Victory of the weak....

20 Oct 2006 | 394 words | migration netherlands education policy xenophobia

It is not very often that those who are supposed to be the weakest members of a social group manage to slip through policies designed to exclude them from resources. Apparently though, this seems to be what is happening in the case of the stupid language tests that the Dutch government has imposed on would-be immigrants a while back. To recap, would-be immigrants have to do a basic dutch language test in their countries of origin before they get permission to come to the Netherlands even if they do qualify for a residence permit. Now these language tests are pretty basic and fully computerized and they are clearly designed to weed-out immigrants with lower education so that only ‘desirable highly-educated’ immigrants are let into the Netherlands.

Now apparently this policy is a complete failure. i recently talked to a couple of civil servants from the city of Amsterdam and they told me that the whole system does not work at all: According to them it is the low-skilled, lower educated immigrants who pass this language test and the high-skilled, highly-educated would-be immigrants who miserably fail to do so. Of course this was not really satisfactory from the view of the sick bureaucrats who came up with this stupid idea in the first place and consequently they ordered some research into this issue:

So it appears that people with relatively low education have ‘auditive memory‘ and are good in ‘instructive learning‘ while people with higher education levels seem to have predominatly ‘visual memory‘ and engage in ‘experimental learning‘.

What this comes down to, is that people with lower education are better at remembering phrases thrown at them and repeat them to a computer than people with higher education who do seem to get lost in this simple procedure partly because they get offended by the setup. The result is, that non-western people (of course in good old apartheid-style white western people do not have to take this test) with higher education currently seem to have an extremely hard time getting into this little arrogant country. Now this is not to the liking of those who came up with this system and those civil servants i talked to (who did not come up with this system) were pretty sure that within the next 6 months this policy will get canned. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.