Applicants stumble due to citizenship test
New test stumbles the immigrants
About 170, 000 immigrants obtain citizenship of Canada every year. The citizenship is not just a certificate. This status allows people to vote and carry a passport of Canadian.
Acquiring the status is getting difficult in the recent past. In 2010, a higher benchmark was set for clearing the language test. The emphasis is on speaking in English or French and questions are asked about the history of Canada and even the knowledge about values of the country.
The new test papers have widened the gap between successful and unsuccessful test takers. This way thing has become difficult for the people who are unable to speak in English.
The rate of failing candidates has risen from 4% in 2009 to 15% last year. About 21% of Afghani applicants failed in 2009 whereas 25 of the applicants from Australia, England and United States failed last year.
A Professor of University of Toronto questions the viability and objectivity of these tests. The professor feels that the test becomes a barrier for the applicants who want to become “Canadian Citizens.”
The Test is actually to check the knowledge of an immigrant about elections, rights and responsibilities, history and geography of Canada. It also testifies the knowledge of language of the immigrant. There could be some questions which might not be actually important.
A study guide is prepared comprising 68 pages and is known as “Discover Canada”. The questions are based on this guide.
In order to pass the multiple choice exam an applicant has to clear a minimum of 15 questions out of 20. Previously one was expected to clear only 12 questions out of 20 of them.
The test takers are questioned about their lives and experiences in Canada. This is done to test their language skills.
People also feel that the emphasis of the test is on military history and monarchy.
Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Jason Kenney says, “We had devalued Canadian citizenship with the kind of paucity of content in the former guide and test.” He adds that “There was nothing about Canadian History and there wasn’t even a single line about the military history too.”
Kenney also says ”It wasn’t expected that the new measures would affect different nationalities to such different extents. ” Kenney terms the test as “sufficiently basic.”
Critics feel that the test is basically a language test where the emphasis is on Canadian names and vocabulary.