Trouw reported on Saturday.

The paper says in some places only 10% of the forecast students have come forward and some colleges are on the verge of having to sack staff.
In Amsterdam, for example, the number of people expected to take the course was revised down from 20,000 to 15,000 but so far only 8,654 students have signed up. ‘The teaching materials are ready, we have the classrooms and the teachers. Everything is go, apart from the paperwork,’ one source told the paper.
‘We were supposed to get 1,200 students… but might make 10% of that,’ Frans Roozen of the Albeda College in Rotterdam said.
The Hague city council has also revised down its estimates, from 4,000 to 1,300 this year, Trouw reports. So far, 500 students have signed up.
From this year, thousands of immigrants who already live in the Netherlands are supposed to pass tests in the Dutch language and citizenship. They have to pay for the courses themselves but can reclaim the cash if they pass.
Expat discussion forums point out that one of the main problems facing prospective students is getting correct information about taking and paying for lessons. This is partly because all the official information is only in Dutch.

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