Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Culture: inburgeringstest

Ousseini Zongo sent me the link to the nationale inburgeringstest:

In de test komen vragen aan de orde die te maken hebben met kennis van Nederland: de Nederlandse samenleving, geschiedenis, gewoonten, normen en waarden. De vragen zijn opgesteld door dezelfde deskundigen die de echte inburgeringexamens samenstellen. Zo is De Nationale Inburgering Test een realistische afspiegeling van het examen dat nieuwe Nederlanders afleggen, voordat zij echt Nederlander kunnen worden. Er worden ruim 36 vragen gesteld. Wie minder dan 80% van de vragen goed heeft beantwoord, is in feite niet voldoende ‘ingeburgerd’ als Nederlander.

In short: the test contains questions dealing with knowledge about the Netherlands, society, history, habits, norms, values. It is a realistic example of the exam that new Dutch citizens have to pass. There are 36 questions and if you have less than 80% (29 questions out of 36) you are not sufficiently 'ingeburgerd'.

Ousseini scored 6.5 (you need a minimum of 5.5). I tried and got only 4.7 ! So I'm not really 'ingeburgerd'! I had 25 questions right, which is quite something. I correctly said that if your colleague gets married and you are not invited, yet you want to do something, you send a card, instead of giving a present or money. And I knew that you have to collect your driving license at the municipality. I knew travelling from Amsterdam to Enschede by train will take you two hours, not one or three. But if you smell gass in your house I shouldn't close the gass tap but rather open the windows and call the energy company.

The inburgeringstest clearly doesn't do justice to the diversity within the country (otherwise I would have passed :)). It would be an interesting means of making habits discussable, but as an exam with right and wrong answers??


Andy said...

I wonder if you should fail the inburgeringtest automatically for writing your blog in English, a foreign language.

hoong said...

I once saw a programme/game on TV about Inburgeringtest. Most people failed during the games. AND had some very good laughs together.

I think the whole point of inburgetingtest is to push people who are interested in becoming a Dutch citizen, to take some ACTIVE understanding of what is going on in this country. I don't think is too much to ask. A citizen represents a country, and the country is responsible for the citizen (that means all the citizens of that country is responsible for one another). IT IS A VERY SERIOUS MATTER. If a person cannot even TAKE that pride in knowing the country, then what is the reason to be the citizen of this country?

I am sure I will fail the test too, BUT, from the questions they asked, I would know what I should do. That is the main another reason behind the test.

For example recently, we have this problem with the footballer. IF he is really interested to be a Dutch citizen, AND NOT BECAUSE he wants to go to Germany for the WK (what kind of attitude is that?), then he would at least take an hour or two, look over the textbooks, look over the examin he failed and find out why, talk to people, talk to others who passed, talked to his own brother who passed etc... IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK of him??

As a person who came here in the late 70s, I envy all the attentions the Dutch government is paying to all the Nieuwekomer (making them learn the langauge, learn about the facilities, ways around the country etc.), I think people who wants to be a citizen of a country, no matter which country, should FOR THE minimum, take the efforts to be a useful citizen of the country.

Try and be a US citizen, and you will find there are even more things you need to know about the country. From George Washington to present day Bush... And of course pass the English langauge.

Let's take pride of being a Dutch citizen. And let's be serious about whom we should give the Dutch citizenship to. It has nothing to do with races, colour, religion >>> BUT how much the person wants to be part of us.

Take the case of the 20,000 Somalias who moved to the UK once they were granted the Dutch citizenship? Should we be happy about that?

Sarah Cummings said...

Hi Joitske
I too failed the inburgeringstoets. As a Brit living in the Netherlands, this is bad news! Particularly when my kids and partner are Dutch. I failed the test because: I've always lived in a social environment where one calls round to see the neighbours' new baby because one knows the neighbours; I've always worked so I don't know what you do if you don't have a job here; and I don't know how to apply for huursubsidie. Add to this: two years' Dutch language courses before coming to NL in 1991 because I wanted to understand the jokes; and the fact that I was local 'ringsteken' champion a couple of years ago... I still can't write Dutch very well but that's (partly) because I think the new spelling has made a nonsense of the language (pannenkoeken!)