Immigrant children ‘like visitors from the Middle Ages’

Children who come to Sweden from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia can be likened to time travellers from the Middle Ages, according to a report commissioned by top education officials in Eskilstuna.

Despite initially having approved the emergency report, schools chief Margareta Forsberg and department boss Rolf Brunell have both agreed to have a rethink following strong criticism of the wording in sections of the document.

Arguing for more resources in the central Swedish town for schools with large numbers of recent immigrants, the report said these pupils often found themselves a thousand years behind their Swedish counterparts, Eskilstuna-Kuriren reports.

“We didn’t mean anything bad by what we wrote. The background to this is that a lot of the children who come to us today have never been to school,” Margareta Forsberg told the newspaper.

Servat Barzangi from the Sabrini mosque was among those surprised by the report’s findings.

“It’s strange that anybody could have that view when we live in a globalized world where almost everybody has access to the internet,” he told Eskilstuna-Kuriren.