Greenland Education

Greenland Education


The primary school in Greenland comprises about 9,000 pupils, distributed to 86 schools (1997). Since 1980, the Home Board has been responsible for the school and its curricula. The language of instruction is Greenlandic. Danish can be a language of instruction if necessary. The nine years of compulsory schooling are fulfilled in primary school, and in order to be able to move on to upper secondary education a two-year continuing school is required and, if necessary, another one-year supplementary course. The public school is divided into two lines with special graduation exams: general line and so-called extended line. The general line is aimed at vocational training, while the extended line is aimed at further theoretical education. In addition to the usual school subjects, teaching includes Danish as the first foreign language.

Graduates from one of Greenland’s three colleges provide access to Ilinniarfissuaq (Danish Greenland Seminary), Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland) and higher education institutions in Denmark. The seminar provides teacher training and education in the social sector, while the university provides education in the Greenlandic language and culture, social science subjects, administration and theology. Other post-secondary education takes place primarily in Denmark. Vocational training takes place at local vocational schools with special emphasis on shipping and fishing. Furthermore, there is a folk high school and a workers’ institute. Leisure education is offered in all places.

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In October 2014, Hammond temporarily handed over the Prime Minister’s post to Kim Kielsen, who became acting prime minister. Leave was prompted by a scandal in which Hammond was accused of wasting money. New elections were announced until November of that year.

In the recent election, Siumut again became the largest party with 34 percent of the vote, against 33 percent for IA. Both received 11 seats. The Democrats got close to 12 percent of the vote, which was enough for 4 seats, while 6.5 percent (2 seats) went to Atassut. 11.5 percent gave the newly formed Partii Naleraq (roughly the benchmark) 3 mandates. The party was formed as recently as April 2014 by Hans Enoksen, former Siumutledare and prime minister. The benchmark wants to work to strengthen the fishing industry and the countryside which it considers to be neglected by the larger parties. Partii Inuit gained only 1.6 percent and resigned from the government. The turnout was 73 percent.

In December 2014, a government was formed with Siumut, the Democrats and Atassut, led by Kim Kielsen (Siumut’s chairman). Almost two years later, the government was reformed due to a number of internal contradictions, including the costs of constructing a new parliament building. The new government consisted of Siumut and IA, which, however, stand a bit apart on the issue of uranium extraction.

In the April 2018 election, the ruling Siumut again became the largest party with 9 seats in the county council, but it lost two seats compared to the previous one. Siumut lost votes to the middle party Democrats who got 6 seats, while IA got 8 seats. Due to disagreements around the fisheries, Siumut and IA failed to continue government cooperation. Instead, Siumut formed a coalition with Partii Naleraq, Atassut and another party, Nunatta Qitornai. However, the government did not become long-lasting, but the cooperation exploded after four months. Partii Naleraq then chose to leave the government due to disagreement over the financing of a modernization of Greenland’s airports. Prime Minister Kim Kielsen of Siumut had reached an agreement with the Danish government on direct Danish support for the project, something that the independent Partii Naleraq could not tolerate. After three weeks of political crisis and negotiations, a new coalition government was finally formed between Siumut, Atassut and Nunatta Qitornai, with the support of the Democrats in the county council.

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