Support for Asylum Seeking Children

Vala Hafstað

The Reykjavík City Committee for Education and Recreation has voted to approve the establishment of a support department at Háaleitisskóli – Álftamýri grade school for children of asylum seekers and children who apply for international protection in Iceland, according to RÚV. The department will begin operation this fall.

From 2017 until 2019, 57 children, aged 6-16, applying for international protection, have attended grade school in Reykjavík.  Altogether, they have been enrolled at 12 different schools. This sensitive group was believed to need increased service.

The central location of Háaleitisskóli – Álftamýri grade school is believed to be ideal for this project. An athletic association has a facility on the school grounds, and there is housing for recreational activities as well. Transport will be provided for the students to and from the school.

A report by the committee stresses the importance of providing support to the social and educational needs of these children, many of whom are expected to spend a relatively short time in Icelandic society.

The children will be temporarily enrolled at the support department, while their educational level is assessed and their social and psychological needs are attended to.

The new department will be staffed by a director, three teachers and one support representative. The estimated cost of the project is ISK 14.4 million (USD 120,000; EUR 106,000).

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