Christian Ydesen: Educating Greenlanders and Germans – Minority Education in the Danish Commonwealth, 1945 – 1970
Educating Greenlanders and Germans – Minority Educa- tion in the Danish Commonwealth, 1945 – 1970 Christian Ydesen, University of Aalborg, Denmark The first German schools were established in Southern Jutland/Nordschleswig in 1920 in connection with the transference of Southern Jutland/Nordschleswig to Denmark after Germany was defeated in World War I. These schools received subsidies from the Danish state; but in 1945, following the end of German occu- pation of Denmark, all 89 schools were closed. However, as early as in 1946 German private schools re-opened in Southern Jutland/Nordschleswig and in March 1955 the Bonn declaration was signed by the German federal chancellor Konrad Adenauer and the Danish prime minister H.C. Hansen. This declaration guaranteed the Danish and German minorities of the border region the right to cultural and linguistic development. A very different picture concerning education presents itself in Greenland. With the passing of the 1950 education act, schooling in Greenland was headed by a newly established School Directorate consisting of the Danish procurator in Greenland [landshøvdingen], a highly placed church official [provsten] and the School Director of Greenland [skoledirektøren]. With the revision of the Danish constitution in 1953, Greenland ceased to be a colony and it was formally granted status as a Danish county. This meant that the newly established Minis- try for Greenland (MfG) in Copenhagen governed Greenland. During the 1960s, Greenland’s educational system developed into a structure very similar to the Danish system. In fact, there was a political decision to create as much identity between the...
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