Children Minister sends a proposal for tightening child benefit for those who are living abroad from three to six months.
– Municipalities have asked for measures to counteract prolonged absence from school. I am concerned about the situation of children who do not attend to Norwegian schools and do not receive the teaching they are entitled, says Horne.
Oslo and Drammen municipalities are among those who believe it is a serious problem that children are taken out of school and sent abroad. The minister thinks it’s a problem that schoolchildren who is away from the school environment lose connection to their Norwegian environment.
– Parents are free to choose education for their children, and education abroad can strengthen children’s identity and belonging to the country of origin. But moving from familiar surroundings and return to the classroom in Norway can be problematic. This is especially true for children having a mother tongue other than Norwegian. I think it’s unfortunate, primarily for the integration of pupils in the Norwegian school system, says Horne.
She also adds that child benefit is a financial contribution which may affect parental decision. Parents who choose lengthy stay abroad for their children are not always aware that this may have negative consequences for children, says Horne.