To first chapter
Here we will look at the most important institutions and organizations,
which by deciding frameworks for education or by initiating or arranging
courses influence adult education for Samis. Some institutions work together
in arranging courses or programmes. As for Norway, we have hopefully described
the most important institutions, but for the other countries this is only
Among the adult education in which Samis take part, only a relative small part is developed especially for them. Here will be described some courses which include participants from other ethnic groups, while many courses attended by Samis are omited. We have tried to cover most of the courses arranged by Sami institutions and organizations and courses in specific Sami livelihoods, language and culture.
The Sami Conference in 1971 expressed that folk high schools, voluntary
education and adult education for Samis should be promoted. The Sami Conference
in 1989 decided on a Programme for Schools and Education. In this programme
there is expressed about adult education:
"7b Adults should have the possibility of learning Sami language in Sami area."
In 1998 the Sami Council has called for the building of a Sami university, built on the excisting insitutions.
The Sami Council base its cultural view on the UNESCO report «Our Cultural Diversity».
Except for principal statements, The Sami Council has for the moment not much activity in the field of adult education, among others because of lack of secretary of culture in their secretariat.
Sami Institute (Sámi Instituhtta / Nordisk Samisk Institutt
- NSI) is a Sami research institution founded and mainly financed by Nordic
Council of Ministers. The institute is situated in Guovdageaidnu in Norway.
When the Sami Institute was established in 1973, adult education and enlightment was considered some of its most important tasks. Adult education was subject of a seminar arranged by Sami Institute in 1974. In 1977 the Sami Institute decided to start an adult education project covering Ohcejohka/Utsjoki municipality , the South Sami area and Stockholm . It began by registering needs and interests in adult education. Then there were arranged several courses in cooperation between NSI and different educational establishments, among which Samernas folkhögskola was one. Some of these courses were interesting pioneer projects, among them "Saemien Vuekieh", concerning culture and traditions, which was arranged several times in the South Sami area. Teaching was not approached in the normal manner, but the learning was based on the experience of the participants. The adult education project was carried out up to 1983 and summarised in three project reports. Unfortunately it does not look like it has been developed further after that. Since then there has been little activity concerning adult education by NSI, before this survey was initiated by UNESCO.
Through a reorganizing of NSI in 1997 the institute has changed into a pure research based institution. The responsibility for Sami adult education has been left to other institutions, and there is no longer any all-Sami institution responsible for adult education.
The three Sami Parliaments have had some common meetings and made
statements on important common questions for the Sami people. In connection
to the UN International Decade of Indigenous Peoples, they made a statement:
Common Objectives and Joint Measures of the Sami Parliaments. There is told
as one of the main objectives which they will pursue in the decade:
Giving priority to the Sami language through Sami control over the education of Sami children, and combating the oral and written illiteracy in own language among adults in the course of the Decade.
The Sami Parliament in Sweden has taken part in a campain for adult education in Sami language, but it seems like the other two parliaments have not had much concrete activity in this field..
It is difficult to put all organs influencing adult education for Samis in Norway into a simple scheme, as there are often no clear borders between Sami and non-Sami organs, between governmental and non-governmental and between central and region level. We will first look at bodies giving premises through political decisions/ bureaucracy, then at institutions and organizations providing courses. But even here there are no clear borders.
The state education administration in Norway consists of Ministry of
Church, Education and Research and 18 State Offices of Education.
KUF - Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs
Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs (KUF - Kyrkje-, utdannings-, og forskningsdepartementet) decides, within frames given by Parliament (Stortinget), curriculums for education in primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities.
The work of the Ministry and other governmental institutions concerning adult education has the last few years mainly concerned about the reform of continued and further education. When reading the public documents about this reform, one will find very little about Sami affairs. In the main report about the Competence reform, Sami affairs are only mentioned in connection to primary education for adults, where it is told that the exams of primary school is possible to take according to either the national curriculum or the Sami curriculum, and that it is possible to choose Sami language as a subject. Chapter 6, Financing of primary school for adults, is the only place where it is mentioned that it might be actual to make special provisions for Samis: "The system of financial support may also be adapted to financing provisions for special groups, for instance Sami population lacking primary school competence in their own mother tongue."
So principally this may be done, but there is nothing in the rest of the report giving signals that it will be.
As enclosure to this report is among others the Hamburg declaration on adult education from UNESCO in 1997. This declaration stresses the rights of indigenous people to adult education on their own conditions, but this does not seem to have caught the attention of Norwegian politicians and bureaucrats in school administration. It has at least not got any consequences for the proposals on adult education in Norway.
The report "New competence" was during the hearing hardly criticized from the Sami educational Council and the Sami Parliament, but it seems like this critics did not lead to any consequences in the further work on the reform.
The next document on this reform is produced by the Ministry: Stortingsmelding 42 (1997-98). Here is everything which is written about Sami adult education:
"The readjustments in the Sami societies will demand increased competence and further education. Following up the report to Parliament this area must be given special attention."
In the proposal of the Standing Committee on Education, Sami affairs were not mentioned at all. Neither they were mentioned by anybody in the debate in Parliament.
Responding to this survey, the Ministry writes:
... The Ministry is for the time being about to prepare a greater reform of further education, the so called competence reform. Within the framework of this reform there has not been suggested any special provisions for the Sami population. The reform is however intended to cover all adults, and will therefore also sbe of importance for the Samis.
A question regarding the Ministry's intended action in relation to the demands of these central Sami institutions, was answered as following: The policy of the Ministry with this competence reform is to reach many, especially among those, who have low education. This is, according to the representative of the Ministry, especially appropriate for the Samis as they in general have a lower education than the country average. They intend to use a general policy which will affect the Samis in the extent that they have low education, not because they are Samis.
The Competence Reform was decided by Stortinget (The Parliament) 19.01.99, and there still has not been made any decision regarding adult education for Samis. There is neither planned any further work on this.
SU - State offices of education
In each county (fylke) in Norway there is a State Office of Education (Statens utdanningskontor - SU) . These offices are responsible for supervising all education within the county, both the primary (organized by municipalities), the secondary (organized by counties) and the higher education (organized by state). Adult education on all levels is a part of this. Among other tasks the SUs arrange courses for teachers. These offices are part of the state education administration and the Ministry divide some of its work among the offices. For instance is SU - Oslo / Akershus responsible for Secretariat of exams and SU - Troms for education in Finnish language.
We have asked the 5 northernmost offices about their work in adult education for Samis. The offices in Trøndelag (Mid-Norway) have done nothing in this field, so we will concentrate on the three northernmost ones.
SU - Finnmark
One of the main objectives of SU-Finnmark in their activity plan for 1999 is "SU shall contribute to a better quality in the whole educational run, adapted to the distinctive stamps of Finnmark". Under this main target they have among others these result targets:
· SU shall support and arrange for the use of Sami language and culture in schools, as well as contribute to quality in education in and through Sami language.
· SU shall contribute to assure an entirety of offers for all levels within adult education.
SU-Finnmark has cooperated closely with SUFUR (see chapter 3.2.8), among others on Strategic plan of adult education for Finnmark 1995-1999. When inspecting the municipalities SU-Finnmark has often stressed the need of Sami adult education provisions.
SU-Finnmark has arranged several conferences about adult education in Finnmark and about Sami education. It is possible to apply for money from them for research and development work and for study activity on higher level. In SU-Finnmark there is a consultant who is especially responsible of Sami education.
SU - Troms
During the last 5 years SU-Troms has arranged two courses in "Samisk semesteremne" and a primary course in Sami language. The main aim was to give more students and teachers the basic knowledge to make it possible for them to take Sami language at university level or education for teachers at the Sami College. There have been arranged three 2-days further education courses in Sami language.
In four municipalities in Northern Troms there is started a project for adult education called "Tre stammers møte i fire kommuner" (The meeting of three tribes in four municipalities), 1998-2000. This is developed in cooperation between SU -Troms and the school administrations in the municipalities Kvænangen, Nordreisa, Gáivuotna/Kåfjord og Skjervøy. In the papers presenting this project they tell that the fact that these municipalities has a mixed population of Sami, Finnish and Norwegian origin, earlier has been looked upon as a problem. Now they rather wish to look upon this as a resource for education. The adult population in this area has in general scarce schooling. A decay in the primary industries, without new workplaces being made in the same degree, has caused unemployment and that many people have moved away from the area. This situation has created a great need of adult education.
Among the plans may be mentioned:
· An adult education house in each of the municipalities with access to library and information and communication technology.
· Primary school for adults
· Course in cooperation with trade and industries
· Education of teachers in adult pedagogics.
Even if the Samis and the Finnish (Kvens) are emphasized in the arguments for the project, there is told very little concretely in the work plans about the multicultural aspect.
SU - Nordland
So far there has not been any adult education provided especially for Samis / in Sami language or culture by SU-Nordland. They have now got money for a preproject for adult education in the Lule Sami area (Tysfjord). The Lule Sami Centre "Árran" will be secretariat. But there is a disagreement on description of the situation and the history of the area, and the whole project has therefore stopped up.
Sami Eduational Council (Sámi oahpahusrái - SOR / Samisk utdanningsråd) was established in 1977 as an advisory board to the Ministry of Education. First it was appointed by the Ministry, later by the Sami Parliament. SOR had its secretariat in Guovdageaidnu and in 1999 around 20 employees. From 1.1.2000 the work of Sami Educational Council was overtaken by the Sami Parliament. From now it is called the Educational Department of the Sami Parliament. As this situation is very new and not yet fully established, it is the situation which was up to the end of 1999 which will be decribed here.
Sami Educational Council was the most important organ of Sami education in Norway, and played an important role in giving premises for central authorities. The council had anyhow quite restricted authority of making indepentent decisions. One of the main tasks was to provide schoolbooks in Sami language and in Sami topics. Since 1985 SOR had the right to authorize Sami schoolbooks, and in 1994 a Sami Centre of School Materials (Sámi oahpponeavvoguovddá / Samisk læremiddelsenter) was founded as a department under SOR.
The first years SOR worked almost only with primary school affairs. From 1987 there has been a consultant for secondary education. SOR has for many years asked the Ministry for money for a consultant for adult education. When the Readjustment programme for Inner Finnmark started, SOR wanted to take part in it, and they applied for money for an adult education consultant. But the Ministry neither gave money nor wanted SOR to take part in the Readjustment program. The result is that SOR had very restricted capacity to work with adult education. Replying to this survey they wrote that SOR does not have adult education as a field of priority, nor is it given priority in their plans for the nearest future.
One of the most important functions of SOR has been to make statements on
Sami education connected to All-Norwegian educational reforms and laws. In
the hearing about NOU 1997:25 Sami Educational Council expressed among others:
"The report should have had a chapter about the educational needs of the Sami population and the offers given to them. There should have been a description of the needs of the future Sami society and which provisions are nessecary to make.
As there is done no such work, it seems necessary to be done, preferentially as a following up of this report. .... ....
Sami Educational Council suggests that there is appointed a group which examine the educational needs in the different Sami societies and which also suggested provisions to be done."
None of these suggestions have been followed up by the Ministry.
SUR has taken part in arranging some courses for teachers, but they didn't initiate such courses themselves.
The Sami Parliament (Sámediggi / Sametinget) has 39 representatives, elected according to a Sami census. The administration of the Sami Parliament is situated in Kárájohka. In addition there are 4 councils (trades, culture, cultural memorials and language), each with their own administration. Education has not been under the Sami Parliament until 1.1.2000. At the administration of the Sami Parliament there has been very restricted capacity to work on educational affairs, and the Parliament itself has mainly concentrated on primary school affairs and principles of organizing of Sami education administration. I 1997 Sami Parliament supported the statement of SOR about the Competence Reform (NOU 1997:25). Except from that the Sami Parliament has not made any statement about adult education.
Connected to sessions of Sami Parliament there are often arranged seminars which are open to the general public. Except for that the Sami Parliament does not arrange any adult education neither for own employees nor for others. For improving internal competence in their administration they give priority to Sami language knowledge, but then the employees follow external courses.
The Labour Market Administration (Arbeidsmarkedsetaten) in Norway is state governed, with a Directorate of Labour (Arbeidsdirektoratet) under the Ministry of Labour and Government Administration Affairs (Arbeids- og administrasjonsdepartementet). There are 18 county employment offices (fylkesarbeidskontor), 129 district employment offices (distriktsarbeidskontor) and 56 sub-offices (avdelingskontor).
Until 1998 there was a district employment office for Inner Finnmark, which encompassed the two most central Sami municipalities, Guovdageaidnu og Kárájohka. In connection to reorganization of the labour market administration, this district employment office was laid down. The most central Sami municipalities were splitted and only given sub-offices placed under district employment offices situated in places where Sami language and culture has a much weaker position. This means that there is no longer any district employment office mainly serving Sami speaking population.
There are many signs that the Labour Market Administration does not bother much about giving the Sami population education and service based on their own language and culture. A new example here is that the leader of the sub-office in Guovdageaidnu was refused leave from work to study the Sami language. The bosses of the County Employment Office maintained that it was enough if one of the employees of this sub-office was able to speak Sami language, even if 80-90% of the inhabitants they shall serve, have Sami as their mother tongue.
The Labour Market Administration has played an important role in adult education. They have partly arranged courses at their own adult education centres, partly financed courses arranged at secondary schools / resource centres. These courses, «AMO-kurs» , are only for unemployed people. Previously also other adults could apply for AMO-courses, but this is no longer possible. Currently they have ceased to announce the courses, these are only offered to those registered as unemployed.
In the past the Directorate of Labour decided the curriculums for many of their courses. However the last years the special labour marked courses have often been replaced by moduls of secondary school curriculum.
One advantage of the labour market courses is that the unemployed are paid unemployment money when attending the course. The disadvantage is that one has to be registered as unemployed to participate. Those who are offered work may also be forced to leave the course before it is finished. Furthermore the decision to start a course is often done at the last minute, This makes planning very difficult, both for those seaching education and for the schools which will arrange the courses.
The Labour Market Administration finance much fewer courses now than before, because they get less money. When unemployment is reduced on the country level, the grants for educations and employment provisions are reduced, also in the areas where unemployment is still high, like in the Sami areas. Instead of securing employment there, the government prefer to force the unemployed people to move to areas where there is more work.
The Labour Market Administration has been one of the main providers of adult education in Sami areas. Inner Finnmark has for a long time been an area of high priority, because of high unemployment. Labour Market Administration take part in financing of the Readjustment programme and UNIREG. (See chapter 3.2.8.).
The new Law on Education gives all Samis the right to study Sami language as a subject in secondary school. According to law this also applies in adult education when following curriculum of secondary school. But the County Employment Office in Finnmark has so far done nothing to be able to offer Sami language as a subject.
The courses of Labour Market Administration have usually been taught in Norwegian. Courses may be in Sami language only when both the teacher and all the students are Sami language speakers. But if one student doesnt speak Sami, it is always used Norwegian. There has never been announced that any course would be taught in Sami, nor ever used any schoolbooks in Sami language. As far as the County Employment Office in Finnmark knows, Sami language has only been offered as a subject in Guovdageaidnu and Kárájohka .
The AMO-centre in Alta was started in the 1960s, with the purpose of reeducating people from agriculture and fisheries to industry and construction work. There has always been many Sami students. The national curriculum has always been the basis of these courses, with no adaptation to Sami students and their particular situation. Sami language has not been offered as a subject up until the last few years. When some students of child care in Alta asked for Sami language as a subject, they were given this. When the AMO centre arranged a course in joining at the secondary school in Guovdageaidnu, the school requested that Sami language should be a compulsory subject. The AMO centre itself has never initiated any education in Sami language.
We have not managed to check to what degree there have been arranged labour marked courses outside of Finnmark, which might have a Sami content. But it may be mentioned that Labour Market Administration a few times have taken part in organizing courses in Lule Sami and South Sami Language in these areas.
The conclusion must be that with regards to Samis seeking adult education, the Labour Market Administration mainly functions as a representative of the majority society. The courses are arranged according to centrally decided regulations, and the Sami population has little influence on the content and framework of these courses.
The Reindeer husbandry administration (Boazodoallohálddahus /
Reindriftsforvaltninga) is a state body under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Their main office is in Alta i Finnmark. This administration is responsible
for the Development Fund of Reindeer Husbandry (Reindriftens utviklingsfond).
From this fund there are given money for many courses both for reindeer herders
and for others who in any way are connected to reindeer husbandry. I 1999
the greatest fundings are for courses for reindeer herding districts in district
planning and for computer training for reindeer husbandry. There is also
given support for courses arranged by other institutions, like:
n slaughering and slaughterhouse work (Sami Study association -SOL)
n reindeer husbandry rights (Norwegian Association of Lawyers)
The Development Fund also support courses by the association of the reindeer Samis, NBR/NRL, see chapter 3.2.13.
The Reindeer husbandry administration is one of the institutions obliged by the language rules of the Sami Act to give their service in Sami language. However only 3 employees out of the 17 employed at the main office in Alta are able to understand the Sami language. Many of them also have very poor knowledge about Sami culture and the practical work in reindeer husbandry. At the district offices, however, some of the employees have attended language courses in North or South Sami language. In the budget for the year 2000 they have suggested to use some money to paying substitutes so that some of the employees can attend courses in the Sami language.
Norway has 19 counties (fylke). The county administration (Norwegian: fylkeskommune) is responsible for secondary education, except for the Sami secondary school, which are owned directly by state. The three northernmost counties have or have had a special consultant on Sami affairs in their administration.
According to Law on Adult Education, § 4. The county administration
is responsible for:
1. The development of adult education in the county and planning of this education.
2. Financial support to organizations and institutions according to principles stated in this law.
The county administrations, however, no longer arrange much adult education, as they dont have the money for it. Most of the adult education has been left up to the resource centres of each school (OPUS) , and these have to find external finance for their courses. The county school administration does not even have a list of what courses are in the different schools.
In some cases counties have given financial support to Sami courses arranged by study organizations.
Finnmark county has for the time being no consultant for Sami affairs. The job has been vacant for several years, but it will now be advertised again.
The representative of the County Office of Education told that he could not remember whether there had been any provision of adult education for Samis or about Sami affairs.
Troms county has for some years had a consultant in Sami affairs .
Sami language is taught by a few secondary schools, but there is great lack of teachers. There are plans to create a centre for remote education in Sami language. This may also be used for other secondary education and for adult education. They hope it will be running from the summer of 2000. There are also plans to use the Internet as a resource for students and teachers.
There are primary courses for new officials, as part of the internal education in the county administration. The courses contain a section on Sami politics, for which the Sami consultant is responsible. They want to make permanent courses for different bodies and institutions in the county with information about Sami affairs. Here they plan to cooperate with the Sami language centre in Gáivuotna / Kåfjord
The Regional Hospital in Tromsø (RITØ) has its own consultant of Sami affairs. There is arranged, in cooperation with the Sami secondary school in Kárájohka, distance learning courses in Sami language for some employees. There have also been internal courses at the hospital about Samis and health.
The county has a consultant of Sami affairs. There is neither arranged nor planned any courses made by the county or for their employees, but the county cooperates with local language centres / resource centres: Várdobáiki in Evenes (North Sami), Árran in Tysfjord (Lule Sami) and Sijte Jarnge in Hattfjelldal (South Sami).
One secondary school, Hamarøy videregående skole, filial Drag, is arranging adult education in the Lule Sami language. During the last five years they have had every year courses at a lover or medium level of competence according to curriculum of secondary school. The school cant offer all the courses which are required, because of lack of funding. This school has also taught apprentices in Sami handicraft (duodji).
Røros Ressurs, a recource senter of an upper secondary school, has arranged courses in South Sami language at different levels.
According to Law on Adult Education, municipalities are responsible of edult education on primary school level, and for education in the Norwegian language for immigrants.
Many Samis got minimal schooling during and after the Second World War. They
have for a long time been fighting for compensation, but this has always
been rejected by Norwegian authorities. In the 1990-s some of them though
have received, through their municipalities, some elementary education in
the Sami and the Norwegian language. Except from that the activity in
municipalities seem quite low, taking into account that most Samis are lacking
basic education in their own language. The municipalities are, according
to Law on Adult Education, obliged to make municipal plans for adult education.
But it seems like this has only partly been put through, both in the Sami
municipalitis and in the rest of Norway.
Refugees and immigrants to Norway have a right to a certain amount of education in Norwegian language and information about the Norwegian society. This right covers all immigrants who do not have Swedish, Danish or Sami as their first language. Although probably not intended, the result of this rule is that those who are born in Finland and have Sami as their first language and Finnish as their second, do not have the same right to learn Norwegian if they move to Norway as the Finnish citizens with Finnish as their first language have. If this rule is followed strictly, it is a hindrance to Samis from Finland who want to work in Norway, for instance in any of the common Sami institutions. When in 1999 for the first time a group of refugees was placed in a Sami speaking area, central authorities told the municipality that they were free to choose whether they wanted to give the refugees education in Norwegian or Sami language. However the municipality chose Norwegian, which they based on that the refugees should have the possibility to travel and move also to non-Sami areas in Norway.
There is no similar right to obtain education in Sami language for Norwegian speaking immigrants to Sami speaking areas.
The four municipalities which took part in the Readjustment programme for Inner Finnmark has a local adult education fora and for each municipality a half posision as adult education coordinator. Their work is described in the chapter about SUFUR / Readjustment program. (3.2.8.)
During the last few years there are established several language centres,
Some are situated in municipalities in the Language Act area and financed
by money which the municipalities in the language area get yearly through
Sami Language Council for promotion of bilingualism. Outside of this area
the municipalities get no money for such work. There the language centres
are established in cooperation between several municipalities or by local
The language centres are inspired by experiences from revival of other minority languages, among others through study travels which Sami schools and institutions have made to Wales and New Zealand. The Sami language centres are combining language and culture closely together. The participants shall learn language through practical work in handicrafts, foodmaking, fishing and so on. All the language centres are in areas where the Sami language has been exposed to a hard Norwegianization. Today in this area, it is mainly among older people that the Sami language is still in use. An important task has therefore been to connect older Sami speakers to the centres and make use of them in teaching of children and of the generation of young parents. The language centres have within a short time become well known and the workers there are often asked to come to other places and tell about their work for revival of the Sami language.
Unjárga / Nesseby
Some years ago there came an initiative from Unjárga/Nesseby municipality to start a Sami adult education centre. The initiative was discussed for several years, but finally rejected. One of the reasons why it did not come true, was that the great distances within Sami area make it difficult to have only one centre. Instead of this it was later made resource centres in the Sami secondary schools and languge centres in several municipalities. But in Unjárga municipality it has not happened much after this. The municipal school office has now given an answer with no other information than that they have a half job at the school office responsible for adult education, and that they offer education for adults with special needs. The municipal language consultant, however, tells that they have had a lot of language courses on different levels.
Deatnu / Tana
In the municipal plan one of the main targets is to "develop distinctive characters in culture, identity and language as valuable resources in the municipality". Based on this, the municipality has given priority to education in Sami language. Language courses are mainly financed by the state grants for promoting bilingualism, canalized through Sami Language Council.
The municipality has established a Centre of Industries and Development, SEG, and a language centre as a part of this. The municipality express the aim of their language centre like this:
· Supporting and making people more aware with regard to Sami language and culture.
· Give participants / population back the confidence in the Sami language and culture, by bringing it out into the open.
· Give Sami language education
They have language courses for newcomers and for health workers and courses in writing for municipal workers. These courses include administrative terminology.
SEG also arrange courses on economy and computer work in cooperation with Finnmark College in Alta. They have now started a cooperation with Sami College on decentralised education of teachers, where it will be possible to take the first two years of this education in Deatnu.
Porsángu / Porsanger
Porsanger was the first municipality which established a language centre (1994). They have arranged both language immersion courses and writing course for Sami language speakers, with altogether 40-50 participants. This language centre has been doing pioneer work, by developing language and culture as an entity. Much of this has been done by giving training in Sami cultural traditions within handicraft, cooking and fishing. Except for the courses in the language centre the municipality only run courses in Norwegian language for refugees / immigrants.
Kárájohka / Karasjok
The municipal school office tells that they have arranged no adult education, except for teaching immigrants Norwegian. The language consultant has arranged Sami language courses for municipal employees. In 1999 they have started reading and writing courses, where participants get payment for attending the course. There are so far quite few who has got such a good offer.
Guovdageaidnu / Kautokeino
The main work of the school office in this field is the administration of courses in reading and writing Sami and Norwegian for those who are lacking these abilities. Education in Norwegian is provided for immigrants. who do not have Sami or Norwegian as their first language (see above). In 1998/99 a 12 week long course in reading and writing Sami language was organized in cooperation with SUFUR and the Labour Market Administration. There are also arranged writing courses for people with dyslexia.
Gáivuotna / Kåfjord
The municipality has since 1995 a language centre which arranges courses in Sami language and culture. Gáivuotna municipality explain their work like this: "The Sami language Centre is an important part of the entire language package offered by the municipality. It offers language courses for adults (municipal workers and others), language immersion for primary school pupils and Sami language arrangements at the home for old people. The Centre offers for the local population many kinds of arrangements, guidance at different arrangements and courses. In addition the language workers are collecting Sami terminology and placenames."
In Nordland there are now being started three language centres / resource centres; one covering each of the main dialects; in Evenes for North Sami, in Tysfjord for Lule Sami and in Hattfjelldal for South Sami.
Evenes / Tjeldsund / Ballangen / Skånland
There are 4 municipalities which own the language centre together: Evenes, Tjeldsund and Ballangen in Nordland county and Skånland in Troms county. The language centre is situated in Evenes. It started February 1999, and has not yet achieved much. Before that there was a language project for 2 years. Autumn 1999 they start elementary courses in Sami language and they intend to continue up to university level. They plan to incorporate a local handicraft association and local artists within the language centre. They also plan to build a Sami culture house, to start up a sound and picture studio and an Internet project together with Kiruna municipality (Sweden). As yet they have no funding to develop these ideas further.
The Coordination Commitee for Finnmark Educational Region (SUFUR -
Samordningsutvalget for Finnmark Utdanningsregion) is in a position between
the state and Finnmark fylke. The same may be said about the Readjustment
programme for Inner Finnmark, where the educational part is organized through
The reason for establishing a special educational region was that the level of education in the county was much lower than the country average. The educational region was established in 1988, after demands being made for more than ten years. At first the region was established for 3 years, later it has been prolonged for one year at a time. It is now suggested that the educational region should be continued until 2005, but there is not yet made any decision by the Ministry.
SUFUR is organizing or providing funds for activities in addition to the normal education activities organized by municipalities, county and state secondary schools and colleges.
When SUFUR was established, Finnmark was widely considered as a county of shortages. The aim of SUFUR was to motivate both youth and adults to undertake more education, and to attract more qualified teachers to the county. Gradually the focus became more on how the educational system could adapt better to local conditions, based on cultures, languages and the livelihoods of the county. This shift of focus came from experience gained from attempts to increase the level of education based on a general Norwegian model, and on the discussions between scholars and institutions. Some Sami institutions like the Sami College and the Sami Educational Council were also active in this debate.
SUFURs experience was in 1996 summarized by researchers and participants and edited in 8 booklets. There the concept of competence itself is questioned, and it is stressed that a lack of formal education does not mean that the people in Finnmark has not had a real competence in relation to their society and means of livelihood. It looks like the way of thinking about this has changed within great parts of the pedagogical environment in Finnmark. This, however, does not mean that a similar development has occured among regional and central politicians or in the school bureaucracy. The strict rules still make a hindrance to establishing an education based on own culture and traditions. The experiments made within the Educational Region has mainly been quite isolated experiments and Finnmark has at the same time also been victim to the school reforms of the 1990-s, which have given a more common national curriculum.
In the period when Finnmark has been an educational region, the level of education has increased. Simultaniously the level has increased on national level, and the difference has only been reduced in some fields. As for higher education lasting more than 5 years, the difference in fact has increased, as it is still impossible to get such education in Finnmark.
Adult education has always been an important part of the work of SUFUR, and in the latest paper on the future of SUFUR it is stressed that SUFUR must have an important role in promoting the competence reform.
SUFUR has been responsible for the educational part of the Readjustment programme for Inner Finnmark.
The Readjustment Programme
A great part of the reindeer husbandry territory in Finnmark has been greatly damaged by too many reindeers and by the intensive use of motor vehicles and fences, a policy which was promoted by the government. Therefore the number of reindeers had to be reduced. To encourage reindeer owners to leave their work and their way of living, the government and Finnmark fylke together started a programme to help them get new jobs. This was called the Readjustment programme (Nuppástuhttinprográmma / Omstillingsprogrammet). There have been a lot of political discussion about the program, and some have criticized it, calling it a new form of Norwegianization of Samis. It has also been criticized for pressing the owners of small herds out, letting the wealthy ones stay in the trade. However, the Sami Parliament and the reindeer herders organization have more or less taken part in the program. The programme was also connected to closing of some military camps and a copper mine, but the main focus all the time was on reindeer husbandry.
If reindeer owners slaughter all their reindeers and take education or start their own company in another field, they are given a financial support of 100000 NOK a year during a period of 5 years, The first readjusters have already finished their 5 years, the last ones will finish in 2001.
This support could be used for ordinary studies at secondary or higher level, or attending courses initiated by the Readjustment Program. The courses which were started because of this programme are also open for other people. In fact, in several of these courses none of the participants were "readjusters". The Readjustment programme was for four municipalities in Inner Finnmark (Guovdageaidnu, Kárájohka, Deatnu, Porsanger). Because of this, jobs as adult education coordinators have been established in these municipalities (½ job in each municipality), and also Adult Education Forums (VO-forum) for coordination of activities of the various education operators. In these forums there are representatives of some municipal offices, schools, study associations and employment office.
In general there is bad coordination in the field of adult education in Norway. Therefore this organizing in the 4 municipalities is an interesting experiment, which might be a model for more permanent organizing, also in other municipalities.
All courses are arranged in cooperation with other institutions, often with expences being shared. Therefore some of these courses may also be registered under other institutions.
The reports from SUFUR about education and competence development in the readjustment programme for Inner Finnmark, inform about these provisions from 1994 to 1998:
* APO-classes in Guovdageaidnu and Kárájohka (APO = Arbeid, Produksjon, Opplæring = Work, Production, Education)
* Motivate young people for studies
* Adult pedagogics for a multi cultural society - Sami College
* District active school - ideas for teachers, mainly in primary school
* Elementary course in reading and writing, primary school level in Norwegian and Sami
* Study competence course (Gymnasium subjects in 1 - 1½ year)
* Sewing of theatre costumes (Together with the Sami Theatre Beaivvá)
* Apprentices in Sami handicrafts and slaughtering
* Courses for companies: Foreign languages, service, economy, law, computers,
* Guiding (Tourism)
* "Field assitant" - education for nature protection and administration
* Computer work
* Internal control - health and security in places of work
* Traditional use of nature: fishing, catching birds with strings, hunting.
* Duodji / Development of handicraft products
* Documentation of culture and traditions. 6 unemployed youngsters in Guovdageaidnu are recording traditions and history by interviewing old people. They use tape recorder and camera and write it afterwards. They will also use video. The youth are being trained in the techniques of documentation and systematication, in Sami language and history. The material they collect may be used for establishing new places of work. This project is carried out in cooperation with Sami Educational Council, Sami Archive and the local History Association.
* Natural stones and minerals. Introduction course
* Sound and light arrangements of cultural arrangements. Short course in cooperation with the Sami Theatre Beaivvá.
* Unireg: In the four municipalities of the Readjustment Programme started in 1997 a combined programme of work and studies, connected to Universitetenes registreringssentral (Registration Central of Universities). The participants are working half time with computer based registration for Universities of Oslo and Tromsø. They are registering: "matrikler" (land registers) , fossiles, Sami archives and collections. At first they are trained how to use of computers for registration, later they are working half time and studying half time. The studies are flexible according to needs of each participant, mainly subjects on secondary school level, like Sami, Norwegian and use of computers.
Altogether there were 40 participants in 1998, in 1999 it has been reduced to 30 because of lack of money. The Unireg course involves cooperation between the municipalities, Universities, Labour Market Administration and SUFUR. Some of the studies arranged for participants in Unireg may also be open to others.
They have tried to run the following courses, but have not succeeded so far:
* College study in Sami use of nature and resource planning
* Nature- and culture-based tourism
* "Oðða bálgát" - Personal development and motivation for youth from reindeer husbandry
* Building of sledges and traditional housebuilding (lafting)
* Registration of cultural memories
The Readjustment programme itself lasted from 1993 to 1998, but parts of it is prolonged for two years more, in another shape. The programmes of education will now be more connected to development of industries and working places, and Finnmark fylke has made a regional development programme for Inner Finnmark in 1999. This includes the plans of SUFUR for this area. Planned areas of educational development include:
* Use of elders as a resourse and informal competence in school. Sami College and Sami Educational Council has started this work, inspirered by experiences of other indigenous peoples.
* Different courses for tourism
* Courses for women in the readjustment municipalities. This is in cooperation with the Sami womens organization Sáráhkka.
* Competence development in companies
* Courses for slaughterhouse workers
The adult education fora and coordinators will probably keep on until the end of 2000.
Health, environment, security
The last few years there have been two programmes focusing on health for reindeer herders and readjusters. The first was called "HMS reindrift" (Helse, miljø, sikkerhet - Health, environment, safety - reindeer husbandry) and was carried out in the years 1992-97, as a part of the project "Helse og ulikhet" (Health and disparity), connected to the County doctor in Finnmark. There were several courses for reindeer herders in Inner Finnmark. This is followed up by the project HEMSKO - Health consequences of the readjustment programme for Inner Finnmark. This is partly financed by SUFUR and the readjustment program. There have been several courses for readjusters. As a result of this work HMS has also come in as a subject in reindeer husbandry line of secondary school.
There are two Sami secondary schools (Sámi joatkkaskuvllat /
Samiske videregående skoler), both situated in Inner Finnmark, in
Guovdageaidnu and Kárájohka. They are owned by the state,
and they have a common board. These schools have for many years arranged
courses for adults. From 1997 the courses are organized by a resource centre
in each of the schools, under the leadership of a course inspector.
A commitee of representatives of the administration of the two secondary schools has suggested that this should be the responsibility of the resource centres:
The purpose is that the schools through the departments shall:
1. Carry out the responsibility of the county, as stated in the Act on Adult Education, §4 no. 1 and 2, in Kárájohka and Guovdageaidnu.
2. Arrange courses and offer service for other public institutions, private enterprices, organizations and others.
This proposal has, however, not yet been formally considered by the Board of the Sami secondary schools or the Ministry of Education. The division of responsibility between the county and the state has not been clear. In 1998 the course inspector in Guovdageaidnu wrote: "Neither does the county, as the body responsible according to law, nor the state, as owner of the schools, take the responsibility of adult education in Karasjok and Kautokeino".
He shows that it is difficult to arrange courses because:
- The state demands income from courses, which forces schools to give priority to courses which may give income.
- extra expenses because of bilingualism and employers taxes are not covered.
The Sami secondary schools have principally stated that they should teach in Sami language. But in reality most of the education is in Norwegian, both in secondary education and adult education. There are several reasons: Some teachers dont speak Sami, some pupils dont understand Sami, there are almost no schoolbooks written in Sami language. There has for many years been discussed if schools should be open to pupils who dont speak Sami.
Both the Sami secondary schools and their common board have done a lot to develop competence within the schools. Among others there are arranged different courses in pedagogics at the secondary school in Guovdageaidnu, in cooperation with the University of Tromsø. In 1998-2000 they have a course for school leaders, in school management and school development. Also school leaders from primary school in the Sami language area take part in this.
Sami Secondary School and Reindeer Husbandry School, Guovdageaidnu
Sámi joatkkaskuvla ja boazodoalloskuvla / Samisk videregående skole og reindriftsskole is an upper secondary school giving ordinary education for youth in the following studies:
mechanics, reindeer husbandry, building, Sami handicrafts, food processing and general subjects (gymnasium).
In addition they arrange adult education within these fields and even in other fields.
From 1995 to 1999 there have been following courses: study competence, caretaker course, building and joining, primary school for adults, cooking and serving, field assistant, apprentices' school in Sami handicraft (duodji), computer studies, archive knowledge, slaughtering.
Cooperation partners have been among others: SUFUR, Labour Market Administration, Tana secondary school, UniReg, AMO-centre in Alta, Sami College, HMS-Reindrift.
In 1997 the school made a plan for a project named "Oðða balgat" - "New paths - Guidance for life - Personal development and motivation as a base for work and studies". An invitation was sent to all young boys from reindeer husbandry families, who did not have a reindeer husbandry unit of their own. About 80 boys were contacted, 40 of them were interested. There was arranged one "future seminar" with 24 participants. For the boys it was important that they could take education on part time, because they did not want to leave reindeer husbandry entirely, and their work was needed there in periods. But the strict rules of financing adult education have so far made it impossible to be carried out. They are still searching for new ways of financing it. The Readjustment programme does not refer to them, and Labour Market Administration will only pay for people who are completely unemployed. Based on the experiences made so far, in 1998 there was made a new project sketch. In 1999 the school wrote to State bank for education (Statens lånekasse for utdanning), hoping to get financial support for the pupils there.
Sami Secondary School, Kárájohka
Sami joatkkaskuvla Kárájogas / Samisk videregående skole, Karasjok has ordinary upper secondary education within health and social care, mechanics, building/joining and general and economical subjects. As adult education they have during the last 5 years arranged 2 courses of primary school curriculum (½ year) with approx. 50 students, and 3 study competence courses (1½ years), altogether more than 50 students.There have been 15 computer courses, the last years as Computer Licence.
There have been Sami language courses on an elementary level both locally and as distance education and course in the theoretical subjects for craft certificate for joiners. The plans for the nearest future is to go on with similar courses and try to arrange a course in mechanics for farmers.
Educational office for duodji
I 1990 duodji (Sami handicrafts) was accepted as a profession under the Law on vocational education in working life (Lov om fagopplæring i arbeidslivet), which means that there was established a craft certificate for duodji. A central Council of duodji education (Opplæringsråd for duodji) gives advices to the Ministry. This council has a secretariat in Guovdageaidnu.
With the reform of secondary education, Reform 94, the duodji education was changed from 3 years in school into 2 years of school and 2 years as apprentice, and now there is only the duodji education office which may give certificates. Therefore the education for crafts certificate is no longer under the Board of the Sami Secondary Schools, but under the counties commitees for vocational education.
Two educational offices are established, one in Unjárga / Nesseby for Eastern Finnmark, one in Guovdageaidnu for Western Finnmark. In Finnmark there are altogether 58 small trade units which are accepted for teaching apprentices, and in 1994-98 27 have achieved the craft certificate. In other counties the numbers are much lower. Most of the people who have taken the certificate are adults, most of them have taken it without attending the duodji education in school. The educational offices have severe economical problems, even if they have got some support from the Sami Parliament. The crafters (duojár) have usually poor economy and can often not afford to pay apprentices the salary they should have according to laws and appointments.
Sami College (Sámi Allaskuvla / Samisk høgskole) was established in Guovdageaidnu in 1989, mainly to educate teachers of primary schools and kindergartens. In addition to this they have arranged a lot of studies of ½-1 year, in Sami handicraft (duodji) and in Sami language on all levels from elementary to medium level of University. About 10 elementary courses in Sami language are arranged. Study competence course (semesteremne) is arranged every year. 4 times there have been courses for interpreters. Sami language courses have also been arranged by the college in other places in Finnmark and Troms.
A considerable part of the studies have been part time, in general at half study speed, mainly as further education for teachers in educational subjects: bilingual pedagogics, multicultural pedagogics, special pedagogics and adult pedagogics. From 1999 they will offer joik , drama and storytelling. Several studies are arranged in cooperation with Finnmark College in Alta or University of Tromsø.
The language of instruction is mainly Sami on the teacher studies and Norwegian on most of the further pedagogical studies.
Sami College arranged 1996/97 the study "Adult pedagogics in a multicultural environment". This was based on the plan of adult pedagogics accepted by the Norwegian Ministry of Education, but adapted to Sami and multicultural conditions, and also adapted to be accepted in Finland. It was meant for teachers and consultants organizing adult education, for instance in labour offices. There were 8 students, all of them Sami speaking. The teachers from the College and the censors were Sami speaking, but there were some Norwegian / Swedish speaking guest lecturers. When the teaching was in Norwegian / Swedish, there was used time for talking about it in Sami and explain terminology. There is written a report about this course.
After the Sami College was established, Finnmark College (Finnmárkku allaskuvla / Høgskolen i Finnmark) has taken no responsibility for Sami affairs. They no longer offer Sami language as a subject, and there is very little Sami content in their studies. The word "Sami" does not even exist in their study catalogue for 1999-2000. The only study which might give a signal about partly Sami content is Multicultural Understanding.
The Colleges views are that they don't want to have any Sami studies, as they do not want to compete with Sami College. But Norwegian speaking Samis especially complain that they don't get any college studies with Sami content, as long as they don't master the Sami language well enough to follow the education at the Sami College.
Tromsø College (Høgskolen i Tromsø) arranged in 1999 a 35 hours' course in Sami subjects for teachers of secondary school:
* Sami and other etnic music.
* Sami shape and colour
* Sami art and cultural history
In 1998 they had a 3-days course for language teachers of Sami and English. In the year 1999-2000 they plan a course for primary school teachers in the Sami subjects mentioned in the national curriculum.
Bodø College (Høgskolen i Bodø) has three studies with Sami content, and offer them alternately:
· Lule Sami language (½ year study). Approximately 30 students have passed this. It is desireable to offer the second ½ year study. However, more research and development must be carried out first.
· Duodji (½ + ½ year)
· Social science emphasizing Sami culture and history (½ year)
All these studies are situated at the Sami centre Árran in Tysfjord.
Bodø College in now offering education of teachers in Steigen, which means that Lule Sami youth don't need to go far from home to get education as teachers. This may be combined with Lule Sami studies at Árran.
Bodø College cooperates with Árran, Hamarøy secondary school and Sami college. The college is planning a cooperation with the universities in Luleå and Umeå (Sweden).
They have also arranged courses in the Lule Sami area to give students study competence for education as teachers.
Nesna College (Høgskolen i Nesna) has recently completed the second part of South Sami language (1 year study) in Hattfjelldal. 10 students passed, it is the first time in Norway that there have been given education in South Sami in such a high level.
Nord-Trøndelag College (Høgskolen i Nord-Trøndelag) in Levanger has arranged courses in South Sami language for adults on secondary school level, in cooperation with Røros ressurs (Resource centre connected to secondary school). They have arranged first part of South Sami «grunnfag» (first year of University level) and they will also arrange the second part of it.
University of Tromsø
Since it was established in 1972 University of Tromsø has especially been responsible for education in Sami language and about Sami topics. There has been a lot of disagreement about the position of Sami studies and Sami content in general studies at the university.
There are ordinary studies in Sami language from "semesteremne" (½ year) up to "hovudfag" (altogether 3½ year or more). There has many times been a demand for beginners course in Sami language, so that students without Sami language knowledge also should have a chance to start learning. This has been arranged only twice, otherwise the University have rejected to arrange it, arguing that it is not a task for the University to offer studies at elementary level.
There is more or less Sami content in some subject like social antropology and history.
A Centre for Sami Studies was established in 1990. It is an interdiciplinary centre which tries to coordinate and promote Sami studies and Sami content in different studies, and they arrange their own courses and seminars about Sami and other indigenous affairs. The Centre also organizes exchange of Sami and indigenous research with other institutions of research and higher education in Norway and abroad.
The University has a competence centre for teachers' education and continued education, UNIKOM. They arrange continued and further education courses in cooperation with the different faculties and institutes of the university. The following studies arranged by UNIKOM have a specific Sami content:
- Sami rights ¼ year
- Sami culture ½ year
- Sami language, 1 year
In 1996 UNIKOM, in cooperation with other educational institutions, made a plan for decentralized studies in Sami language and culture on university level. The studies should be organized by means of telecommunications (video conference). The plan included North Sami up to 1½ year, South and Lule Sami ½ year and Sami cultural knowledge ½ year. The plan has only partly been put through, but at least UNIKOM has started decentralized education in two places in Finnmark (Porsanger / Tana). The students meet simultaniously in the two places, but the teacher is only in one of them. The other students are connected by video conference.
Sami Folk High School (Sámi Álbmotallaskuvla / Den Samiske
Folkehøgskole) was established in 1936 by the private Christian
organization «Norsk Finnemisjonsselskap», later called «Norsk
Samemisjon», which is still the owner of the school. This organization
is dominated by non-Samis, but today the leaders and most teachers of the
school are Sami. Previously most students were teenagers, but the last few
years the majority of students have been older than 20 years. Today the school
may therefore be regarded as giving adult education.
The last few years the school has had many foreign students, and groups of Russian Samis have been taught North Sami and Norwegian language. The school is based on Christian values, but Christian teaching seems to play a smaller role in the school than before.
The school in based on:
"- Sami breeding, inspiration to gain own experiences
- valuating Sami knowledge
- real competence within the Sami
- subjects and work according to the seasons
- oral mediating while doing practical work together
- use of the Sami language."
The school does not have fixed lines of study, but the students may choose between subjects, with which they work for a couple of months. Among the subjects are duodji, media, Sami language, Russian language, building of river boats and sledges.
In addition to one-year courses there are short courses lasting 3-11 days in subjects like: sewing of traditional Sami costumes and caps, weaving of bands, making of knives and wooden boxes.
VOFO - The Norwegian Association for Adult Education
The Norwegian Association for Adult Education(Voksenopplæringsforbundet) is a common organization of 22 accepted study associations (NGOs) in Norway. In addition 14 organizations and institutions are consultative members. Altogether the study associations in 1997 had more than 60000 courses with more than 700000 participants.
Among the member organizations there are two Sami organizations: SOL - Sámi Oahppoplávdegoddi (Sami Education Commitee) and SLF (Sami Country Association). Some years ago the rules for study associations were changed, so that they had to be organized on all-Norway level and have a certain amount of lessons a year to be accepted. It was then made exceptions for Sami study associations.
VOFO takes part in international cooperation through UNESCO, Nordic Popular Academy, European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) and International Council for Adult Education (ICAE).
Earlier on the Norwegian state gave quite good financial support for study work through voluntary organizations. However over a long period of time this support has gradually been reduced, and currently it covers only around 20% of the expences. These reductions in financial support have resulted in reduced activity within many of the study organizations.
VOFO has regional branches in the counties, working for support from counties and municipalities for study work.
SOL - Sami Study Commitee
Sami Study Commitee (Sámi oahppolávdegoddi / Samisk studieutvalg) is the study organization of NSR (Norwegian Sami Association) and is working where NSR has local groups (about 25 places). The purpose is to strengthen Sami language and culture, and the Sami population is the primary target group.
SOL mainly arranges courses in Sami handicraft (duodji), Sami language and other Sami related subjects, but also in some other subjects. Some of the language courses have also been at university level, in cooperation with Sami College and University of Tromsø
Recently they have tried to offer a course of theory for craft certificate for child and youth workers. However they did not manage to get funding for it, because of the mentioned unclear responsibility in funding adult education.
SOL has among others arranged courses for youth in traditional Sami use of nature; catching birds with strings, different kinds of hunting and fishing, building of turf huts and traditional river boats. Other course providers usually dont bother about such Sami knowledge. This shows that it is important to have a Sami study association.
In 1997 SOL had 185 courses with 863 participants. More than 2/3 were women. More than half of the courses were in Guovdageaidnu municipality. Their secretariat is in Guovdageaidnu, there is only one employee. In connection with the adult education project which Sami Institute carried out in South Sami area in the 1980s, there was a wish to get a local office of SOL there. So far, however, they have not been able to afford any local offices.
Other study associations
Two of the national study associations, AOF and Folkeuniversitetet have arranged courses in Sami language both in Troms and Finnmark. There have been both elementary courses and courses for study competence in Sami language (admission to Sami College and university studies in Sami language).
FB - Peoples Correspondence School
In 1983 FB (Folkets Brevskole) set up an elementary course in North Sami language (Davvin, 4 books + cassettes) and in 1985 a reading and writing course in North Sami (Sámás, 3 books + cassettes).
NBR - Norwegian Reindeer Samis Association
The Norwegian Reindeer Samis Association (NBR - Norgga boazosápmelaaid riikasearvi / NRL - Norske Reindriftssamers Landsforbund) is an organization of reindeer husbandry Samis. NBR has arranged many courses for their members, most of them financed by the Development Fund of Reindeer Husbandry (Reindriftens Utviklingsfond). Among these may be mentioned:
· reindeer slaughtering and use of side products from reindeers
· Sami rights
· the reindeer husbandry appointment
There is an organization of crafters, Sámiid Duodji, which among others work for the promotion of duodji education. They have established a Duodji Institute, giving professional advice and developing competence. Also the Sami College, Sami Secondary School and Sami Institute take part in the Duodji Institute.
In Sweden some of the adult education courses are only for Samis. This is not the case in neither Finland nor Norway, but it has been discussed in all three countries.
The state education administration in Sweden consists of the Ministry
of Education (Utbildningsdepartementet) and the National Agency for Education
(Skolverket), which in addition to their main office in Stockholm has 11
satellite offices around the country.
Our questionaire was by the Ministry of Education answered like this:
"When examining the questionaire closely, it looks like the Ministry of Education does not belong to the target group of the survey. For sure we are in any way interfered in all education in Sweden, but we dont run any projects of our own, especially concerning adult education for Samis. The adult education especially directed towards Samis is first and foremost Samernas folkhögskola. The folk high school gets a funding from state of about 5,6 mill kr/year. For further information, contact this institution, with adress:...."
Our main conclution from this is that the Ministry does not look upon adult education for Samis as a responsibility of theirs.
There is neither any evidence that the National Agency for Education has engaged itself in adult education for Sami or in any Sami topics. The annual report from the Agency 1998 has no mention whatsoever of Sami education let alone adult education for Sami.
The Sami school board (Sámeskuvlastivra / Sameskolstyrelsen) was established in 1980 and nominations are now through the Sami Parliament. The general office is in Jokkmokk and there are 6 employees. The Sami school board is the overall authority for the 6 Sami schools and works as well with the local authorities (municipalities) concerning integration of Sami pupils in ordinary primary schools. The board also publishes text books and advises other authorities in questions concerning Sami educational affairs.
3.3.3. Sami Parliament
The Sami Parliament in Sweden (Sámediggi /Sametinget) does not have
its own department to deal with educational questions. The Parliaments
most important role in relation to education is to put forward political
statements. The Parliament is not satisfied with the present funding
arrangements, which does not secure economically the adult Samis, who want
to learn their own language. The Sami Parliament sees this as a breach of
human rights. The Sami Parliament has itself taken the initiative for and
partly financed the ALFA-project for Sami language education. (see 3.3.6).
The Sami Parliament has taken part in the public report about minority languages, but their opinion is that the suggestions in the report will not sufficiently secure the right to information in minority languages and the right to adult education.
The employment office (AMS- Arbetmarknadsstyrelsen) has amongst other things arranged courses in reindeer herding and Sami handicraft. The handicraft course has also been open to non-Sami people, which has led to some criticism from the Sami side.
In cooperation with «Kunnskapslyftet» quite a lot of courses in Sami, at lower level, has been arranged. Komvux and Sami Educational Centre have also been involved in this.
The Union of Municipalities in Lappland (Lapplands kommunalförbund) arranges distance learning in conjunction with universities and colleges in different topics, among them Sami language.
The Sami Education Centre (Samij Åhpadusguovdasj - Samernas utbildningscentrum) is situated in Jokkmokk in the Lule Sami area and is one of the most important institutions for both secondary and adult education for Sami in Sweden. Many of the pupils who have attended this centre come from Norway and Finland.
The school has its beginnings as a folk high school in 1942 and was run by
a Swedish missionary group up until 1972. It was then taken over by a foundation
consisting of two Sami organizations and Jokkmokk municipality. In 1973 the
Ministry of Education decided that the school should be «a centre for
Sami culture and for multicultural work/activities». The school widened
its activities into new fields and from 1.1.1999 it has changed its name
to Sami Education Centre.
The language situation at the school is quite complex. This is due to the fact that three different dialect areas have to be covered: North, Lule and South Sami. In addition there are also Samis who only speak Swedish. Swedish is in fact the only common language and is therefore dominant as both the medium for teaching and in the day to day running of the school. Out of the Sami languages, North Sami is most commonly in use in the school, despite the fact that Jokkmokk is in a Lule Sami area and that the official name of the school is also written in this dialect. As a principle the school offers teaching in all three dialects both at elementary level and as a mother tongue. But in practice there are seldom enough pupils to run all these simultaneously.
The school offers different types of courses
· 1-2 years in traditional handicraft
· 1 year in ecology with emphasis on nature of Nordkalotten and Sami use of nature
· Sami media studies
· Sami business establishment course, reindeer herding, handicraft (wood, horn, skin/textiles)
· Sami language and culture: North, Lule and South Sami.
The school has for many years arranged a good deal of shorter type courses in the whole of the Swedish Sami area. The school takes an active part in «Kunskapslyftet» and is now awaiting new tasks in connection with the goverments report on minority languages. They are now working to change the rules for «Kunskapslyftet», so that all Sami who do not possess secondary school competence in Sami language, can take this study despite the fact that they may not come under the normal intake group for «Kunskapslyftet». In 1997 the centre has in cooperation with The Sami Parliament run the ALFA-project offering basic skills in the reading and writing of the Sami language.
From 1999 Bokenskolan, the secondary school in Jokkmokk, in conjunction with
the centre, offers a Sami programme with Sami language and culture on the
three year course for commerce and community studies. It will be possible
to choose among other subjects Sami handicraft and reindeer herding.
From 1998 the school has established an information and communication network called SameNet (www.same.net). By the 15th March 1999 it has 1288 users; Sami organizations, institutions, reindeer husbandry villages and individuals. There are discussion groups and links to information about Sami questions to be found on Internet. SameNet will be used for distance learning, which is one of the most important priority areas for the Sami Education Centre. The IT projects are carried out in collaboration with Jokkmokk municipality, the State School for Adults in Härnösand, IT Norrbotten and the Swedish Sami National Union.
The school takes an active part in developing learning aids for Sami language and other Sami topics. One of the learning aids they now are developing is «Sámásta», a course in Lule Sami ,amguage. It is a cooperation project with the Sami centre Árran in Tysfjord (Norway), The Sami School Board and the «Education Radio» (Utbildningsradion). The Nordic Davvin books are being translated into Lule-Sami/Norwegian and Lule-Sami/Swedish. In addition there will be radio programmes and internet pages.
Sami Educational Centre is also co-operating with the Sami College in Guovdageaidnu about education for Sami handicraft (duodji) teachers (1999 - 2000) and plans for a theatre education.
Luleå Technical University
In cooperation with the Lappland Union of Municipalities the Luleå Technical University is arranging distance learning packages.
· Lule-Sami and North Sami language, at quarter speed, one half-year unit in 1999 - 2001, with study meetings in Jokkmokk.
· Culture of Nordbotten, at half speed, with study meetings in Kiruna, Gällivare, Jokkmokk and Pajala.
Umeå is the major university for Sami language in Sweden. Education is given in North, Lule- and South Sami, and in Sami culture and history.
In cooperation with Lappland Union of Municipalities distance learning is arranged in culture landscape, history and future, at half speed, with study meetings in Pajala.
The Finno-Ugric institution at Uppsala University arranges general education in North Sami on different levels.
In 1999 the Agricultural University of Sweden (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet - SLU) arranged a 5-weeks course about «The reindeer - in interaction with people and the environment». The course was intended for persons who already had at least one year education in biology at a university/college level. Such a course would probably be of more interest for non-Sami professionals.
The Peoples Study Council
The Peoples Study Council (Folkbildningsrådet) is an umbrella organization for The Peoples Study Union (Folkbildningsförbundet) and the folk high schools. The Peoples Study Union is a union for 11 nationwide study associations with 270 member organizations and 900 local units of study organizations. These have altogether about 350 000 study circles, 3 million participants and 160 000 cultural arrangements with 15 million participants or visitors.
It does not exist any Sami study association in Sweden. Establishing such organizations have been tried, but the trials have stranded because of the opposition of the The Peoples Study Union and the education authorities. In 1983 two Swedish Sami organizations together with the Sami Folk high school applied to establish a study union. To achieve this one would have to be exempted from the requirement of 50 000 study hours per annum. The application was rejected by the Ministry of Education, with the following argument:
The leaders of the Peoples Study Union have at their visit to the Ministry of Education put forward that the (present) study unions can offer such conditions for the cooperation, that Sami study-circle activities can be achieved within the frame of the present study unions activities, with the conservation of their distinctive characters.
By comparison, Norway has given such an exemption through the Law of Adult Education.
The Sami experiences from the study unions have, however, not always been
positive. There are few indications of concern from the study unions, to
offer courses in Sami topics. They have little knowledge of Sami conditions
and situations, and if they offer any courses, they are usually directed
at the majority society, and not on the needs of the Samis. There have been
some conflicts between Sami organizations and the study unions because they
have offered courses in Sami handicraft (duodji) for the general public.
The reactions have been especially strong in southern Sami areas. Samis have
feared that if everybody could start using duodji patterns and technics,
it would banalize and destroy the Sami culture, and also deprive the Sami
people the income from the Sami handicrafts.
Several study organizations have arranged North Sami beginners courses (Davvin-courses), among them the School for Adults (Vuxenskolan) and the Workers Enlightment Union (Arbeternas bildningsförbund - ABF).
This is a Sami organization, mostly for Sami who are not reindeer herders, and with a concentration on Sami handicraft (duodji). The organization has for several years had its own duodji consultant and has organized a lot of courses in duodji.
Concerning Finland we have got little information, as we have received
only one answer. This information is therefore mainly built on a visit at
the Sami Education Centre in Anár/ Inari and the consulant for Sami
education in Lappland county administation.
As mentioned in chapter 2.4., it is possible in Finland to take a craft certificate and a higher craft certificate in many vocations. This refers also to Sami handicraft (duodji). Finland is the only country where it is possible to get a master certificate in duodji. The public language exam has now also become possible to take in the Sami language, at three different levels.
Responsible of all adult education and other education in Finland is Board of Education (Opitushallitus / Utbildningsstyrelsen), which is under Ministry of Education (Opitusministeriö / Utbildningsdepartementet). When we asked them about adult education for Samis, they referred to their catalogue of cources and to local schools and institutions in Sami area.
From 1996 the Sami Parliament
(Sámediggi/Saamelaiskäräjät) has an office for education
and schoolbooks (Sámedikki skuvlen- ja oahppamateriáladoaimmahat).
It is part of the administartion of the Sami Parliament in Anár /
Inari and has 4 employees. They mainly work with production of schoolbooks.
For this work they get a very small amount of money from the state, which
forces them to give priority to primary school. For secondary school there
are only a few schoolbooks available and for adult education only the common
Nordic books for learning North Sami; Davvin (beginners) and Sámás
The Sami Parliament has up to now not done very much concerning adult education. They have now suggested a programme concerning EU-target 1-area for the years 2000-2006. This programme contains some plans for adult education. The plan is not yet accepted by the EU. This is the first programme initiated by the Sami Parliament concerning adult education.
Most of the Sami population in Finland live in the northernmost county, Lapin lääni / Sámi leana. The county administration has a consultant for Sami education, situated in Anár /Inari, where he cooperates closely with the Sami Parliaments office for education.
In most municipalities in Finland there are institutions for adult
education; called Citizens institute (Kansalaisopisto - Medborgarinstitut).
Such ones are also in Sami municipalities, but they have little specific
Sami education and the education is usually in the Finnish language.
Some of them have arranged Sami language courses (Davvin). In Ohcejohka / Utsjoki there have been courses in Sami handicrafts.
The most important educational institution in Finland, both on secondary
level and for adults, is the Sami Education Centre (Sámi
oahpahusguovdda - SOG, Saamelaisalueen koulutuskeskus - SAKK). SOG
is state owned and its board is appointed by the county administration. It
was founded in 1993, when three institutions became merged:
Sami Vocational Education Centre (Sámi fitnooahppolágádus / Saamelaisalueen ammatillinen kurssikeskus), Ivalo Home Care Learning Centre (Avvila ruovttudoalluoahppolágádus / Ivalon kotitalousoppilaitos) and Inari Christian Folk High School (Anára oahpahat = Inarin kristillinen kansanopisto).
The administration of SOG is in Anár, where there are 2 campuses in the central village and in addition in the villages Ávvil/Ivalo and Gámas/Kaamanen. SOG has also employed people who arrange courses in Ohcejoga/Utsjoki and Enodat/Enontekiö municipalities. Shorter courses are arranged all over the area in Finland, which is populated by Samis.
SOG is financed from several sources: state, county and Labour Office. So far the school has had quite good economical situation.
SOG has the following departments and courses:
- vocational department: duodji, carpentry, stone and decoration crafts, health and social studies, hotel and food catering, economy and trade
- Sami language and culture department
- nature and forestry department: reindeer husbandry, nature studies, tourism
- adult education courses
SOG develops own courses according to requests from the public. In 1998 there were 87 courses. Some examples of courses: North-, Anár- and East Sami language on several levels, computer studies, various handicrafts, reindeer husbandry, processing and marketing of reindeer meat, tourism. Some of the courses are arranged in cooperation with the Employment Office.
Most of the education is at secondary level, but they also arrange some courses at higher level, in cooperation with universities. The following courses have been at university level
- Tourism (University of Lappland / Lapin yliopisto)
- Folklore (University of Tampere)
- Sami language (University of Oulu)
SOG cooperates with Sami schools in Russia, Norway and Sweden. Every year there are pupils exchange programmes with institutions in Norway. SOG is cooperating with the Russian agricultural school PU26, which is situated in Kovdor with a branch in the Russian Sami centre Lujávri / Lovozero. Plans are made for a common school on Russian side, where will be taught among others reindeer husbandry, duodji and languages.
In the department of Sami language and culture the language of instruction is (North) Sami. There almost all pupils are Sami, but others, who have sufficient abilities in Sami language, can also take part. In other departments education is in Finnish. Among the pupils there are both Sami speaking Samis, Finnish speaking Samis, Finnish and even some from other countries, like Estonia and Russia. Many teachers dont speak Sami, also in administration there are people who dont speak Sami. No courses are reserved for Samis. In the board of the school this has been discussed, and somebody wishes to reserve some courses only for Samis.
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